Ryan Reynolds, co-star of the "The Amityville Horror" Movie!
Handsome comic actor Ryan Reynolds may be best known to television viewers for his role in the popular Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, though if it weren't for his close friend Chris Martin, Reynolds' star may have not risen quite as smoothly as it did. Born in October of 1976, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to a food wholesaler father and a retail store saleswoman, Reynolds harbored an affection for acting from his early youth, and was undeterred after failing a drama class at the age of 12. Making his television debut two years later on the Nickelodeon show Fifteen, the aspiring youngster crossed the border and relocated to Florida for the taping of the show, moving back to Vancouver soon after production ceased in 1991. Turning up in numerous television series such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and made-for-TV movies in the following years, Reynolds soon grew despondent that his career was not moving along as smoothly as he wished. Recognizing his friends' frustrations, friend and fellow actor Martin suggested that the two pick up and head for the Hollywood hills. Crashing in a cheap hotel and having his jeep stripped and rolled down a hill did little to raise Reynolds' spirits, though the determined actor carried on, landing his role on Two Guys in 1997. The only actor to read for the role of Berg, Reynolds won the favor of the producers and was soon on his way to success in the States. Following with roles in the teen horror-comedy Boltneck (1998) and later Dick (1999) and Finder's Fee (2000), Reynolds soon began assuming his position among the hot young actors of the early millennium, taking the lead in 2001 for Van Wilder.
More fun facts about Ryan Reynolds
Birth name: Ryan Rodney Reynolds
Height 6' 2½" (1.89 m)
Ryan is the youngest of four brothers
His father, Jim, was a Vancouver food wholesaler.
His mother, Tammy, was a retail-store saleswoman
Has a fear of flying since he once went skydiving and parachute failed to open at the first attempt.
Failed his high school drama class
Used to work in a grocery store
Attended Kwantlen College for a few months before leaving to pursue his acting career
Received a Youth In Film Award nomination for best actor for his work on Nickelodeon's "Fifteen" (1991).
Accompanied musician Alanis Morissette to the 2003 Canadian Juno Music Awards.
To celebrate their one year anniversary in May 2003, Ryan and his girlfriend Alanis Morissette wear matching rings on their fourth fingers of their right hands.
In early 2001, he met actress Rachael Leigh Cook and the two immediately hit it off. However, Rachael had to fly to England shortly after to film Blow Dry (2001). Ryan ended up surprising her, pulling out of his filming schedule and following her all the way to London. It was a success and they ended up dating for a year.
Became engaged to his girlfriend of two years, Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, in June 2004.
Two of his three elder brothers are policemen.
His personal quotes:
"On that note, that being said, it was damn hard kissing her. You've never experienced anything until you've had a mature, darting tongue in your mouth." (On kissing the older woman in Van Wilder (2002))
"Acting has given me a way to channel my angst. I feel like an overweight, pimply faced kid a lot of the time - and finding a way to access that insecurity, and put it toward something creative is incredibly rewarding. I feel very lucky."
On his relationship with Alanis Morissette: "Our relationship couldn't be better. There's no truth to the rumours we'd temporarily broken up."
Ryan Reynolds: "The Amityville Horror"
While walking off the set of 'The Amityville Horror' remake, Ryan Reynolds, who plays George Lutz in the film, chatted a little bit about his other upcoming film 'Blade: Trinity'. He joked about the million different endings to the film and how he has commitment to do a sequel - or the spin-off, whether he wanted to or not. You may be used to the tall and thin Ryan Reynolds, but in his upcoming films, he may shock you with how in shape he is - think Brad Pitt in 'Fight Club'. While walking to the interview room he talked about his commitment to getting in shape and sticking with it; if Ryan executes in 'Amityville' as much as he does in the gym - we're in for a major treat.
Ryan Reynolds (Mr. Van Wilder himself) plays George Lutz in MGM/Dimension and Platinum Dunes upcoming remake of the classic 'Amityville Horror'. George is a hard working man trying to impress his new wife Kathy (Melissa George) and win over his new kids. They find an old house in Amityville, which is a steal - but as they say, nothing comes for free. Throughout the film, George seemingly becomes possessed by the house and slowly becomes part of the dark past that the house conceals.
Always known as the funny man when his name comes up, Ryan isn't afraid of tackling new genres - in fact, he's tackled it all this past year, "This year has been amazing, I covered it all. I got to do the action-thriller in Blade almost sort of sci-fi, I got to do straight up comedy in 'Waiting' and then I have to do this great unbelievable genre film right here and I'm doing a romantic comedy after this- there you have it!"
The original 'Amityville' hit theaters in 1979 and looks like it could use some touch ups, Ryan pretty much sumed up his opinion in one sentence, "For the time I thought it was pretty damn good... but uhm (major grimace)". He continues by talking a bit about his feelings towards the true story, "I believe George Lutz went in there and had a psychological breakdown, but whether there was a supernatural element involved I don't know. But the great thing about my job is I don't have to worry about that". During the film, Ryan's character slowly becomes less and less like himself, here he explains how you can't act "possessed" in a movie, "You can't (act possessed), I don't know how you can, I don't know how you can say "oh in this moment he's possessed by a demon, we're rolling..." I don't know how you can relate to that". He went into details about George Lutz's slow decline (because of the red room?), "The red room is a very very old and very very dark part of this house, a part of the house that was built originally in the Dutch colonial era from 1697- he's basically living next to this very ancient and very evil presence. That's his office, he's working down there and setting up and building down there - and so was the previous owner. His life force is being drained and he doesn't know it". So is George becoming less human or becoming possessed? "When you watch the movie you think wow this guy is becoming possessed, but I feel him going within - and turning completely inward and psychotic."
