Ryan Reynolds Describes Acting in a Box for Buried
Posted 09.09.10 by Ryan
Director Rodrigo Cortés’ upcoming thriller Buried was shot in Barcelona in only 17 days with Ryan Reynolds spending most of the shoot inside a wooden box. In fact, the entire 94 minutes sees Reynolds, who plays a private contractor in Iraq who finds himself buried alive with only his cell phone and a lighter, inside the coffin trying to understand how he ended up in his situation and how he can get out. Reynolds told The LA Times that the movie required him to "do things that as a man we don’t usually show," as a character that he described as "vulnerable and raw." Reynolds says that he still finds the movie difficult to watch.
I spent the days in such a heightened state of anxiety and panic that I don’t remember a lot of it, and it’s hard to watch it now. I’ve seen it twice, and it’s hard to see. It feels a lot like a fever dream. There was points where I’m in there screaming that I’m running out of air, that I’m running out of time, and the crew kept ripping the lid off the coffin. They thought I was really in distress. It happened like three different times. It reached such a fever pitch of panic, they thought it was real. I told them, "If I need help, I’ll yell, ‘Cut!’" It was harrowing for everyone. I didn’t sleep well, and it really stuck with me. You’ll never complain on any movie set ever again after something like that.
Cortés admits that almost everyone attempted to convince him to shoot the movie differently.
From the very beginning, I received every kind of, um, let’s call them kind suggestions, to take the camera beyond the coffin. I was told it would bring some oxygen to the audience if we were to show the surface or to cut out to the other side of the [phone] line, for instance, or if we showed the other characters, like the leader of the hostage-taking group or his wife or the federal authorities. There was talk of doing flashbacks. All of this, I thought, was the perfect way to spoil everything and ruin the film.
Reynolds describes Cortés as "an architect, not a director," and is anxious to work with him again despite the arduous shoot he endured for Buried.
There’s a freedom in the restriction — it becomes a big movie because of those restrictions. You see the size of the story because of that limited space. The limited space magnifies everything. People say, 'Weren’t you worried to do a film this risky?" And I say, "No, why would I be worried?" If it didn’t work, we all get a big pat on the back for trying something different. The main thing was surviving the shoot.
Next Showing: Buried
opens September 24