Who knew you could get so banged up making a movie where most of the characters are computer-generated? During Moviefone's visit to the 'Green Lantern' set last year, star Ryan Reynolds told us he suffered his share of injuries during the grueling 103-day shoot.
With 'Casino Royale' director Martin Campbell behind the camera, the action is surprisingly brutal for a comic-book flick. And the tone? Reynolds said it's far from campy, but "messy and real."
He told us that his "cocky, arrogant test pilot" character Hal Jordan, who ends up with an intergalactic green ring that gives him some "bioweapon-like" powers, is less sarcastic than wise-cracking Deadpool (from 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine') or Hannibal King ('Blade: Trinity'). But since his touchstone is none other than Han Solo, expect some trademark Reynolds sarcasm.
Reynolds was understandably exhausted on that last day of filming, but said he's game for more in 'Green Lantern 2.'
Moviefone: When you were first approached for the role, how much did you know about the comic?
Ryan Reynolds: I knew of the Green Lantern. I wasn't versed in it. I think I was most startled to find out how vast the universe is, that it really does [rival] 'Star Wars' and the DC Universe. The scope of it blew my mind. You have Earth, you have space, you have fighter jets, all of these elements together in one film. The last time I saw it was watching Harrison Ford as Han Solo. And I feel like we get to experience some off that with this.
Did you have any apprehension about doing a comic book movie?
I'd already dipped my toe in the comic book world a little bit. I was in 'Blade: Trinity,' and then I had four minutes of Deadpool, but I wasn't sure if this would be the right fit. I was really more interested in Martin Campbell, because I loved 'Casino Royale.'
At first they were kind of trying to convince me and then by the end, I was begging them for the role. They took me up to the art department, and I met Grant Major and Ngila Dickson and saw the artwork and that was it, just seeing the world and seeing the possibility there.
Tells us about that moment about Comic-Con when that little kid asked you to recite the Green Lantern oath.
I wanted to shake him down to see if it was a plant. But no, he was the real deal. I don't want to sound too corny about it, but that's the stuff that makes it all worthwhile, the moments like that at Comic-Con. Man, I wouldn't trade that for the world.
You had shot some of the movie at that point, but do you feel like you got a little extra oomph from that moment?
I guess so. This is the first movie that I've ever done that all my nieces and nephews were tracking already. My nephew, the first thing he asked me when I was meeting on the movie was [breathlessly], "Can I have the ring?" I said, "F*ck no."
Where does Hal Jordan fit in the grand scheme of Ryan Reynolds smartasses?
I always saw Hal as Han Solo crossed with Chuck Yeager. He's quick with his mouth, but he's not making jokes. There's no moment in the film where I feel there's a "ba-dum ching."
Does he comment on the crazy appearances of the other Green Lanterns as he meets them?
Oh yeah. There's just a couple of moments with Kilowog: He thinks that I smell funny, and I have a response that aptly describes how I find his smell.
What's the challenge of getting into character with no costume and no other actors in many scenes?
After 103 days of anything, you're going to be into it. You have to have a lot of faith in the artwork that's around. I get a lot of examples of what I'm looking at. And that helps. Hollywood is a world of imagination so you have to really just be there and trust that they're going to do their part when we all walk away.
What FX scene are you most anxious to see?
The first trip to Oa is something that I'm dying to see. I've seen artwork on it, I've seen pre-visuals, but seeing that trip to Oa and seeing the other Lanterns -- I think we have 20 or 30 of them -- is going to be so cool.
What do you get to have input on, like the look of the suit or any of your dialogue?
A ton of the dialogue, yeah. But the look of the suit, there are people way more skilled, like Ngila. There's a tough lady right there. I've seen the suit in motion and once you seen that, you sort of shut your mouth and let her do her job.
When did you know that the suit was going to be CG?
Oh, I knew on my third meeting. Just because the suit is a manifestation of the ring's wearer and everyone's is different. I couldn't imagine a scenario where they're trying to design practical suits. It just wouldn't make sense.
Can you talk about working with Peter Sarsgaard?
Peter's great. He's an incredibly capable actor. He understands that villains aren't necessarily evil, they just have opposing convictions. So there's no mustache twirling. It's tough because he's Hal Jordan's foe in this, but in this mythology, they've known each other their whole lives. And that's something that I think Peter brought to the film that was not on the page. Even when we're battling, there's a regret.
What about Mark Strong?
I got chills when I first saw him in costume. He is the spitting image of Sinestro. He is Sinestro. It's cool to see him walk on the set. Mark is a very generous actor and he's just incredibly good. We're talking to each other on an alien planet and he's purple and he's got this crazy widow's peak. There's a moment where you can catch yourself and say, 'This is ridiculous,' but as soon as you start to converse with him and you look into his eyes, it's pretty magical. He's right there, he's that character.
How do you maintain your energy over such a long shoot?
You train for it. Martin likes it fast, ugly, brutal, real, so he's pushing people to the limits. It's tough. I've had a few moments where you have to call for a time-out. I've smacked my head a lot. That sucks. I've reached the point where I'm almost nauseous now when I hit my head. It's easy enough to look back now and laugh, but it was tough. The training that I did for the movie, obviously, a lot of it was just functional so I could get through it.
'Deadpool' and 'Green Lantern' are probably both going to be franchises: Any concerns about being in too many of those?
I don't look at it like that, as a franchise, but obviously, the studios do. I don't know if 'Deadpool' would be a franchise, and it's not a superhero movie, it's a deconstruction. The script is a nasty piece of work and I love it for that, so I hope it stays as it is throughout production. We'll see.
Are you ready to do 'Green Lantern 2' and '3'?
Yeah, I think there's a lot to mine out of it. You don't want to just say you're doing a second and third one, because the first one has to work. I would love to see a Justice League movie. Personally, and no one's even talked to me about this, I'd like to see Jeff Johns' idea, that kind of post-apocalyptic Justice League. The visuals are amazing.