After nearly ten minutes of off topic humor (I'm telling you, this guy is funny!) Ryan gets back on track and talks a little bit about what it's like working on his first horror film, "I don't think its any more difficult than working on a comedy," he continues, "I really don't feel like I'm doing a horror movie, I never at any point in this movie felt like I was in a horror movie. It's not what I pictured, coming in I was like am I going to have those days when I leave feeling embarrassed for what we shot today? I haven't done that once. I've done a complete 180 since I showed up here... [I figured] I'd come in and try something different, thinking and having very little expectations in what I'd find and I am just thrilled everyday because it blew my expectations out of the water". So will Ryan do more horror films in the future? "I'd love to do more horror if it's like this, but I don't think they are though".
Ryan is a really fun guy and seems like he has a good heart, so when he talked highly about first time feature film director Andrew Douglas, it wasn't much of a surprise, "Andrew Douglas is so gentle in every moment and you can talk to him about every beat for hours, he'll just stop filming and talk about it- till we get there, till we find it". He also talked about a really cool shot that was filmed backwards by Douglas, "We shot some footage backwards that was really creepy though, just slightly backwards as George is looking at somebody and then you roll the film backwards it adds this whacked thing!"
After jumping of topic for another ten minutes and joking about Paris Hilton (is there ever a time when her name doesn't come up?), Ryan talked about where his heart really is, which we all know is comedy, "I'll never go away from it [comedy], it's so much fun". He would love to work with tons of actors like Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, but there were tons more he would have loved to work with, he jokes, "There are just so many great comedians who are dead".
By far one of the most entertaining interviews ever, Ryan Reynolds is genuine and has high ambition, look for him to become a name amongst names in the future. Check out 'The Amityville Horror' remake on April 15th and find out what's in this red room!
Ryan Reynolds on "Blade: Trinity" and "The Amityville Horror" Remake
And What's the Possibility of a "Van Wilder 2?"
Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel joined Wesley Snipes for "Blade: Trinity," the only "Blade" movie directed by the screenwriter of "Blade" and "Blade II," David Goyer. Reynolds and Biel play a couple of human vampire hunters, known as The Nightstalkers, who assist Blade (Snipes) in tracking down the original vampire, Dracula.
I caught up with the very busy Ryan Reynolds at the November 4, 2004 LA Premiere of "After the Sunset." Even with the very sexy star of "After the Sunset," Pierce Brosnan, strolling the red carpet, Reynolds was attracting plenty of attention from all the female fans - and female media types - in attendance. Still looking fit from his time spent hunting vampires in "Blade: Trinity," Reynolds seemed geniunely shocked by all the attention.
After listening to the journalists around me lavish the guy with praise, I managed to ask a few questions about a couple of his upcoming movies:
What's next for the "Blade" franchise? Will there be a "Blade IV?"
This is the last "Blade," as far as I know. This is it.
You didn’t sign on for two to begin with?
We signed on for a spin-off – a "Nightstalker" spin-off – which is another comic book from the 70s. That’s where my character [comes from], or the etymology of my character actually evolves from.
Is the "Nightstalker" spin-off definitely in the works?
That is sort of in the works. It’s something that New Line keeps broaching but we haven’t actually come to a script in any way at all. So, who knows?
I interviewed you a few months ago and you said while working with Wesley Snipes on "Blade: Trinity," he never came out of character.
No, he’s absolutely rigid. He’s method and it’s a strange thing. I don’t know many method actors, and I’m certainly not one, so it’s very strange. But whatever gets you through the day. I mean, whatever artistic process you need to acquire to do your job.
Is it harder to work off of him or does his being method make it easier?
In fact, it helps. My character is wary of him anyway so it just fed me. And I don’t think he liked me, particularly, very much so…
As a person?
As a person. So I think that actually helped. Blade didn’t – I don’t know about Wesley. But that also helps. Our characters are a little adversarial but on the same side. All it does is feed me. So I guess in a sense, it actually pushed me into method.
Will there be a sequel to “Van Wilder?”
I don’t think so. No. I know they’ve written a script and they’re trying to go for one, but I don’t think so.
You don’t want to do a sequel?
It’s not that. Sometimes when I see a character that I love and a movie that I love, I always want them to do it again. And when they do it again, I’m inevitably disappointed. So I just feel like given the opportunity to have that happen or not, I think I’m going to go with 'not'. I just feel like [we should] let sleeping dogs lie. It was a lot of fun, it was a cult hit. It did really well on DVD. I think I’d leave that legacy in my wake. It was a lot of fun.
And you just finished doing “The Amityville Horror?”
Yeah. It was really, really wild.
