During a tightly packed press conference earlier this week, Ryan Reynolds (looking dapper and slightly bored) and Jeff Bridges (appearing relaxed and ever curious) delighted a crowd of journalists who were all probably a little more into the actors themselves than the movie they happened to be promoting – but that’s usually the case.
The proceedings were light-hearted with a few laughs as both actors seemed genuinely happy to be around each other again.
DC: Ryan, you’ve done a number comic book films now with Green Lantern, Blade: Trinity, X-Men: Origins, this one, hopefully Deadpool … Is there something about the genre that appeals to you? Do you find it more fun to act in films that aren’t necessarily grounded in reality? And Jeff, these are films that we don’t usually see you in. You’ve done Iron Man but comic films you really haven’t been a part of, so what appealed to you about this film in particular?
Jeff Bridges: I like bizarre movies, you know, ones that are surprising. I love to to see movies where the filmmakers are ahead of you and you don’t know what’s going to happen. And the premise of this one was so bizarre that I thought it could be interesting.
Ryan Reynolds: Comic books … I don’t read a lot of them. It’s such a huge part of the industry these days. It’s a legit genre unto itself. The same as most actors will end up in a drama at some point. At some point you’re going to end up in a comic book movie these days. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in a few of them. But this isn’t really a comic book, I mean it’s a graphic novel and I read that after I read the script. I just thought this world was really cool, these two lawmen from completely different eras and modalities of how they do things kind of coming together and clashing in this way I thought was kinda cool.
DC: So based on this law where you can’t come back as yourself, if you got to choose, what or who would your avatars look like?
JB: I’d come back as Ryan Reynolds.
RR: You’d probably make some better decisions than I did. I’d probably come back as … my dog has a very good life. It’d be cool to see what it would be like to be President for the day, to come back as Obama.
DC: Ryan, you strike me as a real gentleman but still you have to fear something on judgment day so what do you think the doorkeeper will say to you?
RR: Wow. When I was a kid around nine or ten I was a complete asshole! I would run around the neighborhood on Halloween throwing firecrackers into people’s mailboxes. We were just these little hellraisers. I’m so terrified that I’m going to have sons one day that behave this way. So, I’m sure I have a lot to atone for if there is a Judgement Day. It’s going to be a long list for me. It goes right up to when I was about eighteen and then I straightened out.
DC: Physically, how did you get prepared for the movie?
JB: Most of the stuff, physically, that was difficult for me was getting spun around in that car, you know, all that stuff. That was the biggest challenge.
DC: Jeff, you are a writer, a photographer, you draw, you’re a musician …
RR: Just a few of my qualities …
DC: Between all of these arts, which is the one you prefer to all of the others?
JB: They’re all kind of the same to me. I approach them all in the same way which is to kind of get out of the way and let the thing come through. So, they all relate to each other. I remember when I started writing songs, well, I guess I hadn’t started, but it was early in my career and I would be studying my script and all of a sudden I would think that would make a good song. Then I’d find myself with my guitar in my hand and I would get so angry with myself saying, ‘No! You’ve got to be studying.’ Now, I’ve come to find that they’re all interrelated and they inform each other. You know, that song will help my acting and sometimes I put it in the movies.
RR: It’s a great byproduct to work with Jeff because you get privy to this kind of stuff. You come to set and you never know what he’s going to be doing. He’ll have a squeezebox one minute, the next he’s playing guitar, the next minute he’s reading novels out loud.
DC: For Jeff, I wanted to know how you created this archetype of this western cowboy?
JB: What comes to mind is my Dad, Lloyd Bridges, who was in a lot of great Westerns. High Noon is an example of one. I remember as a kid him coming home in a cowboy hat and the boots and all that stuff and I would love to get those things on. Whenever I get a chance to play a cowboy, especially guys like … I remember playing Wild Bill Hickok. And the history, it’s such an amazing part of our history of our country that only existed for a very short time but some wild characters came out of that. It’s great to get into those guys. I love that.
R.I.P.D. is in theatres NOW.
Universal Pictures’ R.I.P.D. stars Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Stephanie Szostak, Mary-Louise Parker, Marisa Miller, Mike O’Malley, James Hong, Tobias Segal, and Robert Knepper.
Robert Schwentke directed the project, which follows a murdered cop (Reynolds) who is recruited to work in the Rest in Peace Department, a police force comprised of ghosts who battle spirits unready to depart this world. Jeff Bridges plays Reynolds’ ghostly partner.
Nick is dead — at least, that’s how he remembers it — and teams up with another deceased detective, a gunslinger from the Old West (played by Jeff Bridges), to work for an elite task force, the Rest In Peace Department (hence the title), to track down the dead on Earth. (Due to overpopulation, some unsettled spirits haven’t gone where they’re supposed to and are hiding out). Technically, R.I.P.D. officers (who are overseen by Mary-Louise Parker) aren’t allowed to kill anyone living and aren’t supposed to interact with anyone from their previous lives, but Nick is haunted by the fact that he was murdered by another cop (played by Kevin Bacon) and can’t let it go.
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