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Stanley Tucci on His Sweet Friendship With Ryan Reynolds, Who Accompanied Him to His 6-Month Cancer Scan

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We all need a friend like Ryan Reynolds.

Ryan Reynolds’s famous friendships are hilariously on display on social media — there’s his banter with Hugh Jackman, his flirtation with John Mayer, and much more to enjoy. But it turns out, he’s not just the funniest friend you’ll ever have, he also might be the most caring. We learned this from Stanley Tucci.

They met while they were neighbors in Westchester (Tucci is a Westchester native, while Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively moved there in 2012). While Tucci was living there with his kids and wife Felicity Blunt, his sister-in-law Emily Blunt set them all up. “We started emailing. We got together. Within 30 minutes, I felt like I had known them forever,” Tucci tells Katie in this week’s episode of Next Question. “Within a week, My kids, who were like 11 and 13 at the time, were sleeping over at their house.” He says, “We just became the closest friends. And then very soon after that, we moved, but we’ve remained great, great friends.”

So great that Reynolds once took Tucci to the hospital. 

In this week’s podcast, Tucci tells Katie about his battle with oral cancer. He was diagnosed nearly three years ago, which he revealed in his new book Taste: My life Through Food. During that time, he not only lost his sense of taste and smell, but his mouth became so ulcerous that he was on a feeding tube for six months. 

Luckily, Tucci’s cancer didn’t metastasize and he’s now in remission. And the day he found out he was clear, Reynolds was with him.

“I didn’t want him to come,” Tucci says. I flew back to New York. It was for my six-month scan. And I was staying with them in their apartment and Blake was away working. So it was just me and Ryan and I.” Reynolds offered to go with him to the doctor but Tucci declined the offer. “And Felicity couldn’t come and she kept saying to me, ‘Stanley, I want someone to be with you.’ And I was like, ‘no, I don’t want anyone with me. I’ll be fine. It’s fine. No matter what the news is, it’ll be fine.’ And then Ryan said, ‘I really want to come with you.’

Tucci told him not to worry. “I said, ‘No, you’re not coming with me. It’ll be fine.’” However, Blunt had already spoken to Reynolds. “She said, ‘you need to go with him.’ And he was like, ‘I know I do. I’m going to go.’ He never told me that. He said, ‘OK, I’m getting you a car. You’re going to go up there. And you just call me when you’re about to go in, and then I’ll come up,’” Tucci recalls. “And so I called him and he came up and of course walked into the room where I was getting the news. And the entire staff was beside themselves, both male and female.” Obviously.

Thankfully, Tucci was about to get good news. “And he was so sweet when they gave me the news that, you’ve got the all-clear, there’s no evidence of disease, he started crying. I didn’t cry. I didn’t know what to feel except happy, but he started crying.”

Move over Hugh. It looks like we have a new dynamic duo. 

But…can Reynolds come to our doctor’s appointments? 

Listen to this episode of Next Question with Katie Couric for more.