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Ryan Reynolds' surprising first reaction to Wrexham revealed: inside journey with Rob McElhenney

FX's Welcome to Wrexham returns for a second season on September 12, and the editing team spoke with HELLO!


WELCOME TO WREXHAM "Away We Goal" Season 1, Episode 8 (Airs September 14) — Pictured: (l-r) Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney. CR: FX© FX
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
August 24, 2023
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Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, two Americans with a rudimentary understanding of non-US football, struck gold when they purchased stake in the struggling Welsh football team Wrexham AFC, helping in their rise to a League 2 promotion and a boost in interest in the town of Wrexham itself.

And the magic was captured for posterity via FX's Welcome to Wrexham, the docuseries chronicling their journey through sports ownership and the team's own success.

The show's acclaimed first season has received six Emmy nominations, including one for the editors who crafted the popular show, Curtis McConnell, Michael Anthony Brown, Charles Little II, ACE, and Mohammed El Manasterly.

WATCH: "Welcome to Wrexham" trailer

The four sit down with HELLO! for an exclusive conversation about all things Wrexham – including the comedic antics of Rob and Ryan.

Mohammed epitomizes it best when he revealed this moment: "The first time Ryan Reynolds watched Wrexham live when he went there, he just sat there and was like 'Which team is Wrexham?'"

Curtis adds: "One of the things that really helped the show was for Rob and Ryan to really lean into their ignorance and their naivete. Not only to their actual information about the football world, but also the culture. 

Wrexham fans wearing novelty masks showing Wrexham Owners Rob McElhenney (L), and Ryan Reynolds (r), © The FA
Wrexham fans with novelty masks showing Wrexham Owners Rob and Ryan

"Having watched all the footage, I can genuinely say they're good guys. You get a sense that they love that town and they feel very responsible for what they're doing there."

MORE: Ryan Reynolds shares news of bittersweet Wrexham farewell: 'Thank you for everything'

They deemed the enterprise a "passion project" for the entire team, even with the high profile nature given the stars involved, and attributed the success of the show's mockumentary-like format to Rob and Ryan's natural comedic timing.

ryan reynolds wrexham captain ben tozer© Getty Images
Rob and Ryan's candid on-screen behavior won them acclaim

Given their combined past history with documentaries, Curtis emphasized that the secret was to leave behind their prior notions of documentary filmmaking, adding: "They really wanted to make something unique and special. We were challenged to try new things, experiment, fight against our natural instincts."

MORE: Hugh Jackman shares sassy response to Ryan Reynolds as he visits Wrexham AFC match

Michael says: "Everybody was in new territory on this, and I think that's something that really is a recipe in itself for creativity at its best. I think people respond to that. When you see something stick out, like this series that's so unique and happy and sad. All of those things added up."

The team behind "Welcome to Wrexham" after a match© Curtis McConnell
The team behind "Welcome to Wrexham" after a match

Charles notes as well that the central mission behind Welcome to Wrexham was not to film a documentary, rather to capture the story of the town and their hometown heroes.

MORE: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney share big news for Wrexham AFC fans – and it's coming soon

"Those guys on the pitch, us in the edit room, the people behind the cameras, Rob and Ryan, everyone was on the same mission – to not only tell a great story, but for the Reds to actually win. 

ryan reynolds rob mcelhenney welcome to wrexham© Getty Images
The show has since received six nominations for the upcoming Emmys, including for its editing

"We were all on edge, everybody was," he adds. "It's really rewarding to talk about this show, because we were so geeked, we were so into it. And for other people to be into it just makes triply exciting for us."

MORE: Ryan Reynolds faces competition from unlikely star following Wrexham win – details

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FX's Welcome to Wrexham returns with season two on September 12 at 10pm ET/PT, streaming next day on Hulu. (Streaming from 13 September on Disney+ in the UK.)

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