My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (2018) s04e04 Episode Script

Ryan Reynolds

[birds chirping]
[breezy jazz music playing]
[breezy jazz music continues]
[woman speaking indistinctly]
Is it the same chairs in every show?
Thought so.
[Letterman] Hi, how are you?
This is a beautiful room.
-[Letterman] Oh Jesus.
-[man] Dave we need to mic you.
[Letterman] I'll do this
without a microphone.
Good call.
[audience cheering]
[theme music playing]
[birds chirping]
-[Letterman] Ryan, how are you?
-[Ryan] Pretty good.
It's nice to see you.
I'm very excited about being here.
I'll tell you my side of the story.
Uh, I knew you, uh, from your film work,
and then, periodically,
you'd be on the show that I used to do.
Yes, sir.
Ladies and gentleman,
here's Ryan Reynolds, everybody.
[audience cheering and applauding]
[Ryan] I loved being on the show.
-I hated the lead-up to the show.
-[Letterman] Right.
[Ryan] I'd always stand
behind that curtain
and think I'm either gonna throw up,
or I'm just going to pass away,
but on camera.
Drop dead on camera.
That would've been fantastic.
Huge ratings, but, um
-"Sad news out of mid-town today."
-Yeah. Oof.
"Ryan Reynolds, uh"
[laughing] Expired.
"Overcome by anxiety doing a talk show."
Blood-filled meat suit
expired on David Letterman.
Wait. What was that?
A blood-filled meat suit.
That's what I've got going on.
I'm doing a movie with Will Ferrell,
but he and I had the same thing
with the Letterman show.
We'd go on,
and we'd be standing backstage
thinking we're gonna die.
And then, that curtain opens.
Yeah, it's so hard to believe,
but you suffer anxiety.
Yes, sir.
The only reason I do believe this
is I suffer my own form of anxiety.
-[Letterman] And it's different than,
"I just feel a little nervous."
If you let it take you,
you're going to a deep, dark place.
Yes. I'm less anxious when it's happening.
-It's much more of an anticipatory thing.
-[Letterman] Yeah.
Like, you know, for instance,
I used to do your show,
and, you know, this idiot takes over,
and has some jokes
and can kind of roll with things.
And that guy keeps you safe.
That self-effacing humor sort of saved me.
And I think it's a great target,
you know, in my work.
I find that if I can laugh at myself
and not someone else,
-then I like that kind of laugh.
Enjoy that kind of laugh.
Doesn't always work,
but when it does, it feels pretty good.
-[Letterman] You married Blake Lively.
-[Ryan] Yes.
[Letterman] Now you have three daughters,
uh, seven, five, and two.
[Ryan] Yeah, seven, five, and two.
There's gonna be a test to see
how much of what I know is actually true.
-You're born in Canada.
Yes, sir. Born in Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada.
-Beautiful part of a beautiful country.
-Gorgeous place to grow up.
Gorgeous place to visit.
[gentle acoustic music playing]
As a kid, I always looked at America
as this big,
you know, shiny pair of pants down south.
-You know?
And Canada was this little hat.
Whenever I go to Canada, uh,
people are so silly nice to me.
-That it
-Yeah, they are.
I think, "Wait a minute."
Because in New York City, you tend
to be on the defense all the time.
But in Canada,
people couldn't be happier to see me,
which, especially in my own home,
is unusual.
-I can imagine that would be off-putting.
[gentle acoustic music continues]
We're freakishly handsome, the two of us,
but we also have in common, uh,
the, uh, retail grocery business.
-Oh, really?
-Yeah, and I worked at Atlas Supermarket.
-And it was nothing but goofballs.
-Me, you.
-[Ryan] Yeah.
-[Letterman] You worked at the Safeway.
-Safeway, yeah.
How did you get a gig like that?
You got to know somebody
to get in at Safeway.
-To get those golden handcuffs on.
Ah, so, yeah, we got in there.
And mostly, it was four hours of really
hard work over the course of the night,
and then four hours
of, like, exotic fruit fights.
-You know, I mean
I could whip a dragon fruit
all the way down aisle nine
and hit Steve Pearson right in the noggin.
[lively acoustic music playing]
[Letterman] You're the youngest
of four boys in your family,
[Ryan] Mm-hmm.
[Letterman] And as a defense mechanism
in that group,
there was a lot of rough and tumble
-and insults and, uh
-[Ryan] God.