What was it like working on that remake? People still seem to like watching that movie.
They do. It’s worthy of a remake because it’s time for an update. I don’t think it stands the test of time as well as some movies do. I feel really good about it. It exceeded my wildest expectations.
Does it follow the original movie?
No, we stay with the book not the movie. We stick to the Jay Anson book religiously.
What was your most difficult scene to film?
It was all just incredibly taxing. It was very difficult. To be emotionally abusive to children is very hard for me, so I had a tough time doing that.
What’s next after “The Amityville Horror?”
A nice, light romantic comedy called “Just Friends.” I start that in a month.
Oh good, you’ll be back to playing the romantic leading man.
(Laughing) Yeah, it’ll be fun.
Ryan Reynolds: The jokester turned action jokester
- Up until now, Ryan Reynolds is probably best known as a comic actor from films like Van Wilder and the remake of The In-Laws. Reynolds has always had a gift at, as the actor himself has put it, being a smart-a**. For that very reason, he's not someone who was even in consideration for a role as demanding as that of Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity. Reynolds wanted to try something new and, after hitting if off with writer/director David Goyer, convinced those involved that he could achieve the look and training necessary to pull off the part.
And Reynolds wasn't kidding. His look, demeanor and performance is a total transformation for the actor. Sure, he's still a smart-a**, but now he's a smart-a** with rippling muscles and some bad-a** fighting moves. Effectively putting both his comedic talents and newfound muscles to immediate use in Trinity, Reynolds steals many of the film's best moments, such as a terrific interrogation scene between Reynolds and Parker Posey.
I spoke with Reynolds recently at the press day for Blade: Trinity at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles. This is my second meeting with Reynolds in recent months, the first being on the set visit for Amityville. Reynolds is an easy guy to talk with and always quick to throw in a joke whenever possible. It's always refreshing to talk with someone who doesn't treat the interview as work, but more like a conversation.
IGN FILMFORCE: I notice that the Brolin 2000 beard is gone?
RYAN REYNOLDS: The Brolin 2000 is now safely in a sink in Wisconsin.
IGNFF: You didn't want to sell it on eBay?
REYNOLDS: No, it was as disgusting as it gets, man. I'm not kidding you. I shaved it off while it was completely coated in clotted fake blood.
IGNFF: So you shaved it first chance you got?
REYNOLDS: I shaved it right after [they said], 'That's a picture wrap on Ryan Reynolds.' There was a smattering of tepid applause and then straight to the sink and I just took the razor...
IGNFF: Well, you know that now they are going to call you back for a re-shoot.
REYNOLDS: Yeah, but you know what? That's my defense mechanism right there. I know Michael Bay and I know he's sitting there watching every scrap of footage and he's gonna say, 'We need one more of this,' and I'm going to say, 'I'm sorry. Babyface.' I also look like I'm 10 without a beard.
IGNFF: What was the starting point of this physical transformation of yours in the past year?
REYNOLDS: I had to go after it. David was very interested in me for Blade, but I don't know how much faith he had that I could actually, you know, transform like that. I even ended up asking him, 'Why me? Are you sure about this?' He seemed to feel pretty confident in it. I think that the person that was most surprised by it all was me. After going for it, I just found that I grew so much as an actor in Blade. It sounds silly to say that in an action movie, but it really pushed me forward to want to explore newer and greater horizons.
IGNFF: Did you have to hold back on your smart-a** tendencies or were they free flowing on Blade?
REYNOLDS: It was free flowing. Man, you sit down with Parker Posey and I'm in heaven. I feel like I could have shot that for ten years. We just lit the script on fire at that point and we were like, 'All right, let's roll it and let's do it.' The DVD is going to be so f***ing unbelievable for that scene, because there are 900 variations of what went down in that torture scene...
IGNFF: So you called her other names beside Thunder****?
REYNOLDS: My God, there's a million other things that I called her.
IGNFF: Was that a reference to Thundercats?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, it was. That's totally where that came from, so I'm sure they'll be suing me for libel very soon. But yeah, just working with Parker Posey, but that moment was when I knew it was going to be something pretty special. When she struts in and she's just like, 'Let's go Reynolds, you little s**t. What do you have?' You just start going, you start jawing, just seeing what happens, it was just awesome.
IGNFF: Did she keep jawing with you once they yelled cut?
REYNOLDS: We don't ever stop. David has to stop us or they run out of film, and that's the only reason that "cut" was ever called in those scenes.
IGNFF: So how much extra footage will we see on the DVD?
REYNOLDS: You will see some pretty awesome stuff. For every really good joke in that moment, or for every interesting moment, there's another step. I can't put them all in. It was just such a treat to do.
IGNFF: Beyond the muscle, what else was required to prep for this role?
