Ryan Reynolds Gets Colonoscopy

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds is usually the one doing the rescuing, but he’s been rescued by doctors in real life. The actor underwent a colonoscopy on camera for a public-service announcement about the importance of getting screened for cancer.

“We think it’s important to be open and honest about what we’re going through so that other people who may be going through something similar can feel less alone,” Reynolds said in a statement released with the video.

Ryan Reynolds shared his experience as part of Colon Cancer Canada’s campaign urging Canadians over 50 to get screened annually for colon cancer. As a Canadian actor, producer and screenwriter, Ryan Reynolds is used to being in front of the camera. But he doesn’t go to great lengths for just anyone.

That’s why it came as such a surprise when he agreed to allow doctors to perform an endoscopy (a diagnostic test that involves inserting a flexible tube with a tiny camera into the mouth and down into the upper intestine) on him on camera.

It was all for his charity, Why Not You? Canada, which supports mental health research by making donations from its annual fundraising events available to researchers who are working on new treatments for mental illness. 

Ryan Reynolds Posts Colonoscopy Video

The scary exam was part of a public service campaign to urge people to get screened.

“I was kind of shocked he agreed to do it,” said Dr. David Agus, who performed the procedure. “He didn’t know what I was going to find… He just wanted to be an example for other people.” Reynolds posted a photo on Instagram of himself getting his colonoscopy, with the caption: “I just had a colonoscopy for the first time and it was not as bad as I expected.

In fact, it was pretty great! I watched an entire episode of 24 on my phone while sedated. But when they pulled out that first batch of poo-poo—that was weird!”