For all of his undeniable charm, infectious playfulness on screen, good looks and star quality, Ryan Reynolds has always struggled to find critical acclaim. It’s not that too many critics necessarily thing Reynolds does poor work in his films, or even that all of these films are bad. It’s simply that Reynolds doesn’t seem to have found his breakthrough role yet – the one that takes him from Van Wilder aftermath to big time leading man, and perhaps awards consideration.
Some are speculating that this project may finally be in Reynolds’ hands, as the popular actor has reportedly been cast in the upcoming film “Mississippi Grind.” Deadline wrote a couple of months ago that Reynolds has stepped in to replace Jake Gyllenhaal, who had previously been rumored for the role, in what sounds like an old school gambling movie for a new generation.
These days, our definition of gambling is changing drastically. In Las Vegas, the average visitor prefers to simply play some video poker or camp out at slot machines than actually jump in on a card game with real people. People get absorbed in Betfair and similar online environments where poker, blackjack, and various other casino games are offered for real money, and where special promotions and bonuses are available for loyal members and VIPs. And sometimes, these sites even offer apps and mobile services for gamblers to enjoy on the go. In short, casino gaming has been made more convenient – and the result is, we’ve lost our grasp on the more rugged, “underground” aspect of the popular hobby.
It would seem from the early synopsis that “Mississippi Grind” is bringing this gritty, underground vibe back. The movie will follow an indebted gambler (played by the rapidly emerging Ben Mendelsohn) who links up with a younger partner (Ryan Reynolds) to tour the southern United States in an attempt to make some quick money gambling. There’s an undeniable “Rounders” feel to that synopsis, and as such we could easily see this movie gathering a cult following, and likely doing quite well.
Another factor working in Ryan Reynolds’ favor is that the film will be written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who, as Cinema Blend notes, helped to skyrocket Ryan Gosling to critical acclaim with 2006′s “Half Nelson.” This implies that “Mississippi Grind” is exactly the kind of project Ryan Reynolds fans have been waiting for to give the capable actor a real chance to shine. Production on the film begins early in 2014, and here’s hoping it makes it to theaters quickly!
Don’t look now, but the 36-year-old Canadian actor may be Hollywood’s most undersung, unpretentious renaissance man. He’s blessed with the wit of an Oscar Wilde (by way of Van Wilder), the looks of a matinee idol (see People‘s Sexiest Man Alive, 2010), and the soul of an artist—albeit one who gets his kicks from postmodern anus art. Isn’t it time we took Ryan Reynolds kinda-sorta seriously?
DETAILS.COM – RYAN REYNOLDS IS STARING AT AN ANUS unlike any other he’s seen in his life, and it’s all my fault. The two of us are standing—in synchronous dumbstruckness—in the foyer of a Berlin art gallery, where we’ve just been greeted by a sculpture of a headless, armless bronze torso prostrated on a pedestal—ass-up, as it were—with its sphincter tied with a pair of what appear to be bronzed sneaker laces. “Wow,” Reynolds finally says, with a low exhalation. “That’s gonna be hard to masturbate to.”
We pivot to our left, where hanging on a wall is a large white canvas on which appear to be, at first glance, several rows of way-oversize fingerprints, as though cribbed from the Incredible Hulk’s arrest-booking record. A rinse of relief washes over me, because the art-gallery tour was my idea—I’d heard Reynolds was an art enthusiast—to spring us from the Berlin hotel where Reynolds has been living for five weeks while shooting the director Marjane Satrapi’s The Voices. I chose this gallery in the Mitte neighborhood because it was walking distance from the hotel and, from the photos on its website, seemed to be hosting an exhibit about motorcycles, another of Reynolds’ favorite subjects. The interview, as I’d imagined it, would be a kind of freewheeling Rorschach test—the jumbo card of fingerprints, for instance, perhaps inspiring Reynolds to talk about his father and brother, the former a onetime cop and the latter a constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the 36-year-old actor’s native British Columbia.
But this is not what happens. Rebutting my interpretation of the painting, with the same ominous tone Obi-Wan Kenobi used when informing Luke Skywalker that the Death Star was no moon, Reynolds says, “Those aren’t fingerprints, man. They’re ass prints.”
It requires zero artistic acuity to see that Reynolds is right. Bouncily, he says, “Let’s go see if there are more butt holes over here.” We navigate our way into another room filled with . . . yeah, lots more. I’m cringing, a reporter in free fall. My attempt to give one of Hollywood’s most dazzling (if press-shy) leading men, People‘s Sexiest Man Alive in 2010, and the star of one of this summer’s blockbuster contenders a highbrow Rorschach test has landed us at an exhibition about what the gallery literature calls the “heterogeneous interfaces that are characterized by holes and passages.” Or, in a word, anuses.
