In an interview with Collider, Levy expressed his admiration for Reynolds’ creative process, especially the actor’s self-deprecating sense of humor, which he says enhanced the dialogue of The Adam Project.
The filmmaker described Reynolds as surprisingly detached from his rapid-fire wit. He says that once Reynolds has written his clever quips down, the Deadpool star is prone to forget them. “I remember more than Ryan. Ryan never remembers what he wrote.”
Levy said that Jonathan Tropper’s original screenplay for The Adam Project was already substantial when it arrived, which helped him and Reynolds develop a clear concept of what they wanted to achieve with the film. Levy and Reynolds collaborated to “polish” the script, mainly tweaking the dialogue to reflect their vision.
With much of the conversations between the characters nailed down before shooting began, Levy says Reynolds still found an opportunity to improvise in a scene when he is wearing a tank top.
Ryan has the kid go, ‘So when does all this happen? And does everyone skip leg day in the future?’ It’s literally Ryan acknowledging that his legs are not quite as beefy as his shoulders and the rest of his upper torso that is on camera. I do love that it’s Ryan writing mockery about his own body and shoving it into the mouth of a young boy. And the only other person I’ve ever seen do this at this level was Tina Fey. She’s really good at writing improv dialogue that is making fun of herself.”
The Adam Project is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.