It’s no seceret that Deadpool was a tough movie to make, but the grueling production ended in enormous payoff. Thanks to the character’s loyal fans, the film ended up becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, and introduced satirical potential into the superhero genre that previous films had been afraid to fully explore. Now, with a Deadpool 2 sequel already in the works, fans are gearing up for another bawdy thriller — and another round of production drama. Despite producers still searching for a director, fans are keeping hope alive that the sequel will be just as faithful to their favorite comics as its predecessor.
And no fan is quite as dedicated to the character as Ryan Reynolds, the on-screen Wade Wilson, himself. Reynolds has been committed to playing (and properly depicting) Deadpool for over a decade, sometimes with disastrous results. From a regrettable cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine all the way to his very own solo film, Reynolds and Wade have been inextricable since the mid aughts. As a result, the actor has quite a lot to divulge about his experience playing and creating the iconically sardonic anti-hero.
In a recent interview with GQ, Reynolds pulled back the curtain on the difficult process behind Deadpool, including his thoughts on Tim Miller’s recent departure from the franchise. The actor explained that, in addition to a lack of studio support, the Deadpool cast and crew had to work through their own differences. Reynolds stated:
Making the movie was very, very difficult. It was the most passionate group of individuals I’ve ever worked with in my life. And for whatever reason, that mercurial crazy burgoo of people is what made this thing work so well, not just because I had this vision and I saw it this way and it had to be this way. It worked because we all had that feeling. But there were vaguely scary fights in the post-production process that escalated quickly. Luckily, everybody’s grown up and at the end of the day enjoys and loves each other.
I know when I need to exert control, and I know when I need to let go of it. I’m not gonna go and sit with Tim Miller and say, ‘The visual effects of Deadpool need to be done this way.’ The man is a visual-effects wizard. But there are character and tone things that I know really well. And I’ve also been with this thing the longest out of anybody, aside from the guys that wrote the comics. Eleven years I’ve been trying to get this Sisyphus rock up the hill, and it kept rolling back on top of me. So I’m gonna be all the fuck over it from the moment it starts to the moment it finishes.
When asked about his reported creative differences with director Tim Miller, Reynolds remained neutral, saying,
All I can really add is that I’m sad to see him off the film. Tim’s brilliant and nobody worked harder on Deadpool than he did.
It’s fascinating to see the actor, who has otherwise enjoyed a fairly tepid career in romantic films and comedy-dramas (Green Lantern aside), speak so passionately about this process. Reynolds even speaks candidly about his battle with 20th Century Fox over Deadpool’s depiction in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, describing the end result as an “abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool,” in which he wished he’d never played a part. Reynolds’s dedication to the franchise has undoubtedly paid off, as evidenced not only by Deadpool‘s financial success, but by the generally positive critical reception of his own performance.
While we may tend to think of actors as merely performers, this revelatory interview from Reynolds shows us that actors can, and often do, play an important role in the development of their favorite projects. After all, Reynolds ad-libbed much of his lines in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and helped co-write the working Deadpool script. It’s dedication to a superhero role that goes above and beyond most performances in the ever-popular modern genre.
Though it’s still worrisome to know how many obstacles are already in place for the nascent Deadpool 2, this interview certainly gives us hope that some of the most passionate, dedicated people are doing their best to get the film off the ground. After all, if we had to wait eleven years for the first Deadpool, what’s another two for the sequel?