But Reynolds doesn’t care. In fact, he thinks it’s hilarious, and to trail him through the gallery’s many odd and then odder rooms is to be shotgunned with more raunchy comic riffs and one-liners than are contained on a complete DVD set of Family Guy. (A DVD set, by the way, that would feature Reynolds, who has voiced cameos for the series.) Had my interview notes later been confiscated by German customs officers, I’m not sure how I would’ve been able to explain the following scribbled entries: “giraffe anus”; “Gulliver’s butt hole”; “sack of a thousand anuses”; and “Ernest Borgnine’s asshole.” Except by telling those customs officials: There’s a perversely funny guy working in your country right now. A perversely funny guy who also seems, two years after a series of personal and professional setbacks, to be finding his groove as both an actor and a man, if not as an art critic.
ETONLINE.COM – With the new animated feature Turbo set to hit theaters next Wednesday, ET sent professional race car driver Helio Castroneves to the movie’s star-studded New York premiere to catch up with the stars of the summer blockbuster!
Helio — a three-time Indy 500 winner — asked Ryan Reynolds about his recent comments about starting a family with wife Blake Lively, specifically about his fear that the couple could end up having a brood of all boys.
“I grew up with three older brothers. And I’m a homeowner, and I know how much damage four boys could do,” Ryan explained. “My father, I felt so bad for him — he worked so hard for his home — and we just turned that place into a box of matchsticks.”
When asked about how long it takes him to get red carpet ready, Ryan said it really just depends. “Sometimes I find that I take a little bit longer, and then you just end up looking terrible. So I just find that if you do it nice and quick and don’t think about it — just go. For men it’s easy though, we just have a nice suit and we’re off to the races.”
PEOPLE.COM – Is this Ryan Reynolds’s most heart-melting role yet?
When Reynolds, 36, was interviewed by a very special reporter – 10-year-old Faith King – at the New York City premiere of his new animated 3D movie Turbo on Tuesday night, he showed off his sweet side.
“Hi! How’s it going?” Reynolds greeted King, who was doing interviews for children’s video channel KidzVuz.
“Good,” King, of Red Bank, N.J., replied, staring up at the star.
“Good! Let’s shake hands. Awesome!” Reynolds says.
King then takes a moment and seems to be mulling over her next move. In the video, Reynolds waits for a few seconds then says, “How you doing? Do you have a question, or do we want to just hang out? [Should we do] some crisp high-fives, and call it a day?”
He high-fives the giggling reporter, who insists, “I do have a question!”
She asks which character trait he’d like more of and Reynolds has a serious reply: “I think we can all use a little more patience. I get a little impatient sometimes and I wish I didn’t. I really need to be more patient.”
He continues, “That’s something I gotta work on. I’m not just kidding around here – I’m being serious.”
She then asks about his favorite on-set snack. “Oh, it’s always M&Ms,” he says. “I’m a bit of an M&M nut. I like the blue ones. I pick them out.”
King listens intently, and then ends the interview with a crisp, “That is it. Thanks.”
Reynolds high-fives her and tells her, “Good job. Easiest interview I’ve had [tonight]. Seriously.”
King’s take on the interview? She later told PEOPLE he put her at ease, adding, “He’s very funny. [And] very tall!”
ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM – Ryan Reynolds married Blake Lively last September and the actor says he wants to have “lots” of kids with his stunning wife.
“I would like that,” Ryan told Access Hollywood at the premiere of his new animated film, “Turbo,” in New York City on Tuesday night. “I mean, we’ll see. One is great, six is great. It all depends on what happens.”
The 36-year-old star said he’s looking forward to becoming a dad for many reasons, especially the joy and therapeutic effects parenthood can bring.
“I think you do a lot of personal healing when you’re parenting a child,” he explained. “I mean, it’s a difficult job. We all know it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world.
“So, I think you could kind of help heal some of the past stuff from your childhood as well as, you know, that’s the gift that keeps on giving, having children,” he continued. “That’s an amazing experience.”
While Blake and Ryan don’t have kids just yet, the actor said there are plenty of children in his family who are thrilled to be on the receiving end of their uncle’s animated movie swag (toys!).
“I have an army of nieces and nephews, so they go crazy for this stuff,” he said. “I just finished ‘Croods’ this year as well, and so those toys are all over our house still. My dog is obsessed with one in particular, so I have to get more.
“I’m gonna hit up Jeffrey Katzenberg for that,” he joked. “I like the little knick knacks from the movie.”
And Ryan will be saving some “Turbo” mementos for his future children as well.
“You always try to [save some] because one day when I’m an old retired farmer, my kids will want to know what dad did,” he said.
“Turbo,” which also features the voices of Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph and more, hits theaters on July 17.
EXTRATV.COM – All eyes were on Blake Lively as she and hubby Ryan Reynolds arrived for the New York premiere of his film “Turbo” — both fabulous in Burberry.
