Ryan Reynolds Talks About "Just Friends"

Ryan Reynolds on "Just Friends," High School Loves, and the Fat Suit

Anna Faris and Ryan Reynolds in "Just Friends". © New Line Cinema
The Scoop on "Just Friends:" Ryan Reynolds ("Blade: Trinity") plays a geeky high school student who transforms into a babe magnet in the romantic comedy, "Just Friends," co-starring Amy Smart and Anna Faris.

As 'Chris Brander,' Reynolds goes from a grossly overweight high school student in love with the beautiful but unattainable Jamie Palamino (Smart) to a hunky ladies man who fled his hometown and now has the unenviable task of trying to make a bizarre pop singer (Faris) into a star.

While escorting the spoiled diva to a party, their plane takes an unexpected detour back to Chris' hometown. Grounded, Chris has no choice but to spend a couple of days visiting old friends and wandering the town. The 'romantic' part of the romantic comedy comes into play when Chris runs into Jamie, the girl who never let him past the 'just friends' barricade while they were in high school.

Ryan Reynolds on Wearing a Fat Suit in “Just Friends:” Reynolds sports a fat suit for the first part of the film, sort of like the one worn by Eddie Murphy in “The Nutty Professor” but much more believable. Tongue firmly planted in cheek, Reynolds said he decided not to go the DeNiro route and actually gain the weight because he isn’t that committed to his craft. “Because it’s really hard to lose 45 pounds in an hour without cutting an actual limb off. So yeah, no, it was a labor of love though. I loved wearing that suit,” joked Reynolds.

What He Got Out of the Fat Suit Experience: “I felt like it could have been anything. It didn’t have to necessarily be like a fat suit or anything, but it just felt great to experiment in that world of being a young, kind of semi-pubescent high schooler again. That is such a scary, wounding time. It was great to kind of reclaim it a little bit as that character and just feel free to be honest and wear my heart on my sleeve and be vulnerable and be sensitive, be everything that the future Chris Brander isn’t.

In a way it kind of was sort of an architect of compassion for me for those guys that are out there and they’re players and they’re a little bit smarmy maybe. I have a lot of compassion for those guys. They’re just trying to avoid intimacy because they’ve been hurt. A lot of people are like that so it was just a blast to just be that and be honest and funny and fun in it and allow the character to just really, really, really be sensitive and vulnerable. I actually wished I could have done the whole movie in that suit. I would love to do that.”

Reynolds said that while they were up in Canada shooting the film, he ventured outside in the fat suit. “Whoever created the suit made it out of molten lava. I had to go outside all the time to just cool off because it was so, so hot. I would go outside… I remember I was standing outside and I was looking up at the set, the house. It was minus 40 out - keep in mind. We were shooting with sled dogs in the arctic. I remember staring up at the house and this woman came up to me and asked me if Ryan Reynolds was inside. ‘You have no idea, my dear. He’s inside all right’,” recalls Reynolds.

Ryan Reynold’s Character is Based on Producer Chris Bender: Asked if he stole anything from the real Bender to help him with this character, Reynolds said, “Well, apparently a lot of money.

No, I didn’t. Yeah, his experience was pretty much all on the page. There wasn’t really too much to steal in that sense, but also this is such a universal theme to me. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced this kind of purgatory, that of the ‘just friends’ jail cell. I was just surprised that nobody else had tackled the topic at all. You’d think in this day and age everything had been done, but this was one thing where Roger Kumble and I both looked at each other like, ‘Wow, I’m amazed this hasn’t been broached yet.’ So I was really excited to do it.”

Ryan Reynolds Can Really Relate to Being Just Friends: Reynolds said there was a girl in high school who he loved but who he wound up being just friends with because she wanted to keep things in the friend zone. “Everyone was in love with her, so I was like her buddy buddy and it was hard.

It was hard being her friend. It was hard watching her date other guys that were just dirt bags. And I relate to this character when he was in high school because I was very sensitive in high school and I was a lot more honest outwardly with people than I have been in my 20s.

You get crushed, you get wounded a little bit, and you learn how to not do that anymore. And then hopefully, once you get married and you want to be intimate with somebody and emotionally intimate, you try to unlearn all that s**t that you’ve been defending against.”

Page 2: Ryan Reynolds on Working with Anna Faris, Getting Physical in "Just Friends," and His Upcoming Projects

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Ryan Reynolds Had a Blast Working With Anna Faris: Reynolds describes Faris’ part in “Just Friends” as the 'Britney/Simpsons/Jessica/Lohan/Hilton' character.