-broken bones and stitches.
And your father was a cop, is that right?
He started as a cop
and then moved to another line of work,
at a food brokerage company.
[Letterman] So your dad
was tough around the house?
[Ryan] He was present,
he worked really hard, um, was very tough.
Very, very tough on us. I don't want
to paint my father as a monster
because as I've gotten older,
I realize those are stories
that I tell myself
-to justify different moments in my life.
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm. Right.
You know, I get how challenging it was
for him to raise four boys in a
you know, on a single income.
You know, we didn't have much.
We would wreck the house, we would do
-I see both sides of it, I think.
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
As I've grown-up,
and I have my own kids now,
I see things a little bit differently.
Your father, no longer with us.
No, he died about five years ago.
Six years ago.
Yeah, six years ago now.
Uh, tell me about your mom.
Uh, old Tam-Tam. She is
-Yeah, Tammy Reynolds.
She's, uh, just a great ball
of human compassion
and empathy and kindness
and just a brilliant woman.
But there were four boys,
so there was a lot to do.
My dad would work,
my mom would stay home and raise us.
But she was also always finding ways
to better herself and learn more and grow.
She went to school most of her life.
She's still going to school.
She's learning, as we speak, the ukulele.
You know, and she's 76 years old now, so
Okay, so, uh, let's run
through the brothers, oldest to you.
-There's Patrick, my oldest brother.
-[Letterman] What does he do?
He's a schoolteacher.
My next oldest brother is Terry,
he works for the RCMP.
He's a police officer.
RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police?
-So he's a Mountie?
-Yeah, he's a Mountie.
-That's pretty cool.
He's great. I have
another brother named Jeff,
who, uh, is closest in age to me,
about two years older.
All the shenanigans I got up to as a kid,
usually he was my accomplice in those.
Lots of horrifying things,
as young boys do as kids.
And then, um
Yeah, then there's me.
What kind of horrifying things?
I mean, was anybody ever arrested?
That's where I start.
Well, yeah.
Yes, there were some arrests, I think.
There was two, actually.
They weren't serious,
it was more like timeouts.
Is that the way they do it in Canada?
Yeah, 'cause it was mostly fighting.
We'd get out on that lawn,
and it'd just be a good,
old-fashioned, bare-knuckles brawl.
[sentimental music playing]
You would describe your upbringing
as happy as a child?
Yeah, I would I would I guess so.
I mean, there were times of real darkness,
but I found those slivers of light.
-My brothers did too. We had each other.
I remember,
even in our rebellious moments
I wanted to get an earring as a kid.
I thought that would be a good idea,
a cool thing to do.
I was about 12 years old.
What was your interest
in getting an earring?
I don't know. Wham! was big.
Uh [laughs] I don't know.
Why does any kid, you know?
My brothers said, "You're gonna die.
You'll show up at dinner tonight"
-"There'll be a messy stabbing death."
"Dad will take one of the utensils
and stab you."
I went off
with one of my friends and his mom.
We went to Sears or wherever you go.
She signed the consent form,
I got an earring, I came home,
and I remember my face
being so flush with blood and heat,
thinking about this impending disaster
that was about to happen.
And also really rooting and sitting
in that rebellion of the moment too,
like, "I'm doing something for me.
I'm standing up to this."
And I get to the dinner table,
and I remember sweat
was quite literally dripping down my
um, onto my lap, and I'm looking down,
and I can feel his gaze kind of hit me.
He mutters some swear word
under his breath or something,
like "You fucks."
-Something like that. And I look up.
And I look around,
and I see that all three of my brothers
had gotten an earring
to to sort of save me.
Oh my God.
It's one of the most beautiful things
I've seen.
Oh my God, that's tremendous.
Yeah. And I remember looking around,
and my mom just, you know
[chuckles] looking like
she was about to faint.
My brothers were really trying
to protect me in this moment.
That's just remarkable.
[bright piano music playing]
[birds chirping]
-[Letterman] This is above and beyond.
-I think it is above and beyond.
No, I mean, my goodness!
Uh, I hope you're expecting
actual company.
Well, there is a film crew here.
We're not hiding that.
-You'll feed the crew?
-I think they'll eat it.
Blake, full disclosure,
really showed me how to do all this.
-[Letterman] Who runs the show here?
-[Ryan] Blake runs the show.
I would kind of really phone things in
if it wasn't for her.
