Ryan Reynolds. Beautiful. Talented. Funny. Cordial.
“Safe House”, hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week, utilizes all of Ryan’s talents – notably his expert ability to make us females melt in his presence – in an action-packed thrill ride that teams the former TV funny-guy with Oscar Winner Denzel Washington.
We chatted to Reynolds, currently gearing up for “Deadpool”, about the flick.
So mate, you had a CIA consultant on this film. What secrets of the trade did he give you, and did you learn to become a better housekeeper?
He gave me a lot of tricks of the trade but, more than anything, he was really helpful in taking [away] some of the projection I have of this being a glamorous lifestyle and covert ops working in this sexy spy industry. He will sober you up to that pretty quickly. This job is a lonely pursuit, and it’s not as much fun as one might think. It’s a lot of lying to people they love, and that can be pretty taxing on your nervous system after a while.
I bet. Were there any scenes that took you by surprise?
I was surprised that agents don’t even talk to each other. Everybody’s assuming that everybody’s going to stab them in the face, and it’s odd that they don’t even trust within their own organization. They only have trust with the higher-ups. I was surprised to learn how corrupt it can be as well.
If I have googled perfectly…you shot in Langa Township, which I hear is not the safest part of Cape Town. What was that experience like?
It was interesting, I never felt unsafe there at all. People in Langa were probably more joyful and gracious than your average Brentwood family. It was shocking to see that cheery excitement still present when a film crew came into their community — that was interesting. We spent a few weeks there as well, so we really got to know some of the local people.
Cool. What was something new that you learned about Cape Town and South Africa – aside from getting to know the people?
When you’re forced to not just go to a place and visit it, but actually live there for five months, you really immerse yourself in the community and get to explore it and see it for what it really is. It’s just a gorgeous place. It’s not without its hardships, and it has really noticeable scars still, but it’s interesting that you can veer into that world where a lot of tourists would be afraid to go, into places like Langa. But if they did, I think they would be surprised to learn how delightful everybody is.
Google again informs me that no cell phones or walkie-talkies were allowed on the first safe house set because there were hundreds of squibs installed all around the set. Did that create an unintentional sense of tension on the set?
I’ve done movies where I’ve had 30 or 40 squibs attached to my chest, and you know that you’re not supposed to have a cell phone anywhere near that because it could ignite them. It was strange walking onto a set and not seeing anybody on their Blackberrys or smartphone devices.
It was a nice change of pace?
It was great.
Speaking of refreshing, this is a bit of a twist on both your action roles and leading romantic roles. You’re playing a very idealistic character who is going through a hell of a time. Did you relish the challenge of filling the role?
It’s nice to do a movie where you’re scrubbing away your own personality and trying to disappear into the role a little bit, living and walking in that guy’s shoes. I was really interested in that world and I like that they deglamorised it a little bit for the purposes of this movie, keeping it more reality-based.
Can I ask, did you help Nora through her first English-language movie?
She didn’t need my help at all. She was great. We improv-ed a lot of our stuff too, and that was helpful for her with English being a second language for her. But she was great
So onto the upcoming stuff. What can you tell us about R.I.P.D and Deadpool?
R.I.P.D. just wrapped two days ago — I’m really excited about that. I can’t tell you anything about Deadpool. R.I.P.D. was great, though. Jeff Bridges is a great costar, and [director] Robert Schwentke did a great job. It’s unlike any other movie I’ve ever seen. The movie’s palette is just incredible and the scope of it is amazing. It’s nice to see a budget like that being used in a really practical way.
One thing we assume is Deadpool will be full of stunts. What was the toughest stunt for you on this film?
I think all the hand-to-hand fighting is tough because there’s no way to really regulate that stuff. It just gets kind of ugly and mean, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“Safe House” is on DVD and Blu-ray this week
“R.I.P.D” is out next year