“Jesus, she’s amazing. It was just so great to play with somebody who could handle anything. That girl has such great comedic timing and great comedic chops. It was really, really wonderful to just go to set and just be able to do anything and know that she will roll with it.

She will not break character no matter what. Nor will she laugh no matter what. I wish I could say the same for me.

She’s really something special. Just kind of a young Goldie Hawn to me, reminds me a bit of that. Just that beautiful girl that’s willing to risk it all and just go for it, really go for it, so I loved Anna Faris. I loved that character, too. That was such a great one.”

Ryan Reynolds’ Inspiration for Fighting With His Onscreen Brother in “Just Friends:” Reynolds has older brothers and says a lot of what’s in the movie comes straight from his experiences with his siblings. “That was totally inspired by our dinner table. Oh my God, my mom is very similar to Julie Haggerty too. She has that demeanor.

…My mom, a sweet Canadian woman, is just like, ‘Oh Ryan, that’s a filthy thing to say. Oh no, that dog’s testicles. That’s embarrassing.’ She’s that archetype so this was so close to home.

So many thing we were developing in this movie were aspects of [reality]. That was my dinner table, man. My brothers and I, we would slap each other so hard or kick each other under the table. If one of us tattled to my parents, you're dead later. But all three of the older brothers would come and just lay it down.

It was terrible.”

Ryan Reynolds on Getting Physical in “Just Friends:” “People got hurt. It was so funny because I’d just come off ‘Blade’ and ‘Amityville’ and I got way more hurt in this movie than I did on either of those.

I separated my shoulder the first day of shooting doing the hockey stuff. I’m really just not a great Canadian. We’re born with these things. Why would you strap steak knives to your feet and try to [skate]. This I never understood. So I separated my shoulder the first day. I’ll never forget the stunt guy who was there responsible for my safety, basically, was there and he wouldn’t put it back in. I was begging him to put my shoulder back in and he was like, ‘Oh god, no. Oh god, no.’ I was like, ‘You’re a stunt guy!’ And he wouldn’t do it.

I think Anna cut her finger damn near off doing something. I don't know what she was doing. But yeah, everybody got a few bumps and bruises. Getting slapped in the face for 35 takes wasn’t particularly joyful - but worth every minute of it. I felt like I was home again. And I can say without any irony, or to-camera winking right now, that I had more fun on this movie than I’ve had on any movie ever.”

Ryan Reynolds on Tackling Another Comedy: Reynolds said he needed to do a comedy after he finished up with the remake of “The Amityville Horror.” “I was definitely looking for something that was light and fun.

I knew I had two, after ‘Just Friends,’ two more serious movies to do. I was excited to just do something where you could let it all hang out and have a blast, and just be with some great comedic actors.”

His Next Projects: Reynolds is currently working on a dramatic movie. “It’s a movie called ‘Smokin’ Aces’ and it’s a director who… It’s his follow up to a movie called ‘Narc,’ which I really love. Joe Carnahan, he’s just a genius. He’s got a real visual sense and also some of the best dialogue I’ve ever heard.”

Reynolds said “Smokin’ Aces” will be similar in tone to “Narc.” “That’s very gritty, yeah. I literally have blood still on my hands from shooting last night that I can’t get off. I’ve had rubbing alcohol up in my little room up there trying to get it off my fingers because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was Kevorkian.

‘We lost the dog on the way in.’”

After he finishes on “Smokin’ Aces,” Reynolds will begin work on “Chaos Theory” co-starring Emily Mortimer as his wife. “I start a movie called ‘Chaos Theory,’ which is a movie by this guy who did another movie called ‘Pretty Persuasion’ named Marcos Siega who’s just so great. I love him. That’s a little more drama but tongue-in-cheek comedy, too. It’s about a guy who has a seven year old daughter and got married very young. His wife thinks he’s cheating on her and moreover thinks that he had a baby with another woman. So he goes and gets a DNA test and finds out that he’s completely sterile and always has been. So he goes to his wife and goes, ‘Who’s the father of our baby?’ He has a bit of a breakdown.”

Sorry Flash Fans, There’s No New News: “No, it’s still being developed. It’s such a big movie that who knows. Who really knows? It depends on so many factors but that thing’s $100 million plus. I’m still talking about it so who knows. We’ll see.”