WonderCon Interviews: Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively Discuss GREEN LANTERN & Share Insight of its Sequel
Published: April 2, 2011 - 12:52am
While making the press rounds at last night's WonderCon Green Lantern event, the stars shared their thoughts on the upcoming film, it's production and the inclusion of certain characters in the sequel.
In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.
Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.
Can you talk about the balance of comedy with the film's serious elements?
Ryan Reynolds: "In terms of the overall film, I would say that Hal is far more aggressive in the movie than he is funny. Once we get in to the middle of that second act, everything is pretty serious. It's just tough, when you're dealing with so much exposition of an origin story, to service an audience with it in a very analytical way. It's sort of dangerous. You have to find a way to make that entertaining and palatable. They did such a great job with doing that and allowing the movie to start in the first act instead of it starting in the third act like it does in a lot of origin stories. That will oftentimes leave an audience unsatisfied. But that's all in there. You feel this guy's rage and purpose halfway through the second act. That's what drew me to the movie to begin with."
How hard is it to weather that? When the Entertainment Weekly cover came out people were very mixed with their reactions to the suit.
"Well, it's twofold. I mean, I'm already two movies away from "Green Lantern," so I forget some of those little things. But I also expect all that. I didn't think that an average audience would know that the suit, in the mythology of the film, is made of energy. It's not made of spandex or luge-wear. So it's a whole different kind of approach that we have to have to it. I always knew it was going to be CGI from the first time I met the entire gang. I think you just have to remind the audience that this is what it is. This is what's actually happening. But part of that is that the audience wants to see themselves in that role. So when you have a suit that's made of energy, it's not something that they can go pick up at Target. It's a different thing. It requires a little bit of time."
How dark is [the tone of the film]?
"It never goes super dark or anything like that. But it has its moments. I would say that it sort of walks that tight-rope in terms of maybe "The Dark Knight" tones and some of the other recent iterations of stories from the comic book world. Tony Stark and those kind of things. It sort of walks that tight-rope somewhere in the middle of those things."
If the film spawns sequels, is there anything specific from the mythology that you'd like to see? Would you want to explore the dark side of Hal, i.e. being possessed by Parallax?
"Yeah, I'm game for that. If we were to do a second film, I know where that's going. But a third, I have no idea. That would be very exciting. I'd love to maybe hand it over to one of the others. Guy Gardner or John Stewart or something.
"I know where we're going with the next film and when people see it [the first one] this summer they'll know too... but the story’s been set in stone already."
Do you know what's going to be happened with "R.I.P.D."? Is that going to be your next project?
"I don't know. I hope so. I always think that you're not really doing a movie until you break for lunch on the fifth day. But it would be fantastic. We're still trying to work it out with cast and crew. We'll see."
Because you're doing less action than Ryan, how much green screen acting did you have to do and how is that a different kind of imagination as an actor than pretending to be any other character in a situation?
Blake Lively: "Well we still had a lot of, most of the stuff that we shot there was a blue screen, couldn't be green or he would just disappear [laugh], just be a floating head. Different movie. A lot of the stuff we did was with the blue screen and that's very different because I'm use to being in scenes and having a good idea what it's gonna look like when the finish product comes out, but to be existing in a world that doesn't even have life until we wrap. You know? You're shooting for six months and then the movie starts is something very different and makes it that much more exciting when you see it. Seeing those ten minutes of footage, I now feel like a fan of the movie whether I was in it or not. 'Ah I can't wait to see this movie' and here dedicated six months of my life to it and I have no idea what it's going to look like and that's really cool because there's an extra energy there. When things are just sitting in the room and man made there's not that sort of life breathing through it in the way you can with CGI. Just like with Ryan's suit, it's comprised of energy and no fabric, no thread, could have conveyed that the way this CGI can, so it's pretty exciting."
Were you aware of the comics before this all came around?
"No, I actually knew nothing about Green Lantern, and I imagined that nobody else in the world knew anything about Green Lantern and as soon as I got the role I was quickly humbled about how naïve I was. Because people just came out of the woodwork, people I would never even imagine, you know? I'm on a set with a bunch of New Yorkers, [these] very serious dudes who don't geek out often, just very tough. Here they were like drilling me about Star Sapphire, and Hector Hammond, and Parallax, and who's gonna be in it. What about the core and which Green Lanterns are gonna show up, and is Bzzd gonna be in there? What are you guys talking about? It's also really exciting that I didn't know anything about because then, you know, my nephews don't know anything about it. To introduce, reintroduce a character to a younger generation you have a lot more freedom and you're not being compared to all the different incarnations that you've seen before like the more stable, more commonly known superheroes. So that's really exciting."
How would you compare Carol and the character and the complexity that she offers to Lois Lane or Mary Jane, these typical females roles in comic book franchises?
"She's very untraditional in the fact that she is head to head with Hal, and the fact that they are always challenging each other was something that was really nice that she's not waiting for him to save her. There are times where he experiences weakness where she has to come in and save him and I think that's a little more like real life. Like I was saying if people, do—where you're missing something you can have a family member, a friend, or a lover fill that and empower you and make you stronger in that area and it's nice to see that in a comic book film because when there's a hero; he's the hero and he saves the world and he saves the he loves but the fact that other people can be heroes too is pretty cool."
What do you think this film would do for your career? With Chris Evans on Captain America he said it was great because it would bring great attention but bad because it would bring great attention, so what do you think this will do for you?
"I don't think there's anything negative that you can say about being apart of a film that has such a strong fan base, people that are so supportive. I mean, just sitting in there and showing those ten minutes of footage and hearing the reaction. I grabbed Ryan and said, 'if that doesn't make you feel good then I don't know what does!' You know? So to do something that brings people happiness and excitement you only feed off of that energy. Hopefully people will like it. I don't think about jobs and how they're gonna effect my career or my path or this, you know? If I connect with a role, with a character, with the story, with the filmmakers that to me is the reward. That to me is the success and if receive it well then terrific and of they don't then at least I had a good time making it. That's how I feel."
Yes, there's a big focus group out there, but what would you say to those that this wouldn't be on their radar. What's so special that they should see it?
"Like I was saying earlier. It's exciting to introduce a superhero to a generation that's not aware of him yet. I'm such a fan of Harry Potter, it's not healthy. [laughs] It's, oh my gosh, it's so not right but when the books were over I thought I may as well end my life and now that the movie are ending I don't know how I'm going to continue on. I sometimes fantasize about the fact like what if there was another J.K. Rowling could create another character like Harry Potter."
Ryan interrupts: "[Annoyed sigh] Harry Potter? Yeah, they need the money!"
"I'm just saying it's that same sort of thing. It's a character that not everybody is aware of and that's exciting and also the fact that it take place... [to Ryan who is standing behind her] You’re making me nervous!
"..on Earth as well as space, it's the world we get to explore is just so much more vast and, I dunno, it's so exciting. Just watch that, that will make you want to see it!"
You keep mentioning Star Sapphire, are you convinced or are you gonna try to push for you to be her in the sequel, if there is one?
"If this movie was successful and we did a few more films I'm pretty confident that Star Sapphire would show up. Just by all-- all the conversations are very guarded and protected, even with us because no body wants to commit to anything, but I can't see Star Sapphire not showing up if we made more films."
Costume too, of course?
"Well, I mean, a little more material would be nice. [laughs] And by “a little” I mean a lot."
Green Lantern, directed by Martin Campbell, stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett. The film is scheduled to hit 2D and 3D theaters June 17th, 2011.