REYNOLDS: [Hannibal's] a mixture of everything. Chuck Jeffries, the fight coordinator and I, really just tried to find a middle ground. There's a really, really huge fight sequence with Triple H and I wanted that to not be glossy. Again, I said before, that Indiana Jones was somebody that we kind of drew some inspiration from for this role, because he's a guy that's capable in almost any scenario, however, sometimes isn't really polished looking. Which is what I like, which is what kind of imbues realism to it and reality in those moments. So with Triple H, we had this choreography established months before. We just really wanted to find a way to make that scene look like it was just two guys trapped in a room together. One of them's going to walk out and that's it. We don't want anything to look super-fancy, we just want it to be just gross, two guys that just absolutely beat each other senseless. And I felt like we really achieved that. Triple H had the great idea of breaking his arm twice, the same arm. So we did a bit of Brazillian grappling. The actual art, I forget what it's called, but it's a form of Brazillian grappling that we did that was just so much fun to learn those things, first of all. You don't learn those things in an improv class. I just loved that. So that transformation was one of the biggest ones, learning how to do those sequences and getting them right, I felt. Like really finding a way that I could walk away from it proud, because it doesn't look like a seriously choreographed Kung-Fu movie. It looks like Ryan Reynolds got in really good shape and then got in a fight with a man twice his size.
IGNFF: What's Triple H like outside of his persona?
REYNOLDS: He's a puppy dog, man! He is the sweetest guy ever. I don't want to out his image either. I'll also say he's a complete a**hole. But he's just such a sweetheart. I really enjoyed working with him. We went out one night and had some dinner and drinks and stuff and I just couldn't believe it. They guy's like a rock star. He is the most famous man alive, not to mention he is built like the Empire State Building with skin. It's not exactly like you don't notice him when he walks into a room, I mean he's enormous. But the kids just freak out over him. It's unbelievable. I got shoved out of the way. It was like, 'Beat it Van Wilder, we want to see Triple H...'
IGNFF: How much of Hannibal King is in you?
REYNOLDS: There's a lot of Hannibal King in me. I felt like I couldn't take on a role of this magnitude without imbuing a lot of my traits into it as well. But there's also elements of it that are a huge stretch for me. This is a guy that, in these action movies, you have to do things where, I think Christian Bale said it best, when he's talking about putting on the bat suit for the first time and doing that movie, he said, 'You can either get out there and look ridiculous or you can make this work.' And I felt like I was going to take the latter there. I was going to make this work. These are huge scale movies and they're based on comic books. They're larger than life, there's something very surreal and very stylistic, so it was a stretch for me to do that. One of my strongest traits and what I've built my career on is not taking myself so seriously. I had to kind of balance the two, because when you're playing an action hero, you have to take yourself seriously and some moments, when it comes to defending whatever you believe in and your friends, which is what I think Hannibal King does so well, and also still imbuing those sarcastic acerbic moments that Hannibal King has, which I just think make that character. He uses it as a defense mechanism and as a survival technique and it works brilliantly.
IGNFF: I have a hard time picturing you on the set versus the Wesley Snipes method acting, never breaking character. I also have heard a lot about all the tension on set. What was your take on all that? Do you think it was overblown?
REYNOLDS: It's always overblown. My personality is the polar opposite of Wesley. I never met Wesley, I only met Blade, and he is a method actor. Say what you want about that style of acting, I have the utmost respect for whatever it takes to get through this process. We all say that these actors make so much money and they live such a life of leisure and privilege, but that is a vulnerable process, stepping onto the set everyday and performing in front of 110 judgmental souls. So whatever it takes for him or anyone else to get through that in a way that is artistically fulfilling to them, I have the utmost respect for.
IGNFF: Did you consider it a personal challenge to break him?
REYNOLDS: (Laughs) That being said, yes I did. You know what, what I found was, I just use every moment. There's a moment in the movie where I look up at Jessica and I swear to God, I didn't even know the cameras were rolling anymore and I say, 'He hates me, doesn't he?' And she's like, 'Yeah.' I'm just saying this about my relationship as Ryan Reynolds to this guy, and it works. The ad libs are just born of that. There's another one where I do a dime store psychoanalysis of him where I say, 'You ever thought about sitting down and talking with someone, getting in touch with your inner child, and also you might want to try blinking once in a while.' He just looks at me like he's gonna turn me into a** pulp...
IGNFF: So you never did get him to laugh?
REYNOLDS: No, I don't know if I ever got him to laugh, the guy's Blade. Hopefully on the inside, he's laughing kind of on the inside, I don't know? It was a challenging process. I've never experienced anything like that.
IGNFF: What do you think of the idea of doing a Nightstalkers movie?
REYNOLDS: Well, I'm signed to one, so it's something that I would absolutely be up for if David Goyer was going to be involved in it. If they had a good story and that sort of thing, but I knew going in that was a possibility. We'll see, that's for the fans to decide. It would be a shame to never play him again. If you did a spin-off, you could do a prequel where he is a vampire, a self-loathing vampire, hating his own kind, you could do that. The Nightstalkers comic, they were a paranormal detective agency, so there's a myriad of stories you can get out of that. You can do a modern day Ghostbusters with them. But, you know, that's all conjecture, that's something the fans are going to decide at this point. It would be a shame, I think, to not get the opportunity to play him again, because I don't think I'm nearly done with him.
IGNFF: So now that Amityville is finished shooting, this seems your most reserved role?
REYNOLDS: It's not, it's so rageful. I've never done a movie like that.
IGNFF: But there's also really no comedy?
