Growing up, Ryan Reynolds was always surrounded by boys.
The youngest of four boys and the son of a cop, Reynolds was “less a sibling and more of a moving target,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.
So when his wife, Blake Lively, gave birth to their daughter James, whom Reynolds adoringly calls “Shrimpie,” in December 2014, he was overjoyed.
“Having a daughter was a dream come true for me,” he says. “I would have made a terrible king.”
Reynolds, 39, says he has no problem “being surrounded by estrogen” as the only man in the house. In fact, it’s what theDeadpool star says he secretly hoped for when he first found out Lively, 28, was pregnant.
“I never admitted it out loud, to myself or my wife, but I really wanted a little girl,” he says. “It’s the best.”
And Reynolds, PEOPLE’s former Sexiest Man Alive, says he’s been transformed into a completely doting dad.
“I don’t have to prepare to be wrapped around my daughter’s finger,” he says. “I have been wrapped around her little finger since the day she plopped out into this world.”
For much more from Ryan Reynolds on fame, fatherhood and marriage, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
— Jodi Guglielmi with reporting by Kate Coyne