The actor talks about being a busboy, Flash, Amityville & following up Van Wilder
Waiting...follows a frustrated group of waiters as they try to make it through a single day at ShenaniganZ Restaurant in New Orleans. Movieweb recently sent me down to interview approximately half the cast of this very funny film. Second in our five part series is Ryan Reynolds, who never manages to disappoint with his likable, friendly demeanor. He plays Monty, a guy who could care less about his go nowhere occupation. It seems Monty only cares about partying and getting laid...
Rob told us that you've been attached to this film for many years now. What attracted you to the script?
Ryan Reynolds: Well, it was the early 80s, and the Reagan depression was on...It was 2001 when I read it, and all I wanted to do back then was be politically incorrect. In my perfect world, I would have done this movie, and then Van Wilder after it. But this just kept stalling. Both good and bad, this was a hold over from way back in the day. Its kind of strange to be sitting here promoting this in 2005. Weird, but here I am.
We heard that the actors were playing "The Game" on the set?
Ryan Reynolds: That's what everyone keeps saying. I actually didn't see anyone's cluster. But I hear the game was played on the set. I don't know by who. Maybe Andy Milonakis was telling people that. Maybe he was flashing his gear.
Was he the only one?
Ryan Reynolds: The game doesn't really work if you're the only one. Obviously, someone was playing ball with him.
It says in the press notes that making this movie was like one big party. Can you elaborate on that?
Ryan Reynolds: It was a young, talented, upcoming cast. To be perfectly frank; I was just exhausted when I got there. I'd just come off another job that shaved ten years off my life. So I was done when I got there. I just focused on the movie. I'd call the night early. But you're in New Orleans. You're on Bourbon Street. So you have temptation around every corner. I'm sure some of the cast hit it pretty hard. You know? More than a few of them came in smelling like last night's Tequila bodyshot. I know that a lot of people had a lot of fun out there.
Have you ever had to wait tables?
Ryan Reynolds: Yeah, I was a busboy for a couple different places. I had a lot of different jobs between fifteen and nineteen. I'd moved out of my house way, way younger than I should have. So I was living out on my own with my brother when I'd just turned sixteen. I did busboy stuff, and worked in warehouses, and did odd jobs, and stuff. I earned me some Pesos.
Did you shoot this after Blade?
Ryan Reynolds: Yes, right after Blade.
Did you keep up with the really rigorous exercise stuff?
Ryan Reynolds: I took a break from it. For me, this was a three and a half week shoot. I went from Blade, right to this, right into Amityville...So...
Were you tempted to keep the beard for this one, too?
Ryan Reynolds: Oh, no, no, no...I defiantly wasn't tempted to keep the beard for this one. I'm keeping it for the one I'm shooting now. I couldn't have a beard in there. I've got to keep it a little young.
When you worked as a busboy, did you see any nasty things going on there?
Ryan Reynolds: Any action? Yeah. I saw a lot of debauchery. I found that to be true of these restaurant dynamics. Anyplace of work where you have a cross section of work, you have this mini-ecosystem. A little representation of what the planet is. You have the Alpha Dog. You have the young ones, the old ones. The pissed off one. The quiet one. It's like Gilligan's Island in a restaurant. I identified with that dynamic, but with everything else? Not so much. I didn't see anyone do the disgusting shit that goes on in this movie.
Did you ever have anyone you were interested in doing disgusting shit too?
Ryan Reynolds: Yeah. You always do. You always get that one customer that decides that your name is boy. Or something. It certainly reinforces a respect I already had for people that are in the hospitality industry. It's a one-way relationship. It's inherently dysfunctional. You're a server. You're walking up to people, and your sole reason for being there is to serve them. That's a hard gig. One that I have compassion for. To actually work in that field and experience that is equally enlightening.
Did you ever have to do a singing waiter type of thing?
Ryan Reynolds: Yeah, we had to do it at the Yacht Club in Vancouver. Whoa, I almost said the name of it. That would have gotten me in trouble. But it was a goddamn sty. We had to sing for these kids that were despicable in every way. I mean, truly despicable. I would come out to the table and I wouldn't even see their face anymore. I would just see a dartboard. It was like that moment in Upside of Anger, where Joan Allen is staring at that guy, and his head explodes. And you realize it's just a fantasy sequence. Well, I would do that all the time with these little shits.
How do you get through the song and dance?
Ryan Reynolds: On all your Ts and all your Ps, you make sure you spit all over them. A lot. It's really more of a sprinkler shower song all mixed into one. You have to do it, you know? You just swallow your pride and do it.
Did the script change a lot from when you first read it to now?
Ryan Reynolds: No, nothing changed. Rob was so diligent about keeping every word in tact. It was definitely a different experience for me in terms of that.
What do you think when you see the movie now?
Ryan Reynolds: Um...Oh, god. I don't know if I can even...Yeah, I don't know...Its always hard to watch yourself. I will say that.
Are you in a different place now?
Ryan Reynolds: Yeah. You always are after a movie. You're in a different headspace. With this more than anything else. It's been almost five years in the making. So, it's particularly tough.
Is anything developing more with the Flash and Goyer?
Ryan Reynolds: Goyer is still writing it. Its something that I think will be great. He's told me a little bit about it. I've read a little bit of stuff. Nothing official. But I'd love to do it. It would be fun. I know the comics a little bit.
I don't mean to go back to this, but I talked to George Lutz after I interviewed you for Amityville, and I'm wondering what your reaction is to some of the stuff he said about you? He had a lot of not very nice things to say about you.
Ryan Reynolds: Probably about a lot of stuff.
Well, he had a lot of disparaging things to say about you, and I wanted to get a follow up on what you thought about that?
Ryan Reynolds: I don't give a flying fuck what George Lutz thinks, to be honest. I'm paid to go in there and perform a role according to a set of guidelines. Which is a script. George Lutz can take as many runs as he wants at me. It's all going to be exorcised in futility.
Well, I didn't know if you could even talk about it because of the lawsuit.
Ryan Reynolds: I probably can't talk about it. I probably can't say things like, "I don't give a flying fuck what George Lutz thinks." But I don't. That's not really my problem. I don't even know some of the stuff that he said. I know there was a whole lot of hubb-a-baloo, and flailing around. I could probably wax on about it, but then I'd defiantly be overstepping my bounds. I've never met George Lutz. I don't know much about him. I hope it all works out for him.
Do you think you will do a cameo in the Van Wilder sequel?
Ryan Reynolds: I don't know. I'd totally be up for it. I wasn't up for being Van Wilder through a whole movie again, but Hell yeah. If it works for scheduling I'd for sure do it.
Are they really making that?
Ryan Reynolds: I don't know. I think so. It's called the Rise of Taj, or something, with Kal Penn. He's so great. I think they're in awesome hands with Kal. He's a guy I think you'll see a lot of.
Stay tuned for Part 3 with Justin Long...