Earlier this week, Ryan Reynolds discussed his leading role in the new Sci-Fi thriller “Self/less.”
Directed by Tarsem Singh and written by David and Àlex Pastor, “Self/less” stars Ryan Reynolds Ben Kingsley Matthew Goode Natalie Martinez and Michelle Dockery. The film chronicles the journey of billionaire tycoon Damian (Ben Kingsely) whose life is coming to a close as he battles cancer. However, rather than accepting his fate, Damian tries to attain immortality by having his mind transferred into someone else’s body. Touching on ethical, moral and theological points as well as a comment on social class in our society, Self/less takes an unexpected turn as the memories from Damian’s new body (Ryan Reynolds) come back to haunt him. Damian must choose between erasing his new body’s memories in order to maintain existence, or returning the body back to its rightful owner.
During the press conference Ryan mentioned that his first thoughts on the script were positive because he’s always been interested in the idea of hubris and the consequences of getting what one wishes for. Although he would never willingly do a body swap, Ryan said that if he were forced to go through life again he would switch things up and experience life as a woman. He also had a great experience working with co-star Natalie Martinez and child actress Jaynee-Lynee, but discussed that he’s weary of child actors because of the impact the industry can have on someone so young. Ryan also mentioned that Helen Mirren moved him to tears on the set of “Woman in Gold” because she was nervous during the first table read, which was an incredibly humbling experience for him. Among other things, Ryan Reynold’s shared his thoughts on fatherhood, immortality, method acting and his undying desire to play a villain.
Ryan spoke on his thoughts about immortality and his disgust with the concept,”I find the whole concept of it disturbing that we would so abuse this first life and privilege that we would be so arrogant to ask for a second one.” Ryan also mentioned that while scoping out penthouses for the film, some of the billionaires they spoke to were genuinely interested in the possibility of body swapping to his surprise.
Ryan talked about decompressing after emotional scenes and mentioned that although he commends method acting he’s able to leave his work on set and transition back to reality without much effort. Ryan said, “I don’t know what it says about my character, but I can really go from doing a scene where I have an absolute meltdown and then four seconds later go to the nearest 7-Eleven and have a Slurpee. I don’t do that thing where I take it home at the end of the day. I’ve worked with method actors and that’s always really annoying. It works for them and I would never interfere with someone’s process and I’m so glad they’ve found the method, but when the guy who’s playing the villain in the movie is method and he’s giving you the hairy eye ball at the lunch line, that I might find a little awful, but otherwise there’s not a lot of decompressing.”
Ryan discussed fatherhood as an actor in late 30s and how fortunate he feels to be able to make time for his family, “It’s an exciting time and you make sure that’s the priority first and foremost and I’m super grateful that I work in an industry that I can make that time for my kids and 98% of the country doesn’t have that opportunity and it’s a shame. Even in some European countries, paternity leave is longer than the maternity leave in the United States so the system is a little funky sometimes. I’m lucky, I get to be around.”
Ryan spoke a great deal about wanting to play villain, “my dream role is to play a villain, still to this day I haven’t had the chance to play a proper on-screen villain. The voices, I play sort of a nefarious bad guy, but he doesn’t believe he’s a bad guy, so I can’t wait to do that some day. I love villains because villains should never ever ever feel like villains to me. I feel like I’d love to do a villain role because I would play every line like he’s the hero because in real life that’s what villains are. Villains are just people with opposing convictions, not necessarily people that wake up in the morning and go ‘I need to kill someone.'”
He thinks he’s never been offered a villain’s role because of how villains are typecast in Hollywood, “I also think Hollywood tends to cast people that seem like villains and I don’t know why they do that. I would prefer they take somebody who doesn’t necessarily strike you as a villain and make them the greatest on-screen villain that ever happened. I would love that opportunity though. Typically it’s in the writing, you read them and you’re like ‘oh well he’s written like a villain that’s why I don’t want to do it.’ I don’t think villains are like that. I think villains talk like they’re heroes. If you look back throughout history and think of some of the most awful human beings they believed in what they were doing and that’s why they caused so much damage. that to me is interesting.”