Now, let's just say,
and I know this has happened,
she would say, uh, "I think I'm gonna go
visit my family for a couple of weeks."
-[Ryan] Mm-hmm.
-You have some time.
Would anxiety set in then?
I would, first off,
never let her go visit her family.
-I think that's illegal.
No, yeah, that is illegal.
That's kidnapping.
Oh, if I was just with the girls,
I think I would find it
pretty exciting at first,
and then there would be
with three girls.
So that division of labor's
very important.
Generally, when I'm shooting a movie,
we all go together.
When she's shooting,
we all go together and I watch the kids.
That's great.
And I'll tell you why this comes up,
And it may be because,
uh, I just have the one child.
But for all things important,
right to mother, right to his mom.
And in most cases, that's fine,
'cause I don't know
anything about trigonometry.
You may be saying to yourself, "I bet
Dave's really good with trigonometry."
-The beard sells it.
I had a cab driver yesterday
tell me that this, the beard,
made me look elegant.
-It does, though.
But again, freakishly.
Blake said that that beard, you grew it
so nobody would ask you to do anything.
That's right.
-It sends a message, "Don't ask me."
-"Leave me alone."
Do you know what you're doing?
You're just playing around with something.
I'm trying to stretch
the dough out a little.
It's not gonna look pretty,
but it's gonna taste pretty damn good.
I feel confident.
If we weren't here with a video crew,
would you be doing any of this?
-Absolutely not, no.
-That's what I thought.
-Would I be here? Absolutely not.
-[Ryan] You wouldn't be here either.
The last time Blake was with me
on the show I did,
were you guys married? Not married?
I don't think we were.
But you met on, I'm just gonna
mis-name it, The Green Hornet.
People will say, "That dumbass
doesn't know the name of the movie."
-The Green Lantern. You met on that.
-We met on The Green Lantern.
Probably maybe a year later, we were
on a double date, but not with each other.
-I said you should marry this other guy.
-Oh, nice going. Nice going, Einstein.
"He seems great."
Which works just fine, actually.
When she used to be on the program,
I got her in trouble.
No, I don't blame you.
Should I mention it again?
She ended up in Disney jail.
[Letterman laughs]
She misbehaves,
she roughs up a costumed character.
What happened?
Her brother got her into some hot water,
which happened quite a bit
when they were young.
They ended up in Disney jail,
the bowels of Disneyland.
And she ended up sort of
in Disney jail in perpetuity
-after talking about it on your show.
-[Letterman laughs]
-[Letterman] A lifer.
-She loves Disney! She's a lifer now.
-Does her own tattoos. She just
You and some kids sneaked into Disneyland.
My brother thought it was a good idea
for us to go to Disneyland.
So he put hairspray on the stamps
of somebody that came out,
and you put your hand together,
and then you go through the turnstile.
We went through,
and these guys in normal outfits said,
"Come with us." We went to Disney jail.
What is it like? Is it subterranean?
-It is. It's, um [laughs]
-[audience laughing]
I think we took a ship to get there.
It's underground, a submarine.
Do costumed characters beat you?
-[audience laughing]
No, that's at Six Flags.
[all laughing]
Your father, did he live long enough
to enjoy your success?
Yeah, he kind of
You know, he really was disappointed
by me moving to Los Angeles.
I was out of the house pretty early.
I was moving in with my brother at 17.
Um, he really wanted me to go
to university, and I tried.
I went for, I'm not making it up,
45 minutes.
Do you regret
never having spent more time there?
-I don't think so.
I moved to Los Angeles, which was
as much of a pants-shitting endeavor
as one could imagine at 18 years old.
I went to join the Groundlings.
How did you know
about the Groundlings from Canada?
I was in an improv group in Vancouver.
And your brothers,
envious, supportive, happy?
Your mother, happy?
-I didn't tell anyone.
-[Letterman] Didn't tell anybody.
Just went to work one day
and ended up in Pasadena.
It coincided with my first day of college.
-[Ryan] I walked in
-This is great.
-kind of looked around and said, "Nope!"
And I went back, got in my old Jeep YJ,
and, uh, drove across the border,
said I was getting gas
in Blaine, Washington.
Drove across the border
and, uh, all the way down to Los Angeles.
Moved to
Got outside the Highland Gardens Hotel
and got my bags out of my Jeep.
Went inside, came back out.
My Jeep was gone already.
Like, "Welcome to Los Angeles."
