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Ryan Reynolds: the actor who bought a football club and now launched a docuseries about the team


The protagonist of Deadpool talks about 'Welcome to Wrexham', which follows this Welsh club that seeks to get out of the crisis.

Red superhero


flashes his matching football scarf, yelling

“Go Wrexham!

Come on, Red Dragons!”


The costumed fan follows hundreds of supporters of this Welsh club in a scene from the documentary series

Welcome to Wrexham

, which Star+ launched on January 18.

Other than the same shade of red,

what do Deadpool and the Wrexham have in common?

The team's owner since 2021 is Ryan Reynolds, the famous actor who embodies this acid character in Marvel films.

Why would he have bought a fifth division Welsh football club?


interviewed Reynolds with three other Latin American media outlets to find out more about this story that

Bienvenidos al Wrexham

will tell .

A mix of documentary series and football reality - emotional, funny and epic -

about a Welsh team struggling to rise and get out of the financial crisis.

Two stars on the court: Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Colleagues in acting, partners in soccer.

Something curious is that

a large part of its fans are also shareholders of Wrexham

: those same faithful who gather in the pub opposite the stadium (one of the oldest in the world) to share their sporting joys and sorrows.

How did a Hollywood star like Ryan Reynolds get interested in the club?

The Canadian is co-owner of Wrexham AFC (Association Football Club) along with

Rob McElhenney

, another actor with good


for comedy (creator of the sitcom

I'ts Allways Sunny in Philadelphia


He motivated the protagonist of



buy Wrexham for 2.5 million dollars, one of the three great teams in Wales

, but which has competed in the National League for decades.

Very far from the millionaire sponsorships of the English Premier League


The series shows, in the key of a docuseries with touches of reality, how the Wrexham community lives.

How is the series

Welcome to Wrexham

catches and moves you in its

18 short episodes

, by Star+.

He does it because he manages to go beyond the exotic question (how two North American fans of the other soccer, American, became soccer entrepreneurs) to

reflect the dreams and hopes of an entire community in North East Wales


“One of the most emotional moments of my life was when I heard the Wrexham stadium vibrate,” Reynolds tells


, via Zoom.

This club makes the heart of the community beat


And the team makes you feel like they're playing life and death matches."

In this interview,

Reynolds and McElhenney smile together in their movie directors' chairs


As a virtual background they have the red stadium with the huge word "Wrexham" painted in white on the stands.

Reynolds, 6-foot-1, wears a reddish flowered shirt and wears black-rimmed glasses.

McElhenney, 1.77, wears a white sweater that reveals his very worked biceps.

“We both love sports, but we didn't know anything about soccer,” he says.

Since we run all kinds of businesses, we know what we don't know, so we found the right people to take care of it,” McElhenney acknowledges.

For this reason, they say, the link with the team was fluid.

“We were able to have a friendly relationship with the players because we don't make sporting decisions,” McElhenney continues.

Obviously there is a contractual relationship and we get involved when the club's manager or CEO asks us for an opinion.


we never get into issues of the game


Ryan Reynolds picks up his memories at the Wales Stadium


“There is palpable tension and emotion generated in every Wrexham game,” he says.

This shows that the happiness of the community is linked to the destiny of the club.

It was a challenge for us to be there.

Not just for showing up in their town like two Hollywood guys telling them:

'We're going to help them grow their club

. '

McElhenney nods and considers: “I think the best audience for

Welcome to Wrexham

is one who doesn't think in advance that they might be interested in sport in general.

We are telling a story of people and communities who love something beyond what they could imagine.

And that they need to succeed because it's a part of their identity."

Reynolds looks at it and completes: “I think that by seeing

Welcome to Wrexham

people will delve into the passion, love and characters of this city.

It is, above all, about telling a story in a specific context.

One loves the sport also for all that background.

You love the sport for the personalities that are put into play on the field every day.

For everything they went through to have the privilege of being on the field."

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney spoke with clarion about the decision to buy the club.

-Ryan, what was your strongest moment with the team and the people?

Reynolds thinks for a few seconds and answers: “

The day the famous striker Paul Mullin scored a decisive goal in one of the matches


That was the first time I saw the Wrexham stadium vibrate so violently I thought it was going to collapse.

I had never felt a moment of collective joy in my entire life.

It's something I'll treasure forever."

-What interesting anecdote do you remember about the purchase of the team?


“We had to present our business plan to the Wrexham community.

The club is the most beloved treasure in the city, so we had to show them that we were going to take care of the club with respect and reverence."


“We needed 65 per cent of the shareholder vote - a very high number - to acquire management of the club.

But when they told us that we had finally gotten 98.6 percent, it was overwhelming.”

-The series speaks to the North American public that knows little about soccer.

Looking to help make the sport more popular there?

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds: from the dressing rooms to the changing rooms, non-stop.

Reynolds laughs and says: “

I hate calling it 'soccer' now


Now we both call it football.

The audience and passion for soccer is growing in the United States.

Certainly not at the same level as football, basketball or baseball, but it's increasing a lot."

"In that sense, we would be delighted if we could contribute to

Welcome to Wrexham

. Again, it's about storytelling. That's the key to the game. If you tell a good story, football catches everyone."

McElhenney adds a detail: “In the series we compare soccer terminology in English, North American English and Welsh.

That's funny, but it also goes to show that everyone in his country has their own version of the same things.

What we want to reflect is that we are all exactly the same.

It's about uniting anyone, anywhere, who loves something bigger than themselves.

The theme is soccer, but the message is the unification of the communities


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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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