That headline has no doubt piqued your curiosity as to how one of the world’s most popular actors would confirm his involvement in a $200 million action-packed Netflix blockbuster via a semi-nude photo of a small screen comedy legend known from The Golden Girls, which is a perfectly understandable reaction.
Having become part of Dwayne Johnson’s inner circle after helming Central Intelligence and Skyscraper, Red Notice writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber didn’t have to work as hard as many other filmmakers when it came to convincing the highest-paid name in the business to sign on as producer and erstwhile lead of the three-hander.
Much like Johnson, Gal Gadot was won over by Thurber’s pitch, but he thought that Reynolds might take a little more convincing, even though he’s also good buddies with The Rock. Speaking to Deadline, the Dodgeball and We’re the Millers director revealed the incredibly bizarre way the Deadpool star confirmed his involvement in Red Notice.
“So, [for] the role of Nolan Booth, Ryan was my first and only choice: That’s who I want, that’s who I am writing for, and I’m pot committed. So I sent him the script and I crossed my fingers and sent a little note, because we’ve known each other for a little while, which said, ‘Look, I wrote you the best role in this script, even though you’re Canadian, I hope you like it. If you want to do it, you don’t have to call me back, just send me a topless picture of Bea Arthur and I’ll know you’re in.’ The first thing I saw was a text from Ryan with a topless picture of Bea Arthur. So he ended up loving the script, and he brought so much to the role both on the page and on the day.”
Reynolds’ stint as Fox’s Merc with a Mouth showcased his Bea Arthur obsession, after he wore a t-shirt and wielded a katana emblazoned with either her face or initials, so it was a surprisingly fitting way for the 45 year-old to confirm he’d be starring in Red Notice, even if it is a little weird.