REYNOLDS: Oh definitely, comedically, there's no... At the beginning, you definitely see George Lutz's sense of humor. It's a bit corny, but he has a sense of humor that I think is cute, but it works in the movie. You have to set up a character that you believe there's no way this guy could turn in the story that we know. So that was fun to do, but that was the most I've ever stretched and grown as an actor, [and] I'm digging that. I like growing like that and trying new things and I think the next couple films that I do, I would like to choose carefully, but I would also like to find some way to continue to grow and stretch like that.
IGNFF: Do you think Amityville is going to scare people?
REYNOLDS: I've seen an hour of it and it scared the s**t out of me.
IGNFF: I just started reading the book, which was actually out of print.
REYNOLDS: Jay Anson, I know. It will be back when this movie comes out. The book is intense. Basically, if you're reading the book, you're kind of reading the script. That experience, it's gonna be very, very scary. The hour I saw fully loaded my underwear.
IGNFF: (Laughs) Nice. So what's coming up next for you?
REYNOLDS: Well, I start another movie for New Line Cinema actually, in late January, called Just Friends. It's a romantic comedy, and after that I have no idea.
IGNFF: Is Just Friends cast other than yourself?
REYNOLDS: Just me so far.
IGNFF: Who's directing?
REYNOLDS: Roger Kumble, who directed Cruel Intentions. Great director, great writer.
IGNFF: So is that a straight-up romantic comedy?
REYNOLDS: Well, it's a comedy. Romantic comedies kind of bug me, but there's definitely a romantic element to it. There's a bit of a love story and it's very funny.
How did Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds train for Blade: Trinity?
Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds shaped their bodies to become the Nightstalkers. Biel’s training was designed to keep her slim and tone her muscles. “I was in the gym six days a week for a couple of hours a day and then an hour of fight training, an hour of archery and a super-strict diet throughout the whole movie,” she said. “Heavy weightlifting for bulk, to bulk up in the beginning, then once I got to a certain size it was a more a maintaining and lots of cardio to kind of lean as much we can down. That’s why I have those striations down my muscles. Work to build, then maintain, then lean it out as much as we could.”
Always a fitness enthusiast, Biel enjoyed the chance to exercise for a job. “The gym, for me, is not a chore. It’s a stress release. It’s something I enjoy a lot. I was getting paid to work out. I couldn’t think of a better thing. I think I questioned my choreography sometimes. We planned out all these amazing fight sequences where I kill 13 guys at once. You show up and kind of cross your fingers and hope that you can get it done and it looks right and punches look right because it’s weird. It’s a weird thing to show a fake punch.”
Right now, Biel has only kept up some of her Blade: Trinity training. “I’m trying to stay in the middle range size-wise so I can get big really quickly or get small really quickly.”
Ryan Reynolds’ process was to gain weight. “There weren’t restrictions for me,” he said. “Jessie had a very different diet but I had to eat, eat, eat, eat, as much as you possibly can all the time in every shape and form. It didn’t matter. Every two hours I would eat.”
That protein would fuel his muscles for the intense weight lifting. “Like more weights than I could ever dream of. I can hear the clink of barbells in my head still. It was intense. We’d do two hours of weightlifting a day and then an hour of fight training and then go shoot for fifteen hours. The shoot was a workout. When you’re getting tossed around like a midget with Triple H, it looked like midget tossing. I thought I was big but that guy…”
Though Reynolds is still in good shape, he did not keep his Blade: Trinity body. “I’ll never work out like that again,” Reynolds said. “That was pretty intense but it slowly goes away. I’m ten pounds lighter than I was in the movie but we put on a little over twenty pounds just for the role specifically. David asked me when I first met him, ‘Can you do that?’ And I said, ‘absolutely’. That was so full of sh*t. I didn’t know if I could do that. But whenever an actor auditions for anything they’re like ‘So, can you fly an F-15 Tomcat?’ and you’re like ‘Yeah. I went to camp for it’. You just lie, lie, lie and figure it out on the day. But, I actually managed to do it. New Line was very helpful with trainers and nutritionists. You learn so much and you’ve just got to live it and do the four hours of whatever every day.”
Ryan Reynolds: Van Wilder: Party Liaison
Was there a Van Wilder, party guy at your school?
Growing up in Vancouver, we never had universities centred around the sports team or Fraternity Row. I had to glean most of the experience for shooting on UCLA campus. I couldn't believe what I was seeing - these parents spend so much money to send their kids there, and they're waking up every morning in shallow pools of their own fluid.
You share an intimate scene with a woman of rather advanced years...
She had a removable tooth and a darting tongue. On a more serious note, it was probably as difficult for her as it was for me - she's the butt of a joke so to speak, and it wasn't terribly comfortable for everyone. We did about 35 takes of making out with her. I told her at the beginning that she had a bit more maturity than me, so she could guide me - and she did!
What are you doing next?
I'm doing a movie with Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas in Chicago called "Till Death Do Us Part", and I start a movie called "The Romford Matador" in the UK in October. It's a phenomenal script, a really beautiful romantic comedy.
Who are your biggest comedy influences?
I'm working with my comedy inspiration at the moment, Albert Brooks. He's one of the biggest reasons I'm an actor, and my tongue turns into a speed bump when he's around.
