[movieperson id=”198645″]Ryan Reynolds[/movieperson] might want to quit while he’s ahead. How else can the man top 2009, when he starred in two of the 10 highest-grossing movies of the year (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “The Proposal”), as well as the critically lauded indie “Adventureland”?
Then again, the 33-year-old can’t go into hiding anytime soon. This year, he signed on to two big-budget franchise flicks, “Deadpool” and “Green Lantern.” Lucky for him, fanboys couldn’t be more excited to see his takes on both iconic comic book characters. As Thanksgiving approaches and we dole out gratitude to our favorite actors and filmmakers of the year, MTV News is delighted to dub Ryan Reynolds as the guy we’re most thankful for in 2009.
In an exclusive chat, the man himself discussed reworking an iconic comic book character in “Wolverine,” making the biggest rom-com in history with “Proposal,” and what the future is going to look like now that he’s becoming both Deadpool and Green Lantern.
MTV: I have to congratulate you, because we always anoint a person we are most thankful for, and this year it is you. Congratulations, officially.
Ryan Reynolds: Wow, that has only ever been bestowed upon me by Tammy Reynolds, my mother. This is nice.
MTV: Do you have a speech prepared?
Reynolds: I have absolutely nothing but a series of simple grunts.
MTV: When you take a look at this year, does it feel like, in the scheme of things, it’s a landmark year, personally or professionally?
Reynolds: It’s been probably the most unbelievable year of my life. Starting with setting some goals that I didn’t think would be possible several years before, running a marathon, getting married — the year has been incredible, all across the board. The fact that “Green Lantern” is something that’s about to get going full-steam pretty soon, and then there is “Deadpool” on the horizon as well. If you asked me if this would be happening three years ago, I would have kick-f—ed you back to where you were from.
MTV: All these things we’re talking about are things you set in motion. You pursued them, you kind of went after them. Does that make it a little bit more gratifying?
Reynolds: It’s incredibly validating and gratifying when you can see that you can manifest something that you desperately want or a goal that you have. This is a difficult industry to get anything made, let alone a passion project, so when you see people understand what your vision is and come aligned with that common goal, it’s pretty cool. I’m including all the creative types that are actually involved with “Deadpool” and “Green Lantern,” because those guys want to make an authentic movie, and that’s something a few years ago studios disregarded.
MTV: You have done everything from a publicity tour with Betty White to trying on the Green Lantern costumes. So, in looking back at the year, is there a moment that sums it up, that encapsulates what 2009 was about?
Reynolds: I think, seeing the prototypes for the Green Lantern costumes was a huge moment. It was a moment when I was like, “This is happening, and it’s happening in the right way.” That’s a pretty cool, definitive moment for me.
MTV: Were you happy with the incarnation of Wade Wilson and Deadpool in “Wolverine”? Do you think you captured what you wanted to in the first look at Wade?
Reynolds: Yeah, I think the initial moment of the sequences that involve Wade, I think it did. It’s always difficult to fully embrace something that isn’t perfect, in terms of staying true to the source material. So it was a little bit frustrating. I really wanted to play Wade, and I really wanted to play Deadpool, and it would kill me to see someone else play them. I had a kind of ham-fisted attitude that it had to be perfect, but it doesn’t. The movie’s called “Wolverine,” it’s not called “Deadpool” or “Wade.” I thought it was a nice little wink and tip of the hat to things to come. Finding the tone of that character alone is such a difficult prospect. I’ve been in so many meetings lately about “Deadpool” and meeting all these writers. Everyone is always looking for that one line, “What is that character?” and for me it’s kind of like, “There’s a guy, and he’s in a highly militarized comedic fame spiral.” That’s not an easy thing to write — an entire screenplay, let alone a franchise. I had a blast playing Wade. Every line I had in that was stuff I thought he would say. It wasn’t something that a writer said to me. It was fun to really create that character, including everything he spits out of his awful mouth.
MTV: Does your love of “Green Lantern” and Hal Jordan go back far?
Reynolds: I’ve known about “Green Lantern” my whole life, but I’ve never really followed it before. I fell in love with the character when I met with [director] Martin Campbell. When I sat down with him, I really got what it is that this guy is all about. When you have a guy like Martin Campbell, part of his charm is that he has ba–s of titanium, and the other part is that he’s slightly crazy, and you have to be to take on something with the scope of “Green Lantern.” He’s less of the director and more of a general. He just really knows strategies, he knows the intricacies, and his attention to detail! It’s infectious. I sat down with him, and I could not even believe what he was saying. When I went to the meeting, I was entirely cynical. I thought, “What the hell, I’ll see what they have to say,” and I left the room with a completely different perspective.
MTV: Now about this little romantic comedy, “The Proposal.” You and Sandra were friends going way back. Were you confident when making the film that it would translate to the screen?
Reynolds: She and I had been friends forever, but I don’t think that necessarily translates into chemistry. Chemistry is something that either does or doesn’t happen. We discovered that on the first day of rehearsal, and that’s when we stopped rehearsing and decided to save it for film.
MTV: Is this one of those onscreen pairings you think could benefit from returning to in the future?
Reynolds: We wouldn’t do a sequel, but we’re looking for something to do together again. Everyone used to do it back in the day. I’m not comparing us to [Spencer] Tracy and [Katharine] Hepburn, but they worked together all the time. So hopefully we can find something that works.
Thanksgiving is a time for taking stock, expressing gratitude and, most importantly, overeating. We at MTV News have been gorging all year at movie theaters, so it’s about time we looked back and gave thanks to our favorite actors and filmmakers of 2009. So in this special week, we celebrate [news id=”1626820″]J.J. Abrams and Chris Pine[/news] for bringing “Star Trek” back into our lives; [news id=”1626914″]Tom Hardy[/news] for such an unexpectedly powerful turn in “Bronson”; [news id=”1626945″]Quentin Tarantino[/news] for blowing our minds with his ” Inglourious Basterds”; [news id=”1627015″]Sam Rockwell[/news] for the amazingly inventive indie “Moon”; [news id=”1627110″]Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel[/news] for redefining how cool and cute a couple could be in “(500) Days of Summer”; and our ultimate winner, Ryan Reynolds, for a trio of memorable roles in vastly different (but all super entertaining) flicks like “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “The Proposal” and “Adventureland”. Enjoy our exclusive interviews with all our winners all week long.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Inglourious Basterds.”
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