'Waiting' is Over for Ryan
Posted by Collider Staff
Posted by Mr.
since his impressive turn in the less than impressive Van Wilder (the worst
comedy to spawn a cult since The Sluggerís Wife), Iíve figured Ryan Reynolds
would be a movie star in fairly short order. Three years later, Iím still
Speaking of Waiting, thatís the latest comedy in which the effortlessly
glib (or is that flip?) actor will make a bid for movie star status, and, given
the universality of its premise and milieu Ė itís all about the indignities of
the service industry Ė it just might do the trick. To Reynoldsís credit, he easily dominates the film
despite being challenged by a very talented cast which includes Anna Faris, Dave
Koechner, Luis Guzman, Justin Long, Alanna Ubach, Dane Cook, Justin Long and Chi
McBride. In other
words, Reynolds works a minor miracle.
When I participated in a roundtable interview
with Reynolds last week, he was his usual charismatic self, though there seemed
to be a tinge of restlessness from the outset, which quickly resulted in some
very interesting remarks about this film and his career. The way his eyes lit up when
discussing Joe Carnahanís forthcoming Smokiní Aces was telling (and reassuring,
since Iíve been waiting for a follow-up to Narc for entirely too
So, hereís all the Reynolds you can
handle. If you need
moreÖ well, youíve got Waiting
opening in theaters all over creation today.
So, have you done time in
the service industry?
I was a busboy for about a year-and-a-half or so in Vancouver. Worked two jobs: one at a yacht club serving
overprivileged kids D-grade beef, and at a little nightclub-type place, which
was hell basically.
Are those places still
Yeah, theyíre both still there.
Do they have your autographed picture on the
Not anymore. (Laughter)
Not after this movie.
Theyíll be removing
So, serving these overprivileged kids, any
desire to lash back like the cooks do in this
Oh, god, yeah. Those desires definitely surfaced, but I didnít act
on them. No,
definitely not. God, I
donít even remember what they do to the food in this movie, itís been so
frigginí long. I
signed on to this thing in 2001, so I canít ever remember. But I know they do some
terrible things if memory serves.
Did you do this after The Amityville
It was way before this. I read the script in 2001 and signed on to this
before even Van Wilder, if
youíre familiar with that.
This was a holdover.
Why did it take so long to get
I didnít shoot it back then. I signed on to do it. I shot it about two years
ago, and that even took a long time. This whole thingÖ Iím convinced [the movie] is not
even coming out. It
seems like an exercise in futility. Itís a little odd when you do something way back in
This is actually an episode of Punkíd.
Yeah, Iím sure of it. Iím sure Iím going to wake up in a cold sweat in a
minute with Ashton Moore-Kutcher.
Was it designed to be a run
of Ryan Reynolds comedies, and just came out too
Yeah, it was really in line with where I was back
then. I mean, all I
wanted to do back then was be politically incorrect. That was kind of it. My own private little rage
against the machine, I suppose.
Itís one of those things. Hollywoodís funny that way;
things move at different paces.
But youíre good at that, and people really enjoy
seeing you in these kinds of things.
Hey, thereís nothing better in this world than just a
well-timed politically incorrect zinger, but, you know, itís always a bit of a
negotiation when itís not timed the way you think it is, you know? In my scheme of things, this
came out, and then I did Van Wilder, and then I wouldíve done everything else I
did. So, itís just
sort of the other way around.
How much have you changed
if you see a snapshot of yourself five years ago, you go, ďWow, I was in such a
different place back then!Ē
We all evolve so rapidly, sometimes that can even happen with a
Nothing captures a moment in time better than film. This [film] I feel has been
with me since 2001, and I mean it with the most respect I can possibly give to
it, but itís good to finally get it out there and be like, ďGood, itís
Do you feel like more of a grown-up
Iíll probably be playing a sock puppet in my next thing. (Laughter) I definitely have different
aspirations now; I certainly enjoy stretching a little bit more. This movie, to be totally
frank, was not a stretch for me Ė something well within my wheelhouse. And it was a quick shoot Ė
four weeks total Ė on a million dollar
Did Rob [McKittrick] write the role specifically
No, he didnít at all. He was really specific about the whole movie. This was a real vision that
he had for a restaurant, an accounting of his experiences in a
restaurant. He was
actually shockingly specific about what he wanted, so I really have to heap all
of the praise and/or blame onto him for everything. He was very specific in
exactly what he wanted, and I feel like he got exactly what he
How picky are you with comedies? Are you pickier now than you
were five years ago?
Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. I want to do things that Iím going to stretch
at. I want to do
things that scare me a little bit. I feel like Iím taking a little bit more preparation
in my roles these days than I would before for other
Did you have to fight to get [The Amityville Horror]
I fought for that role only because they thought, ďOh, he doesnít do
stuff like this.Ē I
fought for the role Iím shooting right now. Anytime youíre doing something that they donít
expect that you can do, or is definitely outside of whatever theyíve seen
before, you feel like youíre in Mississippi and itís the ďShow-Me StateĒ all of
a sudden (Beaks note: oops). Youíve got to go in there and
show them, and I donít mind doing that. The worst that can happen is I donít get it, or I
fail at it, or itís just one
What are you doing right
I donít know if you know a movie called Narc. Itís [director] Joe
Carnahan; this is his follow up to that. Itís called Smokiní Aces.
Itís just a great, amazing script. An amazing cast.
Who do you
Itís basically about a guy named Aces who is a sort of
Vegas showman guy. He
gets in league with the mob and he ends up sort of turning witness protection Ė
or about to Ė and these five different assassins are coming for him. And Iím alone with him trying
to protect him from these five
And this starts
It starts shooting right around
So youíve been working with
Heís intense. I love him, though. This whole project has been such a process of
awakening for me. Itís
incredible to work with guys like that. I love guys who have such a clear vision that if you
get in the way you end up looking like a speed bump. I love
Heís kind of pent-up. Itís been a while since Narc.
Yeah, heís pent-up, and I think heís ready to unleash
some serious havoc onto the world. [The script] has some of the best dialogue I think
Iíve ever heard or that Iíve ever read.
Did you have to prepare for
Lots of preparation. A lot of weapons stuff, and a lot ofÖ Iím meeting
with these three different FBI agents every other day, and I just spend the
afternoons with them.
It sounds trivial, but I really create a backstory of the character
from first grade through to the present. It takes days and days and days. Iíve actually only got him up
to ten years-old right now, so it takes a long time to do it. Then, when youíre doing the
film, the joy of that is that you can see it in the characters eyes. You may never address
anything youíve created in terms of backstory, but you just kind of see that
depth in the eyes, so if something does go off-script or off-book Iím ready for
it. I feel like I know
who this character is through and
Is drama more challenging for you than
Much more challenging, yeah. Thereís just so many more
possibilities. To me,
in comedy, I kind of know what the timing is. Itís a lot of suspension of disbelief; itís a lot
of everything. With
drama, I just feel like you owe it to the audience to be a bit more layered with
it. I hope. This is different for me,
too. Iím prepared to
just put my trust in Joe and let him steer the
Is there anything for buddy banter, or anything
I would say that, tonally, itís True Romance. And True Romance had some funny
moments to me. It was
sort of very darkly comedic at times. Iíd say itís that in
Have you ever found that your character sticks
with you once youíre done shooting?
Horror was a
little bit of that only because that guy was kind of rageful. A lot of people donít put a
lot of preparation into things like horror movies, I suppose, but I did. And I was really proud of the
work I did with the character.
I donít direct or edit the movies, but I thought they did what they
determined to be a really successful movie, and it did really well. But I love that character,
and it stayed with me a bit.
I found myself snapping a little bit, being a little bit rageful
after I walked off that set for the first few weeks or so, and had to calm down
a little bit.
Are you going to do more
comedies like [Waiting] in
the future, or are you past that?
If itís something different, Iíll do anything. I donít care if itís
sophomoric or whatever.
Iím a huge fan of Wedding Crashers and The 40 Year-Old Virgin Ė these kinds of movies that are
harkening back to that ďRated-RĒ kind ofÖ Stripes.
I love that.
I would do that until the day I die. But to continue to venture into anything derivative
of stuff Iíve done Ė the Van
Wilder kind of stuff Ė no, probably not. Iím talking about doing a movie called Horrible Bosses right now, which
is a ďRated-RĒ comedy with Frank Oz which Iím excited about. Itís sort of like Strangers
on a Train: three
friends that decide to kill each otherís boss, which I think is a genius
Do you know who you might be teamed
Theyíre talking to Philip Seymour Hoffman. He really likes it. Heís like me; weíve both
said, ďWeíll play any roleĒ.