Snipes "Threatened To Kill" Director
Actor Wesley Snipes threatened to kill Blade: Trinity director David Goyer because he felt his all action character had been sidelined to make room for two new ones. The 42-year-old's co-stars, Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel, recently complained he had alienated himself from everyone working on the third installment of the vampire-fest, by remaining in character for the entire duration of the shoot. And movie insiders tell British magazine OK! that Snipes was so furious about his marginalized role, he made physical threats against Goyer. An insider confides, "Wesley made death threats against David. David was scared for his life." But a spokesperson for Goyer counters, "Wesley is a method actor. There's always a lot of tension on set."
Snipes' Alienated 'Blade' Co-Stars
Wesley Snipes alienated everyone on new movie Blade: Trinity, because he spent the entire shoot in-character. Snipes, who reprises his role as vampire-slayer Blade in the second action sequel, is a method actor and insisted on continuing on-screen relationships with co-stars when filming ends. Castmember Ryan Reynolds recently complained Snipes was stand-offish and co-star Jessica Biel agrees. She says, "It's weird to see him in the morning and not quite know what to say. I get a little response. Does he hate me? Is he p**sed at me? There's a bunch of questions that go through your head at first. "So I think it was a little unnerving for me. "I think for everybody who hadn't worked with him before it took a little while to get used to that type of process for somebody. You get used to it. You go about your day and you go about your work and your habits your own way. He didn't impose on me and I didn't impose on him either so he didn't necessarily make my experience negative to any extent. "I respected him for what he had to go through."
Morissette and Reynolds Engaged
Canadian singer Alanis Morissette is engaged, after accepting actor boyfriend Ryan Reynolds' marriage proposal. The 30-year-old "Ironic" singer and her beau started dating by email two years ago. She tells American magazine Us Weekly, "I knew early on that he was someone I could spend the rest of my life with. I just feel like we're family and we're on this journey of evolving together. He's courageous, he'll talk about anything, he takes responsibility, he's just unbelievable." Reynolds, 27, flew to Ottawa, Canada to ask Morissette's parents for permission to propose to her - which the singer didn't know about. He also helped design her 2.5 carat emerald-cut platinum ring, and got down on one knee to give it to her. She coos, "We were at home. It was very simple, pure and sweet - and shocking!" The couple have yet to set a date for their nuptials.
Ryan Reynolds Interview - "National Lampoon's Van Wilder"
Ryan Reynolds stars as Van Wilder in Artisan Entertainment's college comedy/romance, "National Lampoon's Van Wilder." Van is a perpetual college student who has everything a guy could want including good looks, an adoring group of admirers, and a personal assistant ('Taj' played by Kal Penn). When Van's father (Tim Matheson) finds out that after seven years of tuition payments, Van still hasn't graduated, he cuts off the funding, leaving Van to fend for himself.
Reynolds recently sat down with director Walt Becker and fellow cast members Kal Penn and Curtis Armstrong to discuss the film, college comedies and the daunting prospect of headlining a National Lampoon film.
RYAN REYNOLDS (Van Wilder)
Is there any room for subtlety in a character like this?
I don't know, I practically did this movie in mime if you ask me. Yes, there is room for subtlety. I thought initially when I was given the script, I felt it was actually much broader and I kind of toned it down a little bit. The character albeit is not subtle, but I definitely felt like he didn't need to do a back flip in every scene to make a line funny. I thought you could reel them in and earn the bigger, broader moments later. I think this character needs to do that.
How do you manage to accomplish that?
A lot of young comedies rely less on character because it's really hard to cast a young comedy; they rely more on devise. They rely on pre-set gags, some of which were still left in the movie obviously judging by the éclair scene and other stuff like that. For the most part, it's a character driven comedy. You have to rely on character, which they rarely do in a young comedy.
Do you have any experiences from college that helped with this role?
No, I don't have any college experiences. I did go to college - briefly. I left about 3 ½ years early to go to LA. Also, I grew up in Canada and the colleges in Canada don't have the social dynamic they do in the United States because there are no sports teams. Our Spring Break is just like a blur of figure-skating and “Kum Ba Ya.” We don't have the huge Cancun craziness where you wake up in shallow pools of your own bodily fluids and get up and do it all over again. It's sort of a different kind of deal. I wish it were like that because that would make school a lot more fun, that's for sure.
You said you were an introvert in high school. How far did you have to go to find the character of Van Wilder?
I'm not an introvert at all. In school I was definitely introverted. It wasn't like a huge big deal or anything; I just wasn't a very boisterous kid. I just wanted to get through it, to get out of high school and move on. At home, the funniest place I've ever been is the Reynold's family dinner table. I have three older brothers; I'm the youngest of four. We have a painter, an RCMP officer, an electrician and me. Picture us all 10 years ago, it's just the most bizarre dinner table you'll ever sit at. You've never taken so many right crosses or peed yourself laughing at the table so many times. That to me was a huge inspiration.
How did you feel about the responsibility of being the lead character in a National Lampoon film?
