Wolverine's Ryan Reynolds on swordplay and Deadpool

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Ryan Reynolds, co-star of the upcoming action film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, told reporters that he was thrilled to play the character of Deadpool despite the role's physical challenges.

"I've actually wanted to play Deadpool for a very long time, so it was a bit of a dream come true," Reynolds said in a news conference last weekend in Los Angeles.

In Wolverine, Reynolds' character Deadpool is a motor-mouthed master swordsman who works briefly with Jackman's title character when they are recruited to be part of a special team coordinated by William Stryker, played by Danny Huston. Reynolds spoke alongside Jackman and co-star Liev Schreiber at a press conference; following is an edited version of that news conference. X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens on Friday. (Spoilers ahead!)

Liev and Ryan, these are unusual roles for you. What kind of preparation did you do to get ready for those fight sequences?

Reynolds: I always felt that he was a character that sort of felt like a cross between Commando and Phantom of the Opera, by way of Caddyshack. So, for me, it was a pretty original type of guy in this universe. But to get ready, I felt like I was ready years ago, because I've wanted to play this guy forever. But it was a lot of sword training, a lot of working out with Hugh, who I remember on my first day looked a lot like a guy who was going to make a necklace out of my teeth. That was sort of the gold standard that was set from early on, but basically it's spending hours and hours and hours with the katana sword training fellows.

What about the thing over your mouth? Was that very claustrophobic?

Reynolds: Yes, having my mouth sewn shut was [tough]. It's a moment where you say, "Why am I method?" But you go for it anyway. And, at lunch, snorting a steak was hard, but I got it down.

Schreiber: Twelve years ago, or something like 12 years ago, Hugh and I did a film together, and believe it or not, I believe I actually was bigger than Hugh in those days. Things have changed, and he's grown substantially as an actor and as a human being in general, so the first agenda was getting bigger. I made the awful mistake of going online to see what the fans thought, and, of course, they said, "You need to get bigger." So I started working out with Hugh and doing the high-protein diet; between the two of us, I think we wiped out a whole gene pool of chickens. I know people think it's a strange, [that] it's a departure for me, but I don't really [feel that]. I felt right at home with that sort of sibling-rivalry thing with Hugh, and it was a lot of fun.

What are your most vivid memories of working on the film?

Reynolds: I honestly worked probably the longest day of my life on this movie, but it's a huge movie, so there are several units going at once, and I had a day when I was going back and forth from each unit, and it was about a 22-hour day, and there was makeup and all of these things. I'm having to spin these swords at a million miles an hour around my body, and by about hour 19, I had a couple of extremely close calls with these katana swords. I mean, when you're spinning these swords, you're going to want to wear pants for that. I honestly just about lost my future legacy a couple of times, and I had to take a little break and pour myself a nice shot of espresso and carry on. That, for me, was probably the worst of it.