Call it a love/hate relationship.
Ryan Reynolds admits that as much as he long felt that the role of Deadpool would be a perfect fit for him — especially depicted faithfully to the Marvel Comics source material — other aspects of Wade Wilson would not be so comfortable. There’s the all-over costume, the hideous scarring makeup and then having to act while underneath both.
But he’s glad he went through the gauntlets, completing an 11-year bid to finally do the character justice that included a misguided effort in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and the literal arduous filmmaking process. The result was one of the year’s biggest commercial and critical darlings to date, and 20th Century Fox’s highest grossing X-Men movie. With the film available digitally now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD May 10, the witty, wisecracking Reynolds joined the press to reminisce about his frequently star-crossed entanglement with the equally fast-talking Merc with a Mouth.
On how he feels connected to Wade Wilson:
Ryan Reynolds: I relate to and love his self-loathing. He’s just a guy who’s in this sort of shame spiral, a highly militarized shame spiral, and it’s fun to watch. And that’s something I’ve always connected to, and certainly the meta aspect. I feel like a pop culture machine when I’m at home with my wife talking about anything. So I love pop culture and Deadpool loves pop culture, and that’s why it felt a little bit like, for me anyway, a match made in heaven.
On getting the Deadpool costume just right:
Making the suit was like a slow motion nervous breakdown the whole time, because you’re just thinking, “If we don’t get this right, we are 100% fucked.” As it was being developed and designed, we had all these notes, and we just had no time. The studio green-lit the movie, and basically ten months from our first day of shooting we were on the big screen. That’s no time for a film like this. So we had to make that suit right and fast.
When it was finally completed, we went into this little warehouse in Los Angeles and Russ Shinkle from Film Illusions, the company that makes these suits, he had it there under perfect light, and like sitting on a mannequin. We cried. We just wept because it was it. Not only that, we felt like we finally created a comic book character that was the most faithful adaptation from a comic film suit that I had ever seen. And I thought that was pretty special.
On the off-set instances in which he’d love to wear the suit:
The one thing I thought was really fantastic is a lot of kids kids who are suffering from cancer have been reaching out because they look up to Deadpool. I’ve gotten to know a lot of these kids just based on Deadpool. They love this character, who basically is given this diagnosis and flips it the bird. It’s something that a lot of these guys and girls really relate to. I got to spend time with these kids and do a lot of stuff with Make a Wish Foundation.
I always want to wear the suit when you go to the hospital, but the problem is, the suit is mostly weapons! Captain America has a shiny shield. Thor has a semi-non-threatening hammer. I have katanas and, like, semi-automatic pistols, which is not something you go through a metal detector at a hospital in. So I’ve always wanted to wear it there because I think it would be really special. One day we’ve got to figure that out.
Other than that, I feel like I’m wearing it every other day. I feel like if I just let Fox run my calendar, I would be sleeping in the suit. Making appearances at random Ohio State Fairs. But I do have a suit at home. I did leave with a suit. There was no way I was not going to leave without a suit.
On the arduous, hours-long makeup process:
It just made my daughter cry every time she came to set… [The makeup artist] would put that thing on my face every day. It looks all lovely and fast, but he would get it on and the second he was done, after like four hours, I’d go, “Get it off! It’s so itchy and sweaty underneath!” But after a few hours, it gets warmed up and it was a beautiful thing. [At the end of the day, I’d rip it off and] would treat it like a raffle. To the grip, I’d be like, “You won!”
On the even longer days on set:
The two longest days I’ve ever had on set was [on “Deadpool”‘] — a 23.5-hour shoot day, for me — and ironically the other longest day was on “Wolverine.” It was two units shooting at once, and I did a 23-hour day on that one. It’s always Fox, messing with my sleep schedule.
On his reaction to that infamous nude fight scene:
I can’t think of a more terrifying situation when a man who’s not wearing a stitch of clothing, his penis hanging out, is coming at you to fight. If that happens to me, there’s a Ryan-sized hole in the wall. I’m out of the room. I’m gone. That guy’s got something going on that I don’t want to deal with.
On the long road to getting a pitch-perfect version of Deadpool on the screen:
To be perfectly frank, since the movie became that big, I’ve been insufferable. Look, for me, it’s been an 11-year journey. For this group of people, it’s been six years and change. We’ve all had our ups and downs and our moments. To me, it did feel like a shitty relationship. It was like we would be standing at the alter, then it would be off, then it’d be on, then be off. Then finally it happened. Thank God for the internet. Thank God for the fans.
I always say that, and you’ll hear a lot of actors thank the fans and it sort of sounds like rhetoric. But it’s real. They pushed this movie over the hump that we couldn’t do. We couldn’t get it made. The studio, God bless them, they didn’t understand it. They didn’t believe in it fully. They didn’t know what it was. The fans let them know that they could make this movie, and they could make it in the most authentic way that Deadpool fans would respect and love, and they did.
“Deadpool” is available on demand now and on Blu-ray and DVD May 10.
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