Actually I was terrified to begin with. It's a daunting thing. You basically have a legacy or moniker that was immediately familiar with certain people. National Lampoon had Chevy Chase, Belushi - all these guys that are sort of heroes in a sense. That's kind of scary to have to pick up that torch where those guys left off. I was terrified. I spent a lot of time actually working on it. The movie's definitely not “National Lampoon's The Piano” but I spent a lot of time working on it, picking my battles and picking my beats. I had a definite idea how I wanted to do a young comedy.
Getting the role was a whole other story. The studio hired me from this other film I did with Walt Becker called “Buying the Cow.” They saw it and said, “That's our Van. Let's have a meeting with him because he has no box office or anything like that.” So I really went in there with a song and dance to show them how I really felt I would like to do a young comedy my way, if I may be so bold to say. All said and done to make this long story even longer - I got to see the final product screened in front of an audience of 600 people who didn't know I was there and I feel a lot better now after seeing that. Walt was gracious enough to let me in the editing room as well so I saw every frame and second and millisecond of that movie cut. I stayed right through the scoring process. It's something I really put a lot of heart into and after seeing it screened twice now in two totally separate cities across the United States, I feel a hell of a lot better. I can't believe the way they reacted to the movie, I mean, [they laughed] at all the right places and then some. It's just amazing.
The scene with the older woman must have been very interesting to film.
People say, “How was it kissing that 80 year-old woman?” And I say, “It's probably just as hard for her as it was for me.” It's not easy doing that. I equate it to Daniel Cosgrove, he's in the movie and he plays the bad guy, that's a hard job to do. You show up to work every day and willfully have your face kicked in. It's tough. On that note, that being said, it was damn hard kissing her. You've never experienced anything until you've had a mature, darting tongue in your mouth.
How many takes was it?
It was all day. There were gratuitous takes that did not need to be done (laughing). I know it, I know it. I was like, “You guys have this from every angle.”
What did your girlfriend have to say about that?
At the time I did have a girlfriend but I don't now. Maybe that had something to do with it? I did find myself in a gentle spoon with Ms. Haver in the morning. No, my girlfriend then really knew it was work. She was a real sport, the woman who played Ms. Haver. She's a lovely, lovely woman.
Is raunchiness or gross-out comedy expected in a teen/young adult comedy?
I'm certainly not going to make an argument that raunch is a valid part of contemporary young comedy, but some people would. They are not my favorite parts of my movie or of any other movie. The only reason I'm so excited to be a part of this movie, not just because of the response it's getting, but it's because 90% of the movie is character driven. My favorite scene is when Van is invited to Gwen's parents' house sort of unwittingly. He shows up there and he's forced to basically turn the tide on this entire room using nothing but his strength of character, so to speak. I just love how that is used to push a plot forward [instead of] just using those gross-out gags.
Is it hard to make a guy like this likeable?
Yes it is and that's why, if I may be so bold to say, I think I was hired. I think I saw his likeability right through. In fact, he's a good person which is a rare thing in these young comedies. You have this character that actually cares about the people around him. In the middle of all the melee and all the sh*t that's going on in his life - he can't believe this girl's written this article about him - he remembers to go see Sick-Boy. I just love the fact he reminded me of Ferris Bueller in that sense. Sure people love him and sure he's the most popular guy on campus, but at the same time he's a good person. That's how you can get behind him, otherwise you are dead.
Your style is similar to other National Lampoon films. Did you research past National Lampoon releases or did you rely on your own natural comedic style?
It's all me in the sense that Lampoon came about while we were shooting. It wasn't even something before. I think that part of the reason that we are all together here is because they felt this is such a National Lampoon movie when they saw some of the dailies from it and read the script.
Do you think your portrayal or Walt Becker's direction made them interested in it?
I think so, yeah. They certainly wouldn't have jumped on board when they did unless they saw some potential in it. Same thing with the studio, and it's also infinitely frustrating because they gave us no money to shoot this film, of course - which is fine. But they see the movie, they flip out, and our marketing budget quadruples what we spent on the movie. It's like, we could have just used an extra million here or there. How often do you get to say that, by the way? We could have just used an extra million (laughing).
The poster for the film has you wearing a toga. Is that your face on someone else's body?
That's totally my face on someone else's body. That guy is ripped!
Did you set out to be a comedic actor when you first started out?
No, but it was my default in Hollywood. When I got here I thought, “Okay, I can strive to be yet another Aaron Spelling jockey" but I can't do that. I'd just as soon laugh at myself and that's sort of what brought me into it a little bit more, why I was sort of adept at doing sitcoms. When I started out here I couldn't get casting directors to even look at me. It's a hard thing when you do readings during pilot season. They are reading so many people that they sit there with their script and you're across [from them], and they don't even look up. I was like, “If you just looked up for a second I would maybe not get it, but at least get a little closer than this.” So, finally, I remember seeing somebody who looked up and kind of cocked their head and I was like “Gotcha.” Then I ended up on a sitcom so I think it's just sort of my default as opposed to anything else. It's my strong suit.
Was anything trimmed from the film because it just went too far?
