VAN WILDER PARTY LIAISON - Q&A with RYAN REYNOLDS
Movie Interview by Kris Griffiths
PHASE9 catches up with Ryan Reynolds, the star of VAN WILDER: PARTY LIAISON, in London's Soho Square.
After passionately snogging an elderly woman in the film, can you tell us a bit more about your relationships with older women?
Yes, well I've explored the older female species in this film and this particular one had removable teeth and a darting tongue from what I can remember of the whole experience. On a more serious note, it was probably a lot more difficult for her. I said to her, "you're obviously a lot more mature than me so just guide me", and she did. She was a lovely lady though. It wasn't very comfortable for anyone involved in the scene but we ended up doing about thirty-five takes and a lot of it was eventually cut out.
From the out-takes during the end credits it looked like loads more had been cut from the movie and I suppose that's the toughest thing about making comedy - to keep it funny when there's been thirty takes and the director makes you do another one...
I was fortunate enough to make a start in proper comedy in Canada. After four or five takes a part of me wants to do it differently every other time but thankfully the director Walt Becker is gracious enough to just let me play with it and see what happens so it's a lot more fun. I've also worked with Walt before in a romantic comedy that was released domestically in The States so that made things a lot easier.
Did you have a Van Wilder character at your school - the one that everyone looked up to as the coolest?
Err, no. Growing up in Vancouver [Canada] and going to school there, we never really had that type of set-up, even at the universities. I had to glean most of my experience just from shooting at the UCLA campus and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Parents had spent so much money sending their kids there and these kids were just waking up every morning in shower pools of their own fluid and a beer bottle wrapped round their neck. I realised that we were just making a documentary. So no, I have no experience of the Van Wilder character.
The bulldog/chocolate éclair incident has to be the most vile practical joke ever perpetrated onscreen. What was the worst practical joke you ever played on anyone at school or college?
Well firstly I would have had to have gone to college to have played a practical joke there. The worst practical joke I ever played was probably a few years ago when I went to the biggest hotel in Vancouver, which has a rival hotel just across the road. Anyway, the hotel's master chef had made an eighty-pound globe out of chocolate, which they'd put on display in the lobby. At about four in the morning I decided to walk in there and carry it out across the road to the rival hotel, eating Iceland on the way. I gave it to a Beefeater standing guard outside and took a photo of him which I then sent back to the first hotel with a note saying 'Seasons greetings from our hotel. Today second place, tomorrow the world'. That's probably the best joke I've ever played.
What was your take on the éclair incident? You can expect the British Bulldog Society to be outraged.
There was nothing in the film that could top it for shock value. Everything was put into the scene assuming that the MPAA would strip half of it out but they didn't. We'll be expecting many strongly worded letters about it.
What sort of work did you do before becoming an actor?
I did restaurant work as a busboy and did a paper round. I also used to work in a grocery store doing the graveyard shift five days a week - midnight till eight in the morning - and dealt with some of the scariest people you could ever imagine. That was probably the worst because it screwed up your body clock, not unlike flying to London.
I hear you're planning to stay in the UK for a while. Shouldn't you be building your career back home where the money's good?
No, I'm actually shooting a movie right now with Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas in Chicago [USA], but I'll be starting a movie in England in October called THE ROMFORD MATADOR. I'm actually really excited about coming back over here to do it because it has a great script and looks like a beautiful romantic comedy.