Ryan Reynolds on the Difficulty of Being BURIED
Buried is coming to theaters in limited release this weekend and everywhere (U.S.) on October 8th. In a recent interview, Reynolds talks about, among other things, preparation and the technical difficulties shooting a movie that's primary location is a coffin buried underground.
Buried is about Paul Conroy (Reynolds), a government contracted truck driver, who awakens buried alive six feet underground with nothing but a lighter, a knife and a cell phone. Though he has no recollection as to how he got there, he soon starts to remember what has happened to him as he races to escape his impending death. The movie covers about three hours and was shot on a tight 17 day schedule in chronological order which is typically not the norm for a production. Here are some of the excerpts from Shock Till You Drop:
Were you before or are you now at all claustrophobic and how did you deal with that?
"Ryan Reynolds: Claustrophobia is a primal fear that exists within everybody. This is probably most human being's worst nightmare come true, to be buried alive. I couldn't help but feel that when we were shooting, we were using a coffin. There were very few tricks. The greatest tricks were slight-of-hand engineered by Mr. Rodrigo Cortés. For me I was enclosed in there and had moments of utter panic that were soothed in various ways. One woman was playing all the roles when we were shooting. I had a microphone close to my chest and she could hear my panic attack starting ‘cause she could hear my heart accelerating. There were times when I couldn't get out of the coffin with any ease so I just had to stay in there with 50-60 pounds of wood on your chest pressing down so you start to have moments of panic. She would talk about wide open spaces, meadows, trees, things like that, esoteric stuff that would chill me out and allow me to my job."
This movie touches on so many important issues. Is there one in particular you were drawn to?
"Gosh, there's a lot of issues. For me the movie speaks more about communication and how we feel so safe with that, we feel like we're connected 100% of the time, all the time, and we are, we have Blackberries, mobile phones. There's a hidden enemy, and in this case it's not a terrorist, it's not limited oxygen supply, it's not a coffin, it's bureaucracy. That can kill a person, it's killing Paul Conroy in this film. That to me spoke volumes about the world we live in. "Press one for help in Spanish, press two for help in English." You can't get a human being on the phone any more, even in an emergency."
You have such a diverse resume of films. What do you do differently to prepare for something like Buried as opposed to something like Green Lantern?
"A movie like Buried is so psychological and so terrifying, and it's really a more emotional preparation. A movie like Green Lantern is spending 5 months doing gymnastics, and when you're 6-foot-2 that just shouldn't be done. [laughs] I've been lucky thus far. I have an ability that I've used throughout my career, I'm fortunate to have that, but most of it is dumb luck. I had a career that allowed me to do a number of different things early on, and because of that I never had this meteoric success early on. I wasn't a 19-year-old kid on the cover of every magazine. I was in the industry but I wasn't of the industry. It really allowed me to have an outside perspective and I was able to mature in a normal way like a career should. In my early 30s, where I am now, I'm afforded an opportunity to do a movie like Buried and then a movie like Green Lantern in the same year. I'm going to keep trying to do that as long as they'll let me."