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April 2005
The Amityville Horror: An Interview with Ryan Reynolds

The Amityville Horror: An Interview with Ryan Reynolds

By Wilson Morales

Ryan Reynolds is the most underrated comedian actor in the business. The guy just makes you laugh everytime you are with him. Most folks would never own up to it, but "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" is probably a favorite amongst the DVD collection. Reynolds is also in good shape physically. Most recently seen in "Blade Trinity", Reynolds was the highlight of the film as he added some spark and life into the film, especially when he went bare-chested for a number of women to swoon. His latest film has him focused in another direction of acting. Gone is the comedic side of Reynolds a d here's the dramation. Playing George Lutz in the remake of "The Amityville Horror" puts Reynolds in a different frame, a good one at that. In speaking to blackfilm.com, Reynolds goes over his character and talks about shedding his image to gain new respect in this business.

Are you kind of surprised that you were able to get this movie after Blade, not the standing up - the comic material you did before that?

Ryan: Yeah. Well it was definitely something that was outside of my wheelhouse, or at least currently outside of my wheelhouse, so, um, you know, I think it was - I think, you know, I think that what a lot of people don't realise that producers also, and directors, respond to people who are really passionate about a project as well, so they definitely want to see why, why, why was I so interested in doing this movie as well. So, um, you know, they were, they were - I had to fight for it though, I mean I went and read for it and

Why were you so interested?

Ryan: Um, I loved that - you know, it was the movie had all these supernatural elements to it, but I love the fact that I didn't have to worry about that, that the director could shoot the horror film and I could shoot basically a movie about this guy who's unravelling psychologically speaking. I mean he's, you know, going from point A to point Z, he's just losing his mind throughout the course of this film, so, um, I just - it just was so different, and I really loved the notion of rage with this guy. He had like this ability to burst and explode and not really know when it's going to happen, and I just wanted to play that. It was just - I don't know what it was, it was just a weird compulsion. I just

What do you tap into to play that element, play that rage, this anger?

Ryan: Well, I think, you know, I mean it's everybody is wounded on some level emotionally from childhood or from whatever, you know, a marriage or relation- whatever, I mean. So I think you just sort of look at some of those things, it's those things that we usually typically avoid, you know, and just find that to sort of feed off of; and, you know, it creates unpredictability. I mean, when you do comedy so much it's so you map it out in your head like you would a musical. Like, it's like - it's music, and with something like this it's just I don't know, to me it's just, ah, it's just so much more abstract. So it's fun.

Now you had to go to some pretty dark places in this film. They said you slapped one of the kids and it just kind of came out during the performance.

Ryan: Yeah. Billy, uh, Jessie James, um, he had it comin'. It was actually horrible, I mean, I didn't mean to do it. It's just that's what I mean, because you're unpredictable and you don't know what's gonna happen. It wasn't hard or anything, um, but enough to, you know he looked up like he just won the lottery, I mean, it was just so cool to him

You were possessed.

Ryan: Yes, of course. The Indians did it. You know, I but it was a great, it was one of those great moments. In a perverse way I was sort of excited by the fact that something happened on film that was just totally unplanned and it just came out, and organically enough and not so organically that it actually hurt anyone. And so everyone walked away from it but it was definitely disturbing

You also made the conscious choice not to socialize with the children.

Ryan: No, I didn't ever talk to them. I was just

You were an asshole the whole time, huh?

Ryan: Yeah, I guess. No, I mean, on some level yeah, I mean, I don't want to get attached to the kids, you know, I don't wanna get to know them and love them, I wanna stay as far away from them as possible. It helps me do my job better, so

How did they react to that? I mean, did they understand why you were doing what you were doing?

Ryan: They're little adults though, I mean like anytime you put these child actors it's like, you know, I mean, you know, they're talking about, you know, backend gross on a movie

How familiar were you with the original movie or the book or

Ryan: Well, I'd seen it. Um, you know, I'd seen it. I thought that for its day it certainly I'm sure was very provocative when it was fresh in the minds of all these people, these murders that took place. And, you know, I don't think it aged well. I don't think it stood the test I felt like it was by all means a perfectly worthy remake, you know, it was something - it's a story that was definitely worth re-telling with the technology we have available now, and I mean people there are legions of fans out there of horror- of this genre that, you know, would love to see this story told so I was all for it, you know. The first one, with all due respect to the people that were a part of it, I just I don't think it held to the test of time at all.

Do you have any of your own beliefs in the supernatural or

Ryan: I believe in dark energies, and I think, you know, anytime you enter a house where something that tragic happened I imagine you're gonna experience something dark; and I know that this family did. I mean, what actually happened the details of which are not for me decide, but, uh but, you know, they certainly were only there 28 days and then get the hell out of there for some good reasons, I believe. And, yeah, I mean, it's I definitely harbour some of those feelings, but, uh, you know, I don't, I don't my opinions aren't formed enough on it to really comment. I just believe that there's dark and

How do you keep it straight? How do you melt it down like that?

Ryan: It's just all cards. I have cards all over the place. I mean, I've taken this guy actually in an alphabetically system, A to Z, you know, where am I today. So scene 118 falls in the letter Y or X. You know, that area. So, so, you know. Sort of X, Y it's that kind of that literal.

And did you keep track of the contacts, because your eyes glaze, you know, through the whole thing. They get like just black dots.

