Props to [artist id="198645"]Ryan Reynolds[/artist] for stepping out of his standard zany comedy and blockbuster action film roles and into the intense — and claustrophobia-inducing — thriller "Buried." The entire film takes place inside a wooden coffin buried under the sand of the Iraqi desert. Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, a desperate man trying to escape, and he is the only actor shown onscreen.
When we caught up with Reynolds and his "Buried" director, Rodrigo Cortes, we wondered what kind of prep the "Green Lantern" actor did to get ready to be in that box for so long.
"This is the only film I've ever done where I did not rehearse a moment of it before stepping onto the set," Reynolds said. "I just don't know if you could. Who wants to? It would be awful to try and rehearse this at home and try to express all of these different kinds of emotions in a close-up.
"It's just something you've gotta do when you're out there, and then it will feel like a fever dream," he continued. "And that's what it was. I walked away thinking it felt like I had a weird nightmare."
So would Reynolds rather get back in a box for a sequel or do another "Van Wilder" movie?
"Gosh, that's a good question," he said. "I'll take another film in a box, because the reward is pretty great doing a film like this."
Speaking of rewards, Reynolds' director had nothing but the highest praise for his star.
"[Ryan is] an actor able to develop very deep and very committed emotions with very small things, in a very organic way," Cortes said. "It's impossible to catch him lying. He never acts; he always is. It's amazing. It's so heartbreaking."
He went on to compare Reynolds to one of the most memorable actors in Hollywood history: Cary Grant.
"He has an alien sense of timing. I haven't seen anyone like that since Cary Grant, so it's a gift for a director," Cortes said. "So from the very first moment, he was a long shot, he was going to say no, it was between 'The Proposal' and 'Green Lantern,' so come on, is he going to come to Barcelona to our little box? But for some reason, he said yes. I still wonder why."
A humbled Reynolds seemed flattered by the compliments. "That is high praise. I've taken it with a grain of salt or a crate of Valium," he laughed. "It was a unique opportunity, and I would have been a fool to not pursue this with everything I had. It was just such an amazing script with an amazing filmmaker and something that had never, ever been done before."
Watching "Buried" with an audience, Reynolds said, is as unique as filming the project. "I've never been a part of a film where you walk into the theater and everybody takes a deep breath before the credits start rolling and you don't exhale until the end," he said. "It's just amazing."
Check out everything we've got on "Buried."
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