-That's great.
-Found it two blocks away.
They stole my doors.
-The doors, yeah.
-Just stole the doors.
-Car still worked.
-That's where your money is.
I drove that thing around for
Did your dad file a missing persons report
or call around or
That's the thing, there were four boys,
so one could easily vanish
and just become emergency
harvestable organs for someone else.
It's more than fine. We got three more.
No, inventory. We got plenty more.
-Yeah, exactly.
-[Letterman] Wow.
Now on this drive down
to, uh, Los Angeles,
is the anxiety,
uh, creeping into the Jeep?
Yeah. I mean, at that point,
the doors were closed still,
so I could be alone with my thoughts
all the livelong day.
Um, and yeah. I also always thought
I could still go to college.
Like, I could still
If this all, you know, ignites
in a glorious flame of failure,
I can still drive
my doorless Jeep back to Vancouver.
You thought, "I can reverse this."
Yeah, having a plan B
was always a good thing.
If you spend any time on Instagram
or any of these other social media,
there's a lot of, like, "People who are
a success don't have a plan B."
Like, "They have a plan A
and they go hard."
These masochistic
Like, "No, I have a plan X."
You had a Was it a soap opera,
or a situation comedy in Canada?
Briefly, I was on a show called Hillside,
which was like a
yeah, like, a bad teen soap.
-But for me, it was amazing.
Are you okay?
Yeah, sure.
[Ryan] You know, it paid me
about 250 bucks a week.
Which at the time,
was more than my paper route.
-You had a paper route?
-Yeah, for years.
-[Letterman] So did I.
-You did?
Wait a minute.
We both worked at grocery stores,
we both had paper routes,
and we're both freakishly handsome.
Freakishly handsome.
And we both kind of ended up in comedy.
-You more so than me, maybe.
-[laughing] No, you more so than me.
-I'm not funny in person.
-[Letterman] I'm still waiting in line.
I think I'm better at it
when I'm really put on the spot.
That's That's all you need to do.
-I guess so.
-Do it when you're on the spot.
So you're doing the Canadian thing.
And then, you did, uh
The X-Files comes up, is that right?
The X-Files came up,
and that's what gave me
enough money to move to Los Angeles.
He was like a brother or something.
And we had some good times.
And reinforcement that,
"Maybe I can actually go south
of the 49th parallel and try this."
Yeah. I remember one of the guys
from X-Files said,
"Don't go to Los Angeles."
-[Ryan] "You'll never make it. Stay here."
Who was that person?
[laughs] Well, he was one of the producers
and directors of the show.
What kind of a jerk says that?
I don't think You know,
it's easy to leap on him as a jerk.
-I think it's also
-It's fun.
He was also looking
at a growing industry in Vancouver
and Canada, and saying,
"You can really do well here."
"No need to go there
and get chewed up like so many people do."
And I
My first year or two in Los Angeles,
I got to see
some of the worst in humanity on sets.
I did a guest-starring role on a sitcom
where the lead actor
would not rehearse with me.
What was the show?
I'd be giving everything away
if I said that.
Just hint around it. Give us a phony name.
No, I'm not gonna
This idiot here is gonna rhyme it
with the real name.
Um, so, I remember marking
at that young age,
thinking, "Okay, this is
If I'm ever in this position,
-this is not how you do it."
You had buddies,
friends that you left in Vancouver.
-Do you establish a group of buddies,
men and women that are friends,
when you get to Los Angeles?
Yeah, I made some friends, thankfully,
you know, um
Uh, met a few nice people.
Jason Bateman being one of them.
He was the first person there
who was really kind,
like, just with nothing in it for himself.
He swears he was high as hell.
-[Ryan] But I know that to be kindness.
-He's very funny.
-[Ryan] Yeah.
I was at this management company,
looking for representation.
I knew I couldn't stay in LA much longer
without money. I needed a job.
An unfortunate thing
if you don't have citizenship
is that I can't just guest-star
on a TV show and make ends meet.
I need to star in something that's worthy
of granting an O-1 visa to stay, so
And as I understand it,
roughly, the deal is,
"We can get an American to do this.
There's nothing about"
"There's nothing unique
about having a Canadian do this."
-Is that what it is?
The O-1 visa has a fantastic title.
It's "an alien of extraordinary ability."
[laughing] Which was just, like
Right? I mean, "Dad!"
-You made that movie, didn't you?
