This Friday sees the release of the graphic novel adaptation R.I.P.D., starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. Directed by Robert Schwentke, the action/comedy sees the two stars team up as cops from the Rest In Peace Department, an organization comprised of dead police officers whose primary task is to protect Earth from the evil spirits who won’t move into the afterlife.
Exuding the great chemistry that we saw from them on screen in the film, Reynolds and Bridges showed up in New York this weekend to hold a press conference for R.I.P.D., which we were in attendance for. While there, the duo talked about why the film appealed to them, how they prepared physically for the role, how they crafted their characters and more.
Check it out below!
Ryan, you’ve done a number of comic book films. Is there something that appeals to you about the genre? And Jeff, we don’t usually see you in films like this, so what struck you about this one?
Jeff Bridges: I like bizarre movies, and this one fit the bill. You know, ones that are surprising. I love to see movies where the filmmakers are ahead of you and you don’t know what’s gonna happen, and the premise of this one was so bizarre that I thought, “Oh, yeah. This could be interesting.”
Ryan Reynolds: Comic books, I don’t read a lot of them. It’s such a huge part of the industry these days. It’s a legit genre unto itself. It’s the same as most actors will end up in a drama at some point; at some point you’re gonna end up in a comic book movie it seems like these days. I’ve been lucky to be a part of a few of them. But this isn’t really a comic book. It’s a graphic novel, which I read after I read the script. I just thought that the world was really cool, seeing these two lawmen who were of completely different eras and modalities, and how they do things, kind of come together and clash, that’s what I thought was kind of cool.
Based on the R.I.P.D. law that you can’t come back as yourself, if you got to choose, who would your on-Earth version be?
Jeff Bridges: I would come back as Ryan Reynolds.
Ryan Reynolds: Wow. I like that.
Jeff Bridges: You like that, man?
Ryan Reynolds: Yeah, you’d probably make some better decisions than I did. I’d probably come back as, I don’t know, my dog has a very good life. But I don’t know. It’d be cool to see what it’s like to be President for the day, come back as Obama. I don’t know, find out where all the bodies are buried.
Ryan, you seem like a real gentleman, but you still have to fear something on judgment day so what do you think the doorkeeper will say to you?
Ryan Reynolds: Wow. When I was a kid, like a little kid, maybe nine or ten, I was a complete a**hole. I would run around the neighborhood on Halloween throwing firecrackers in peoples’ mailboxes, at their houses, and things like that. We were just these little hell raisers. I’m so terrified that I’m gonna have sons one day that behave this way. I’m sure I have a lot to atone for, if there is in fact a judgment day. It’s gonna be a long list for me. It goes right up until I was about 18 and then I sort of straightened out.
What exactly did you do?
Ryan Reynolds: Well, definitely the firecrackers and that sort of stuff, but when I was 18 years old, I was pretty reckless. I know there’s a statute of limitations, so I don’t really wanna get into it right now. I’m sure that if I said it, it’s beyond the point of being arrested for. But yeah, I have a few choice nuggets that I’m not gonna talk about.
Ryan, as a producer on the film, are you thinking about the box office?
Ryan Reynolds: I think everybody involved in a movie thinks about the box office. It’s the biz part of showbiz. It’s an inevitable part of the deal. But I’m not a producer on the movie. I’m an executive producer. There’s a huge difference. A producer is someone who actually calls the shots. An executive producer is just a guy that eats more food at craft service.
There’s a lot of running around and action in the film. How’d you prepare physically? I also imagine it takes a toll on your body.
Jeff Bridges: Most of the difficult stuff, physically, for me, was being spun around in that car. That was the biggest challenge.
Ryan Reynolds: I think with movies like this, you have to have some degree of toughness. You’re gonna get beat up a little bit, but it’s not as bad as you’d think. I did a film a year and a half, two years ago called Safe House and my neck was killing me after the movie. I went on for about six or seven months until I finally went and got an x-ray. The doctor laughed and said, ‘You broke your neck!’ I was like, ‘What?’ My C5 and 6 were broken! You think you’re an actor and you think the stunt guys do it all, but you get beaten up so now I’m a little bit more, ‘Let’s let the stunt guy do it. I’m good. I’m fine.’
Jeff Bridges: You get carried away when you’re in a movie because you think it’s all pretend.
Ryan Reynolds: Yeah, and you get knocked around a little bit. I think Jeff was doing even more than I was. He was doing a lot.
Jeff Bridges: Well, you had that chair thing that was pretty wild.