He was named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2010.
But in the upcoming superhero movie Deadpool, Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds’ character Wade Wilson gets hit with insults when it comes to his looks — or lack thereof.
Choice barbs in the M18 flick, which opens here on Feb 11, include “You look like an avocado had sex with an older avocado” and “You look like a topographical map of Utah”.
But the 39-year-old was more than happy to hear them.
After all, Deadpool has been in the making for the past 11 years for Reynolds — who is also one of the film’s producers — and it almost didn’t make it to the big screen.
Based on Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative-turned-mercenary Wilson who, after being subjected to a rogue experiment, is left disfigured but gains accelerated healing powers.
With his new abilities and a dark twisted humour, he adopts the alter ego Deadpool and hunts down the man (Ed Skrein) who nearly destroyed his life.
Reynolds had played him in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, after which a spin-off was considered alongside a reboot of the character.
JOKES ON SET
Speaking to The New Paper at Mandarin Oriental Taipei two weeks ago where he was promoting Deadpool, an affable Reynolds said: “It was a very hostile place on set. There were so many jokes that crossed the line and made me angry, but nobody was sensitive.”
He laughed and added: “We would feed each other lines and go, ‘Oh God, that’s horrible, try this one’. We were going back and forth and having fun with it.”
In the film, Reynolds also makes fun of other stars such as David Beckham and Hugh Jackman, but doesn’t forget to throw in a joke or two about himself.
He said: “I am the first person to insult myself. I love it, I’m happy to do that. Usually if I’m making fun of someone else, I like to also make fun of me.”
The make-up process to create his scarred visage took six to eight hours, but Reynolds wasn’t complaining.
“Performing Deadpool for me is a dream I’ve had for 11 years. There wasn’t a week in the past 11 years when I haven’t called someone in the studio and said, ‘Can we please make this movie’. So, to do that make-up and all, it’s easy,” he said.
However, facing his family — like his US actress-wife Blake Lively, 28, and their one-year-old daughter James — looking like a walking nightmare wasn’t the easiest thing for Reynolds.
He said: “My wife found it to be so disturbing but she was all right. My daughter would cry when she saw me, and that broke my heart. It really did upset me.”
Reynolds is not new to the world of superheroes.
In 2011, the hunky heart-throb portrayed the eponymous DC Comic hero Green Lantern, which was a critical flop.
The self-deprecating star said matter-of-factly: “If Green Lantern was a gigantic box office hit, globally speaking, then I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to play Deadpool. The audience wouldn’t have accepted me as Deadpool.
“I never would have done this if I didn’t feel we could pull this off. It would be suicide for me.”
He said that studios make movies based on an idea and a poster, something which he thinks isn’t the best way.
“There were hundreds of hardworking people in Green Lantern too, and none of them wanted to make a movie that doesn’t work. But there was an idea without a script, and the studio would say, ‘Here’s too much money, go figure it out’.
That’s not a great system to make a quality movie.
“For Deadpool, it had a script six years ago that has largely stayed the same. The jokes we change every day, the story point stays the same.”
With all its profanity and graphic violence, you would think Reynolds would keep Deadpool away from his baby until she is 18.
Yet, the cool daddy laughed and said: “I would let her watch it any time she wants, as soon as possible.
“I’ve no problem with that. My dad took me to see anything I wanted to see as a kid, and I don’t think I’m a complete s***head in my personal life.
“I think I am a normal nice guy and I saw violent movies when I was a kid. So whenever my daughter wants to see the movie, she can see it.”
Fatherhood may not have changed his stance on on-screen violence, but it has got Reynolds thinking about the value of time.
“I can sense this ticking clock that I never felt before. I’ve always felt that life is this expansive road that goes on and on, and now I think, ‘How is she one already?’ One year has gone by, and it’s very precious to me,” he said.
“I look around and I’m like, ‘Just stay at one year old! Don’t be two! That’s terrible!”
This article was first published on February 3, 2016.
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