It’s been quite a few years since Ryan Reynolds was adding sauce to Traylor Howard’s pie, but even back then, on “Two Guys, A Girl & A Pizza Place”, it was clear that the Canuck was a star in the making. Charming, funny, handsome and versatile, Reynolds has since proven to be one of the film world’s greatest attests, giving deliciously delightful performances in the likes of “Just Friends”, “The Amityville Horror”, “Definitely, Maybe”, “Blade Trinity” and “Smokin’ Aces”. Next, he’ll play one of the comic world’s most popular tighted wonders, Hal Jordan, in director Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern”. Moviehole had the chance to speak to the always-amiable actor for a few minutes at Comic Con.
Ryan, were you inspired by the comic books?
Yes, a lot of them that are inspiring. Unlike many of the comic books, it’s such a vast universe to this character and his contemporaries. I read a few different ones. For the most part this is an origin story and I was able to focus a little on Secret Origins but our script is a much more in depth interpretation of that basic storyline. Geoff Johns described this thing as a version of Star Wars in the DC universe. I think that was a pretty apt description. You have so much you can mine out of this, these comics and this character. Any time you’re dealing with a guy who has something unbelievable and insurmountable to overcome, it makes for an interesting story. As an actor, it’s an interesting and excellent thing to get an opportunity to play. This guy has a distinct starting point, he’s a bit of a fractured human being, he’s seen his father die. Later in life he’s cocky and aimless. It’s this extraordinary power bestowed on him that sets him on a different path.
Is the Green Lantern costume much different than the one you wore in “Paper Man”?
So you’re the guy that saw Paper Man? [Laughs] Yeah, this costume is a motion capture suit that I’m wearing, so because it’s not seen on camera they’ve managed to find a material that I think most would agree is the most aggravating substance on earth. We’re shooting in Louisiana which is pretty close to the sun. The suit’s been difficult running around in a unitard in the New Orleans summer heat. If I were wearing anything, it’s going to be pretty uncomfortable doing an action movie in the deep south this time.
True. Did you undergo a strenuous training regime in prep for the movie?
The training’s just different. You’re not training on an aesthetic level, you’re training on a functional ability. You want to stay out of the hospital as long as possible, but it is a Martin Campbell movie so you’re bound to be there once or twice. Martin described it as a knife fight in a phone booth. That’s an apt description of how his action feels.
How do you differentiate between Marvel and DC, since you’re also playing Deadpool?
I don’t delineate; I don’t pay too much attention to that rivalry. We live in a world where technology allows us to bring these movies to life. The emergence of the superhero franchise being so mainstream now is a result of that and nothing really more. I’ve never really had that thought or issue of I was in a Marvel film so I can’t be in a DC. The casting process for me was the same as it would have been for anybody else. I met with Martin, fell in love with the concept and the idea. It was an experience. I didn’t just go to the art dept and see a few things, I had an experience. To see the world they were creating for this character was unlike anything I’d seen captured on film ever. Then I screen tested not once but twice. Martin put me through the paces but the good thing is a screen test is just another day of work. You just go to work so it was a nice pleasant experience.
Did the audition involve trying on the costume?
I have one little anecdote I haven’t mentioned yet. There was a Cinderella element to it because the FX house had this thing called life casts. You can build a prosthetic around that. Peter [Sarsgaard] had one done to wear his prosthetics. The FX house that was asked to make the Green Lantern mask had no idea who was auditioning, but they arbitrarily chose my head from their vast catalogs of heads. So when I showed up, my mask fit a little better than maybe Regis Philbin or Richard Chamberlain’s, or whoever else was auditioning that day, would have fit.
Green Lantern is fearless, but what scares you?
Stepping out at Comic Con in front of 6500 people is not a settling experience. In terms of fear, I try not to live in fear. Nerves are a nice thing.
“Green Lantern” hits theaters June 2011