I donít know who the third guy will
Are you still doing a movie with The
Yeah, weíre still trying to figure that out. Itís just scheduling
Which one would that
I donít know. (Laughs)
We have a couple options; itís just a matter of which one gets to
the table first. One
of them is a little bit closer to some stories from my childhood with my
brothers. My brothers
are cops, and my dad is a cop; thereís a lot of that law enforcement in my
family. And nepotism
within law enforcement.
One project kind of mirrors it through that, and Iíve been creating
it with Sheldon Turner.
Your brothers are all
And youíre the youngest
Did you ever get caught for
doing anything wrong where they brought you back to your
My brother once cuffed me to the sink for eating his
leftover pizza. But
no. Itís not like I
drive through a speed trap singing, ďMotherfuck the law! Iím immune to the pitfalls of
addiction! Catch me
pig!Ē My brother would
be the first guy to give me a ticket. Because heís a fucker. (Laughter)
But thatís what brothers do. I remember I was with my brother on a traffic stop,
and this guy was just speeding or something. The guy asked for a warning, and my brother just
goes, ďOkayÖ warning, here comes your ticket!Ē
I wouldnít expect him to let me off if he caught
Are there any Mounties in your
Those are them.
My dad and my brothers.
Itís a very tough life. Iíve heard itís very rough on
I can imagine. Itís probably pretty hard on them. My brothers are all married,
and my dad, of course, has been married to my mom for forty-one years Ė I assume
heís my father. But
thatís a tough racket for any of those guys. Youíre going out into the world and seeing things
you canít possibly express or share to your partner Ė your partner being your
spouse; I donít mean the partner being the one in the car with you.
Youíve been acting for years now. When they see you on T.V.,
does it still surprise them that you went down a different
Yeah, I think Iím their favorite daughter. (Laughter) When you come from a family
of roughnecks like that, what I do is probably not their idea of a living
necessarily. But, no,
theyíre really proud of me, and they share in it with me as much as they
can. And I share in
their lives. Iím as
interested in what my brother did during the day as he is what I
The question about your career is
surprising. Do you see
this as a business?
How does it work in you mind?
I think itís an integration of the two. I mean, itís a
business. I certainly
enjoy the commerce aspect of it as well; itís fascinating. Iíd be lying if I didnít say
that that intrigued me.
And then thereís the art. I mean, you canít have one without the other: this is definitely ďShow
BusinessĒ. But it is
something you think about; itís something you plan. About two years ago, I sat
down with my agent and said, ďIíd just love to do something from every genre if
we can. If itís good
enough, and we can find itĒ.
And we did.
I did Blade
[Trinity], The Amityville Horror, a
romantic comedy and then another straight comedy. You try to do that as much as you
Do you live here
I live both places. I live in Vancouver and L.A.
You said you were working with Sheldon Turner on
a screenplay. How did
you hook up with him?
Heís kind of become a hot
Well, he did a lot of work on Amityville, and we spurred a friendship that way. I just think heís a really
talented guy, and he and I just have a really good chemistry. Half of it is just
chemistry. You make
each other laugh. And
half of the things I do you inevitably write on anyway. So, itís nice to get in on
the ground level.
Would this be a co-writing
Iím not writing more or less than I would on anything else. But, like, he comes up with
great lines, Iím not going to give him a co-acting credit. Itís the sum of all its
parts. It always
is. And I donít need
the trophy of the writing credit.
What does Just Friends let you do that you havenít done
Well, itís just a real romantic comedy. I havenít really ever done
anything like that before.
Van Wilder is a
straight comedy; thereís always a bit of a love interest, but itís pretty
cavalier in those kinds of movies. So, no, it was fun. I got to play two roles: I got to play myself at
seventeen, and myself at twenty-seven. Innumerable things that I hadnít done before. Just to really play the
underdog. It was kind
of hard to find that; at least, for me. This guy I just felt was set up right from the
beginning to be the underdog, and youíre just kind of rooting for him. I liked that about
So, this one doesnít always have the right thing
Oh, god, no! In fact, just the opposite, he never has the right
thing to say. Heís
just that guy whoís trying to be suave and failing at it miserably.
How much tip do you leave at
Twenty percent. Always. Every time. Minimum twenty percent. Youíve got to take care of
Waiting opens nationwide today. Um, bon appťtit. And
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