Ryan Reynolds Gives Leap Day 84-Year-Old Her First ‘Legal’ Drink

by : Julia Banim on : 01 Mar 2020 12:57

I honestly can’t get my head around those whose birthdays fall on February 29, that rare and mystical day which only pops up on a leap year.


For most of your life, you’d have to choose whether to celebrate your birthday on February 28 or March 1, perhaps alternating between the two just to feel a sense of chaos.

But for the most part, you’d only celebrate your actual, technical birthday once every four years, meaning you could well argue that you are four times younger than you actually are.

Arlene birthday leap yearArlene birthday leap yearvancityreynolds/Instagram

Arlene Manko has been on this planet for 84 years. However, since she was born on February 29, 1936, one could make a case that this Saturday, February 29, 2020, marked her 21st birthday bash.


To celebrate Arlene being given the – probably quite rusty by now – key to the door, actor and internet jokester Ryan Reynolds served her up an Aviation Gin. Her very first ‘legal’ drink.

In yet another creatively funny advert for Reynolds’ gin business, shared via Instagram, Arlene – who was ‘technically five years old’ when she got married – can be heard to quip:

I had seven kids in 10 years. You think sometimes I didn’t want to drink? Follow the rules and do what you’re told is important. But I’m ready to party.

In a room festooned with 21st birthday party celebrations, Arlene is seated before a birthday cake and a cold glass of gin.

After taking her first sip – to the soaring, operatic notes of Habanera, from Bizet’s opera Carmen – Arlene responds enthusiastically, declaring ‘Holy Moses!’

As the commercial wraps up, Arlene makes a naughty dig at Reynolds, claiming she had no clue whatsoever who he was prior to being approached for the ad.

In a voice-over, a nervously laughing Reynolds can be heard telling potential gin buyers: ‘Ignore her. She’s been drinking’.

Arlene birthday leap yearArlene birthday leap yearvancityreynolds/Instagram

People have fallen for Arlene’s cheeky wit, taking to the comment section to wish her a very happy, belated 21st birthday. Many have even shared their own stories of leap year birthday quirkiness.

One amused person wrote:

This is funny! My birthday is also on February 29th. I turn nine tomorrow!!

Another person – who on the surface appears to be an adult – commented:

I will be turning 10 tomorrow! Best day to be born on.

Happy birthday and a very big cheers to Arlene!

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Celebrity, 'Legal' Drink, 84-Year-Old, Arlene Manko, Aviation Gin, Instagram, Leap Day, Ryan Reynolds


  1. vancityreynolds/Instagram