BY DONNA FREYDKIN
It's no secret that Ryan Reynolds isn't hurting in the handsomeness department. He's been deemed the sexiest man alive by People magazine. He's married to Blake Lively, one of the most stunning ladies we've ever met in person.
But lo and behold the new and not-improved Reynolds, who spent hours in the makeup chair, having prosthetics spackled on to play Deadpool, the pizza-face version of mercenary Wade Wilson in "Deadpool," opening Friday. Was Lively grossed out by his, ahem, transformation?
"When you're inside baseball like that, it's a little less than if a kid would see it," says Reynolds, who has a daughter, James, with Lively. "Blake thought it was really cool. She would hang out when we were creating it. I spent weeks in a makeup chair testing stuff before we started shooting."
The finished product is what Reynolds wanted: raunchy, sexual, violent, profane, and emotional. The reviews have been kind, to say the least. "I look at them a little bit. It's mostly because I have a lot of skin in this game. As a producer, I want to make sure the ship is being sailed the right way. The movie hasn't come out yet and we already feel like it's a huge win for us just because the movie got made," says Reynolds.
One of the things that's most surprised him: "It really resonates with cancer patients. I can't tell you how many cancer patients have reached out. They love this idea that Wade is stricken with something that is seemingly tough to beat and he's seemingly managed to find a way with attitude and physicality," says Reynolds.
In the comics that inspired the film, Deadpool is sexually experimental. The movie stays true to that side of him -- something you don't see in the sanitized Marvel universe. That being said, the film tells his backstory, and focuses on his romance with a prostitute (Morena Baccarin).
"He's got some fluidity to his sexuality. We felt it was worthy of exploration. Did we explore it in depth? No. It's an origin story. In our film, he's in love with Vanessa. That's the focus. There's a wealth of material and subject matter that's never been explored in a comic book movie and we've yet to explore," says Reynolds.
Unlike his murderous and revenge-driven character, Reynolds is kind and emotionally present in person. He's aware, decisive and incredibly quick-witted. "I don't have a heart of sharpened icicles. Wade Wilson does have a heart. He's morally flexible. But that's more so relating to temptation. He would be a good friend to kids. Just don't have him teach sex ed in high school," says Reynolds.
The opening credits mock Reynolds, as god's perfect idiot, as well as his costars. "Oh yeah, that was totally me," says Reynolds. "We developed the script six years ago. For the next four months, we just developed and developed. That was the first sequence we'd written. Juice Newton was in there. That was in the original script. We loved the opening credits."
The same goes for the finished product. The film has been kicking around Hollywood, in various iterations, for a decade. It took Reynolds and his writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, to get it into theaters, with more than a little help from giddy fan reactions to leaked test footage that found its way online in 2014.
"Everything we felt would constitute a perfect Deadpool, we managed to get into the movie," says Reynolds. "I have almost routinely, daily and hourly thrown the studio under the bus but I'm using them as a pawn. They've been nothing but supportive. They said, 'Go make the movie and make it exactly how you want.' Nothing but blind support. And that was amazing. That was a direct response to the test footage that came out."