Rich Polk/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty
Ryan Reynolds credits his icon status to his family’s support.
The Spirited actor, 46, received the Icon Award at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday night, presented to him by his Free Guy costar Lil Rel Howery. (Reynolds was also nominated for male movie star of the year and comedy movie star of the year for his time-travel movie The Adam Project.)
Reynolds first joked in his speech, “I feel like I’m at my funeral, except I get to leave. I guess I finally tested positive for icon. Been avoiding it for years but here we are.”
He continued by thanking the people in his life, explaining that that gratitude list “starts with my family and it ends with my family.” Reynolds gave a shoutout to his mom Tammy and three brothers (one sibling joined him at the award show) and his late dad James, who died in 2015.
“Boy, if he could see all the things going on, he wouldn’t be impressed with this stuff; he’d be the most blown away by his three little granddaughters,” added Reynolds, who shares daughters James, 8 this month, Inez, 6, and Betty, 3, with wife Blake Lively, who is currently pregnant with their fourth baby.
RELATED: Ryan Reynolds Says He’s Still a ‘Ball of Nerves’ Like His 12-Year-Old Self: ‘I Hide It Well’
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.
Elsewhere in his speech, Reynolds thanked Lively, 35, and their kids directly: “It’s gonna be a fourth child very soon. If it happens tonight while I’m here I will be looking for a couch to sleep on for a little while. … But Blake and my girls, you are quite literally my heart, my hope, my happiness. I joke that my family exhausts me, but in reality you give me more strength than any man could possibly deserve.”
Back in November, Reynolds shared his reaction to being given the People’s Icon honor, telling E! News, “I feel like I’m getting old. For starters, that’s it, you know? And then I realize, ‘Yeah, I’ve been around.’ I’ve been doing this job for over 30 years now. It’s a long time to do anything. And I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do it for 30 years.”
“So much in the spirit of feeling grateful for the ability to do this job for this long and stay in the industry that can very quickly be done with you — I’m approaching that honor with the same kind of gratitude,” he added.
Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Cassandra Tryon, SVP of entertainment live events at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, previously said in a statement, “In any endeavor — whether it’s acting, producing, marketing or business — Ryan Reynolds has the unique ability to create joy and authentically connect with his audience . He’s received many accolades over the years, but it’s these innate qualities that make him so beloved.”
Last year’s People’s Icon recipient was Halle Berry. Past honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Melissa McCarthy.
Reynolds was honored last month with the American Cinematheque Award in Los Angeles. The Deadpool the actor told PEOPLE on the red carpet that he won’t let his kids follow in their famous parents’ footsteps until they’re older.
“Putting a kid in a business like this, it’s generally not about the kid. It’s usually about the parents,” he said. “When they’re older they can do whatever the hell they want. I’m excited for that. Our job is to foster as much interest in as many different things as possible at this point.”