Ryan Reynolds © Touchstone Pictures
Ryan Reynolds © Touchstone Pictures
Ryan Reynolds © Touchstone Pictures

Coming off of his successful portrayal of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine – so successful in fact there is going to be a spin-off of his character – Ryan Reynolds is back in familiar territory with the comedy The Proposal.
He plays Andrew, the harassed assistant to the boss from hell, Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), who has just discovered that she is about to be deported to her native Canada. The quick-thinking exec tells the immigration official that she and Andrew are engaged and about to get married. But she finds that Andrew wants something too – a big promotion – ie: here comes the bribe – and when she agrees they fly off to Alaska to meet his quirky and unique family, which includes Andrews grandmother, ‘Gammy’ Annie (Betty White).

What was it about this comedy that attracted you?

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock © Touchstone Pictures
Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock © Touchstone Pictures

Typically, comedies are male driven. I love it when it’s the other way around. Here, Sandy’s character is the oppressor. This woman, who is so Type A, is being taken to the wilds of Alaska with her assistant. She has spent three years with this guy but knows absolutely nothing abut him, including where he’s from. It’s really fun when she comes to this small community and becomes as much a fish out of water as a human being can be.

Can you talk a little about doing the nude scene with Sandra?

You know you’ve made a bad move, because you don’t normally combine nudity with stunts. This isn’t like Cirque de Soliel porn. It’s a movie. You have these scenes where you slam into each other. You fall onto the ground and I would always know that something popped out wrong because the cameraman would go, ‘Oh!’ By hour four I had abandoned the fig leaf or whatever the hell gave me and I was just throwing caution, and other things, into the wind.

You and Sandra have been friends for years, what did you learn about her from working with her?

The Proposal (2009)
Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock © Touchstone Pictures

Mostly birthmarks is what I learned about Sandra that I wasn’t aware of; that little Italy one. I always say that chemistry is something impossible to manufacture. It’s either there or it isn’t. the fact that you’re friends doesn’t necessarily equate to great chemistry. So we learned early on that we had it and I was so grateful for that. It’s like one of the few magical things about film that still exists. There’s no way to manipulate that. It’s either there magically or it’s not. We had it and it was amazing.

What is it that makes Sandra a star?

I’m not one to mythologize other actors too much, but obviously Sandy is a gorgeous woman, but I think the reason that people fall in love with her is that she doesn’t seem to know it. She doesn’t seem to know it in a way that other gorgeous people maybe would. I think that’s what makes her so accessible. I think that people see that she has an ability to laugh at herself and you just don’t find that too often.

Can you talk about working with Betty White?

Betty has the best exit line I’ve ever heard for a movie. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing this. On her last day, I’ve never seen a crew give such an enormous standing ovation to somebody. Grown grips with ZZ Top beards crying because Betty is leaving. Betty turns around and says, ‘I want everyone to know that this is the most fun I’ve ever had on a film set.’ And as she walked out the door she turned back and said, ‘Standing up.’

Any word on the Deadpool movie?

Yeah, it’s in the works. That’s about all I can really say. It’s something that they’re actually hashing out.

Will you have any creative input?

Yeah. I’m meeting with them all the time. We’re in constant contact and it’s just a matter of breaking the spine of the story and figuring out who it is and who’s the villain. Look, I’m into any role in which I get to kick Captain America in the nuts.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.