Yeah, we have an entire sequel on the floor called “Apocalypse Van.” There's a lot of stuff cut out. When you assemble the film with what you have, you do a rough assemblage which is what we call the 'suicidal assemblage.' It literally makes you want to kill yourself when you see it - it's almost 3 hours long. You assemble everything with just the first takes of everything, even if it's a blooper. And, you sit there and slowly sink into your couch. I really found that dynamic in the editing process. We started to trim the fat and it's like, “Oh, this is kind of funny.” Then you keep going and you're like, “Oh my God, I think we've got something here.” Then they show the studio and they said, “Let's throw $30 million into the ad campaign.”
There's lots of stuff that we lost. There's a great scene with Dr. Joyce Brothers that's on the gag reel. I've got 95 year-old makeup on and it took 6 hours all for naught because Dr. Brothers couldn't remember a line. We had some trouble with that. There's lots of stuff. There's probably a good, usable 30 minutes but you can't have a small comedy like this go any longer than 90 minutes. Right now, it's 82 minutes which is perfect.
It's the Network Battle of Heartwarming Teachers
Television movies are typically inhibited, joyless pieces of work, literal-minded adaptations of best sellers, enlivened by the top billing of a onetime movie actor now in transition.
But then there are some that are weird. Take "School of Life," which appears tomorrow night on ABC Family. The movie has been heavily promoted; it looks standard issue. But it's not.
First off, David Paymer, the superb character actor who has made his name in the movies playing semiseamy Mels, Mortys, Morrys and Martys, is suddenly warm and apparently a gentile, a modest schoolteacher named Matt Warner. He has a sweetheart kid, Dylan (Andrew Robb), who narrates the movie, and a lovely blond wife, who forbears.
But Matt is not the only Mr. Chips in the picture. There's also Matt's father - Stormin' Norman. (Like the general? Also weird.) A beloved teacher at the same school where Matt teaches, he dies in the first scene.
If the movie belonged exclusively to these Warner men, it would tell the story of Matt's trying to live up to his father's formidable legacy, only to find that the old man was flawed, and that he himself has humble virtues.
But that's not this movie at all, because there is a third inspirational, heartwarming teacher in "School of Life." He's handsome Mr. D, whose name is pronounced so often that the movie seems to be trying to sell him. Of the movie's three inspirational, heartwarming teachers, Mr. D (Ryan Reynolds) most closely fits the Hollywood mold: he's a bachelor, he's young and he has radical ideas. (And wrong ones: Having told his students that "history" literally means "his story," he insists that they call it "his-and-her-story.")
If the movie had belonged to Mr. D alone, it would be a "Dead Poet's Society" genre piece, in which the rad teacher, adored by his students and despised by the provincial administration for his unorthodox ways, prevails - along, incidentally, with truth and beauty.
But Matt Warner and Mr. D must share the movie. And so Mr. D is not despised by the administration but loved by absolutely everyone - except Matt Warner. Matt sees him as a contender for Stormin' Norman's long-held "teacher of the year" title, to which Matt believes himself the rightful heir.
As Mr. D showboats around his classroom, cracking jokes and staging re-enactments of historical events - à la 70's education - it seems briefly, excitingly possible that "School of Life" might satirize the figure of the Hollywood Teacher and suggest that students should not, in fact, spend their days playing make-believe and guffawing at their teachers as though lectures were stand-up. It even seems at one point that Mr. D will be revealed as secretly aggressive and demonic.
But no. Mr. D is a saint, with a saint's flaw - he's dying. To triumph, therefore, Matt Warner need not re-evaluate his father, face his own shortcomings, expose the young pretender or indeed do anything that might suit a protagonist. All he needs to do is snoop on Mr. D's medical records, show the guy some deathbed kindness, rip off his act with the students, and "teacher of the year" is, eventually, a lock.
Somehow, this wacky opportunism is played for tears. The only explanation for this farrago is that something - a key to Mr. D's character, probably - got lost in a rewrite. Sound weird? It is.
'School of Life'
ABC Family, tomorrow at 8 p.m., Eastern and Pacific times; 7, Central time.
Alanis is American
Singer Alanis Morissette, 30, has become a full-fledged U.S. citizen.
Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Morissette shot to fame in 1995 with her album "Jagged Little Pill." She plans to maintain dual citizenship and, to prove she's not deserting her homeland, she's engaged to Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, 28.
Blade: Trinity in April
2/16: Comes in two flavors: bloody and extra bloody.
New Line Home Entertainment will release Blade: Trinity on April 26 in both rated and unrated editions for $29.95 each, and it looks like the unrated disc will come with more goodies than the theatrical cut of the film.
Both the rated and unrated discs will be two-disc special editions. Blade: Trinity Unrated will come with 10 minutes of added footage. More importantly, that disc will come with two commentaries, featuring writer-director David Goyer, actors Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds, the producer and others.
Also, the Unrated version will sport DTS 6.1 surround sound, which the R-rated version will not have. It will have Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound only.
On to disc two, it looks like Blade: Trinity is getting the usual thorough New Line treatment, leading off with the 16-part behind-the-scenes documentary Daywalkers, Nightstalkers & Familiars: Inside the World of Blade: Trinity. Plus you get a blooper reel, an alternate ending, Goyer on Goyer: The Writer Interviews the Director featurettes and galleries on visual effects and weapons.