Lively, known to have an eye for fashion, reportedly approved Ryan’s outfit. He said, “I think this is generally approved. You can’t really go wrong with Burberry.”
In the film, Reynolds plays a snail who dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500, and the actor dropped a spoiler. “Now I know what you’re thinking. That’s impossible. But, I’m gonna tell you right now – the film is animated.”
He also noted that his character is involved in a freak accident, giving him super speed powers, but Reynolds had another power in mind for his own tastes. “I’d like to fly. And baking is a super power. I’d like to bake one day… something that doesn’t turn out looking like a smoking turd.”
ABCNEWS.GO.COM – In an alternate universe somewhere, Ryan Reynolds is patrolling the streets as a cop, munching on blue M&M’s and avoiding red carpets at all cost.
But this is the real world and Reynolds, 36, is an A-list movie star married to one of the most elegant actresses in the world, Blake Lively, 25. At last night’s NYC premier of Ryan’s latest film “Turbo,” he told ABC News that if he’d never made his mark in acting, he most likely would have gone into law enforcement.
“I’d probably be a cop,” the “Van Wilder” star said. ”My dad was a cop and my brother’s one, that’s the family business.”
Hollywood dodged a bullet there, pun intended. But the quintessential lifestyle of a cop living with his wife in a more rural setting suits Reynolds, maybe more so than most actors. He’s a very down to earth guy, who is tucked away with Lively in Bedford, N.Y., and it’s well-known he likes his privacy.
In fact, he’s not a fan of the flashy red carpet premiers that most actors have to do to promote new movies.
“I don’t think anybody gets used to these carpets,” he said. “It’s a complete sensory overload, you’re fried by the end of it. You literally feel like you’ve ran a marathon.”
Also, it’s no surprise that after recently revealing he wants a big family with his “Gossip Girl” wife, that he’s great with kids.
The “Green Lantern” star was kind enough to entertain a 10-year-old aspiring journalist for KidzVuz.com Faith King, who got to interview Reynolds for the premier.
“I asked him what his favorite on-set snack was. He said blue M&M’s, he picks them out specifically,” King told ABC News.
The best part – Reynolds was so nice and unassuming that King said she wasn’t even star-struck. Was she nervous?
“No, I wasn’t. I want to interview Taylor Swift!” she added.
Tough Break Ryan. Maybe the NYPD is hiring?
TODAY.COM – Ryan Reynolds, star of the upcoming animated film “Turbo,” stopped by the TODAY plaza Tuesday morning for a friendly (and gigantic!) game of skee ball against Matt, Savannah, Natalie and Willie.
The competition heated up Monday night (see below: Snoop Dogg tweeted Matt!) as fans predicted which snail would win using the hashtags #TurboMatt, #TurboSavannah, #TurboRyan, #TurboNatalie and #TurboWillie on Twitter.
And while Matt was the fan favorite (thanks to Snoop’s help, Savannah argued), it was Ryan who won the vertical race.
NBC Sports commentator Leigh Diffey called the neck-and-neck competition. Ryan’s Turbo snail started in the lead, but soon Willie’s Burn was giving him a run for his money. Fan favorite Smoove Move, powered by Matt’s skee ball skills, eventually took the lead and nearly won.
That is, until Ryan hit the Turbo button, launching his snail ahead of the pack and across the finish line.
Matt called Ryan out immediately on his smooth move: “You brought out the Turbo on morning TV!”
“In my defense,” Ryan argued. “The film is called ‘Turbo,’ not ‘Matt Lauer.’ I had to win!”
NBCNEWS.COM – When you think of snails, chances are you don’t think of speed — and it’s even less likely that you think of Ryan Reynolds. But think again.
In his new film “Turbo,” the actor takes on the part of a slug who isn’t exactly what he seems.
“This is how it was pitched to me: ‘This is about a guy with an impossible dream winning the Indy 500,’” Reynolds explained during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY. “I said, ‘What’s so crazy about that?’ They said, ‘He’s a snail.’ I said, ‘You better animate this movie, because what a painful production that would be.’”
All jokes aside, the leading man now looks at the part and feels a real connection to the animated character.
“I think we’ve all had somebody in our lives that said, ‘You’re not good enough, fast enough, tall enough, smart enough. You can’t do it. You Shouldn’t do it.’ I think everyone relates to that,” he said. “To able to persevere beyond that, despite what those voices are (saying), … I think it’s a really beautiful message.”
It’s a message that hits theaters July 17 — just two days before another Reynolds film, “R.I.P.D.”, opens. That prompted TODAY host Matt Lauer to ask the star which movie he’d choose to check out if he could only afford one ticket.
“That’s a brutal question,” Reynolds shot back. “I’ll hit the matinee twice!”