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The Proposal - Ryan Reynolds interview

Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal

Interview by Rob Carnevale

RYAN Reynolds talks about generating chemistry with Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, working with screen veteran Betty White and starting out as a comedian and actor after coming to America from Canada.

Q. You are in Adventureland, also from Disney, Were you aware you would be following one disney movie with another?
Ryan Reynolds: I wasn’t because you don’t really know what order they are going to come out in. I mean I shot Adventureland in 1984. I remember exiting the birth canal and suddenly I was in a film. But you are never really in charge of that. The movie came out about five or six months ago in America. It was Miramax in the States and Disney here [fakes falling asleep]. What happened. I love working for Disney, not Walt specifically because he couldn’t be more dead, but the company is fantastic

Q. How do you treat your PAs?
Ryan Reynolds: I see her more as a moving target [laughs]. I do have someone that I work with and she is amazing and I definitely don’t have unmitigated abusive tendencies towards her. She is very sweet. I also know what that is like. I have heard my agent thinking he has hit mute on the phone before he, you know, physically unleashes broken glass and cellphones at his poor assistant. It is a tough job under the best of circumstances. I understand that.

Q. What was Anne Fletcher like to work with?
Ryan Reynolds: The woman is skin covered prozac I like to call her [laughs]. Half the trick to a film like this is keeping a sort of emotional level going and keeping an attitude that induces creativity on the set. You have to be in a good mood for that. You have to be happy to make a comedy I think and Anne sort of ensured that every time by expressing most of her feelings through the exciting medium of dance.

Q. What was your proposal like?
Ryan Reynolds: Well, I’ve prepared a slide show…. It’s not working today. You know I don’t think I’m prepared to give away my technique to Great Britain. Are you crazy? All I can say is there was a ninja and a fire truck involved, and a great deal of coersion.

Q. How was working with Betty White?
Ryan Reynolds: You do a lot of press for movies like this and you let your guard down sometimes and I did that with Betty White at one point. I mean this is an 87-year-old-woman, humanitarian, animal rights activist her whole life and a reporter asks me: “What’s Betty White’s dark side?” She’s 87 and all she does is nice things. I think it’s safe to say it is a lifestyle at this point. What do you expect me to say. That I walk in and she is eating panda steaks and dolphin tartar? And, of course, someone points out to me online: “Ryan Reynolds says Betty White eats panda.” Now I can’t look Betty in the eye.

Q. Did the risk of deportation to Canada ever trouble you?
Ryan Reynolds: Still does. You can be deported back to Canada, absolutely, for a shockingly minor infraction. Little bar fight. Next thing you know you are back in Sascatchuan. Which I’m not from, thank God… But it did concern me. When I first moved to Los Angeles I came down there on a wing and a prayer in a way. I had about six weeks worth of money to make it there and that was just from doing a couple of episodes of the X-Files just to finance that trip. I got there and it is either you got to hit it or you got to go and, thankfully, I found a job.

Q. But you did get that break soon after…
Ryan Reynolds: Well, I came down to LA initially to join The Groundlings, which is an improv comedy group. I didn’t get in, of course, becaue I’m not a part of The Groundlings. I just assumed that I could walk in and take over. So they said: “Hit the road Jack.” And I ended up getting an agent instead. They sent me out on a couple of leads and I ended up on a sitcom and Van Wilder thereafter and then pantsless with Sandra Bullock.

Q. Is it easier or harder working with friends?
Ryan Reynolds: I found it fantastic. Doing a film with your friend is probably the best way to end that friendship but we worked together really well. We just have that thing. Chemistry is something that… I just think it is the last thing in Hollywood, the last magical thing they haven’t computerised. There’s nothing you can do about it – it’s either there or it’s not and it doesn’t matter if you’re friends or not. It was just a bonus that we were.

Q. Your career choices thus far have been really interesting, what with a romantic film such as The Proposal preceded by comic book blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine and then the indie film Buried. Are you deliberately trying to keep it as varied as possible?
Ryan Reynolds: It’s not a career plan. Honestly, I think it’s dumb luck that I’m able to kind of get away doing different types of films in different genres. There’s always a tendency to kind of stick with what works, or stick with one particular kind of brand or movie. But so far I’ve been getting away with it, so I’m going to continue to do that for as long as I can.

Q. You don’t want to get pigeon-holed?
Ryan Reynolds: No. But if you do, then it’s a high class problem to have. And if you do, you’re the architect of that problem. There’s no one else to blame but yourself. You’ve kept doing the same kinds of movies and that’s what they want to see.

Q. What kind of preparation are you doing for Buried because it sounds really claustrophobic?
Ryan Reynolds: I really don’t know. This is the strangest film I’ve ever done. I’ll be the only person in the movie. So, I’m still trying to figure that out. I have a short but impactful amount of time to figure that out and that’s all I’m doing when I get home. I won’t bury myself, of course… that would be a sad end! And then the plan is to do Deadpool after that.

Read our review of The Proposal