Ryan: Yeah They're just yeah, yeah. Well, we had a couple of different contacts, but, uh, we couldn't always get them in. I mean they were literally like transparent dinner plates

Is this the beginning of a new phase of your career now? Are you looking at going beyond

Ryan: I'm going deaf in my next movie actually.

Is the Van Wilder sequel coming out?

Ryan: They're actually doing Van Wilder 2, which is not with me, but Yeah, I don't know. There's always a new phase. I mean it's always, each thing you know while may be imperceptible to an audience member necessarily, but I just for me every movie is something totally different, you know. This year has been more about scope for me. I've just done bigger movies this whole year - more high profile movies than I have

Like what else

Ryan: Well Blade, you know, was kind of a stepping out for me. It was something where Before that I always had one foot in and one foot out and wasn't, you know as afraid of success as I was failure I think, and I just kind of came to grips with a bit of that and, you know, went in - and I hated auditioning before too, I just found it to be such a vulnerable horrible insensitive process and

You still do that?

Ryan: Well, you got to. I mean, you got to fight for roles. I mean, you'd be amazed that Gwyneth Paltrow reads for roles. I mean, you just you gotta go fight for them sometimes, you know. And I went in and I fought for Blade and then that thankfully led to this and then this led to that and it's just you know, and then I did Just Friends, which was another big sort of huge studio type movie.

What's happening with Nightstalkers? Is that actually going to happen?

Ryan: I don't think so. I mean, that was something they just kind of gauged our interest on to spin off Blade and it was just you know, I don't think it's I think people, if they go see a Blade movie they want to see Wesley. They

I agree.

Ryan: You know, that's who they've watched all this way. So, I suggested a new line if they want to spin that off just, just, you know, take the characters and do something totally different with them that is outside of the realm of, you know, vampires or whatever.

Is that something that you want to pursue though?

Ryan: No. I don't want to do a Nightstalkers movie.

And Just Friends, do you plan to take the romantic

Ryan: Just Friends a romantic comedy. It was a fun physical morphing job again too. I mean, I basically wear that same suit from the nutty professor, that kind of like fat suit. It was a lot of fun. And just playing that character was great because in the span of ten years - to the ages from 16 to 27 - throughout the course of the movie, and it was just a blast. Roger Kumble is just - I mean, he's the director of Just Friends - he's just gonna be my lifelong hetero pal. I mean, I love that guy.

Who's your lifelong non-hetero pal then?

Ryan: God Andy Dick. I don't know.

Ryan: Who's my non-hetero pal?

How can there be Van Wilder 2 without you?

Ryan: They I don't know. They're doing it with Kyle Penn I think.

They did come to you

Ryan: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I wasn't that big a prick to work with. I think we did have some fun.

You mentioned that fans were hungry for a remake for Amityville, but of course there's like, you know, people who say, "Oh, it's a horror remake' so they're just gonna shun it without even giving it a second thought.

Ryan: Sure, yeah.

So to those people what would you say, like specific scenes or things that you've done in this movie that you think are a lot better

Ryan: Well, I think we really have to see I mean, I can only really speak for George, and I think you get to watch a man unravel in a fairly linear way, I mean, you know, you see the progression and it's to me that's kind of interesting, you know. Human nature always intrigues me, and I think a lot of, you know, filmgoers, whether they're horror films or any kind of movie so. Hopefully they'll see that, and I think, you know, I think it will. I think it'll have legs in that regard. I think the word of mouth about it will be that it's not just a, you know, not just a shock-jock but there is a formula to horror movies that you've gotta have. I mean, you know, people are disappointed if they're not scared. You know, they wanna jump out of their skin in a movie I think. And, you know, some of the recent horror movies, they don't they're not trying to provoke you in that way and it might be a mistake.

Did you get to meet him or did you even want to?

Ryan: George Lutz?

Meet George.

Ryan: Well, it wasn't a biography so it wasn't on the top of my list and, you know, I guess the most diplomatic way I could say this is that I don't think MGM was overly excited about me meeting him. So, I don't know what that means. I didn't even ask. (Laughter)

Ryan: So, I just said, "All right, that's fine. I don't need to meet George Lutz then".

I guess he had a competing project going on.

Ryan: Maybe, yeah. It might have been something like that, you know.

Is there is either a classic character, another classic film of the 70s or another era that you would like to see remade with you in it?

Ryan: God, I don't think so

What character

Ryan: I mean, I would love to play I would love to play Ignatius J. Reilly someday from Confederacy of Dunces. But I don't know I'd be so scared to get in there because he's such a great character. But, um and that wouldn't be a remake but, uh God, I don't know. Um, from the 70s I really, I really can't think of one in particular that I would really like to see

What else is next for you?

Ryan: I have a movie that I'm going to do with the Rock in the fall called Ride Along where it's sort of in the spirit of Midnight Run. It's like a cognitive therapist whose - I play that - I'm marrying this woman that I love and he this is her brother whose a cop whose very protective of her and lives in another city though and I end up having to go meet him and he takes me on a ride along that I never forget. And, you know, you have this guy who just basically, you know, deals with, you know - he's a cognitive therapist so everything he does is like methodically thought out in a non-violent communication, that sort of thing. You know, basically stuck with a copy whose like his whole life is about reacting with his gut and busting balls when he has to, and you know, you get these two together and it's a little

He's a nice guy the Rock.

Ryan: Oh, he's a great guy.

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