-[Ryan] Yes, exactly.
I ended up getting an agent
because I couldn't afford to stay.
So I lied to this agent,
said, "Send me on five auditions.
I swear to God Sitcoms."
"If you send me on a sitcom,
I'll get one."
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
-And I actually got one.
-Three Men and a Pizza?
-Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place.
-Three Men and a Baby is also there.
-[Letterman] Close enough.
[Ryan] No, it's fine.
You're a lot of things, but people person?
It goes the Unabomber, then you.
[audience laughing]
I never correct anyone
when they get the name wrong.
-Until now. I apologize. Um
[jazz music playing]
[Letterman] I want to know
about the football club in Wales.
My friend Rob McElhenney,
he called me about potentially buying
a fifth-tier Welsh football club.
-Is this one of those Ted Lasso things?
-It feels a little bit like that.
The team, uh, was in a bit of disrepair,
as was the town, had fallen on hard times.
One of the oldest working-class towns
in Wales, called Wrexham.
The club plays at the Racecourse Ground,
which is the oldest football stadium
on Earth.
The club itself is
the third-oldest football club.
-That's great.
-[Ryan] It's got a real history.
It's got something really special,
and it's become this thing that we've
both Rob and I and the team around us
has become obsessed with.
Um, uh, they will kill me
if I ever say "soccer," though.
-[Ryan] Yeah, that
Has the word "footy" come up?
A little, yeah.
-I know. "Footy" sounds like a fungus.
-[Ryan] But yeah, that has come up. Uh
[Letterman] You have an adult sheep
in the kitchen.
[Ryan] You, don't even think about it.
Hey, beat it.
-Or we'll shear you
and make lovely sweaters.
I did I did shear her once, and
-She will never forgive me for that.
-Beautiful. That dog's name is?
-[Ryan] This is Boots.
We don't get to name
any of the animals here.
-My kids do.
-Hi, Boots.
-Easy with the exploring.
-Over there. Beat it.
-Not that I mind.
-She's vaccinated, but for rabies, so
You know.
You have the Wales football team.
-[Ryan] Yeah.
-You have Mint Mobile.
Yeah, Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile,
a Welsh football team.
But the gin of it all, what is that deal?
I wanted to gift someone some Aviation
'cause I really liked it.
And couldn't find it anywhere.
It was a small company in Portland.
I managed to contact
the people that own it,
and said, "I'd love to see
if I could buy a small interest in this."
-They allowed me to buy
more than a small interest.
-And we've been growing it ever since.
-Here we go.
Historically made of juniper berries.
-Is that still the case?
Aviation would be very light
on that, though.
It's slightly milder, smoother.
It's more, like, of a drinkable gin than
than say, you know
Is it like Mountain Dew?
-[laughing] No. No, it's not.
-It's not?
-[Ryan] Should we get these in the oven?
-I'm gonna eat mine raw.
-Good. That would be utterly impressive.
[jazz bass melody playing]
-[Ryan] You're gonna have to help me now.
-I scoop it up?
-Yeah. Do that.
-Powder it up, flour.
Help you here. You're gonna want
to just get in aggressive there.
There you go.
Wait, wait. There we go, perfect.
That is ready to go.
But this must drive the girls cra
They must love this.
They love this. They love carrying it.
-Do they ever drop any en route, the kids?
-Oh, God, yeah.
-We got 50-50.
-That's why Boots is here.
Boots is the miracle vacuum cleaner.
She's wonderful.
-[Letterman] And where?
-[Ryan] There you go.
You've done this before!
This is the kind of thing
that, um, it didn't work in my family,
it didn't exist in my family
when I was a kid.
This is the kind of thing that the kids,
your daughters, it will keep them close.
-Kids love rituals like we love rituals.
We love the act
of knowing something's coming,
and the anticipation that comes with that,
and then doing it.
-I think they love that.
One day, they'll want nothing to do
with me and my pizza oven.
Mr. Hollywood and his pizza oven.
That's what I'm trying to say.
You, sir, have an annuity here.
Whether they want
anything to do with you or not,
I can't help 'em with that,
but the pizza oven,
they're gonna still be lined up.
That's the hope. You hope they'll want
to stay for decades past the due date.
[Ryan] What do you think of that?
That looks great,
except for the charred part.
[Ryan] That's the best part.
Whoa! How hot is that?
[Ryan] Seven hundred degrees.
It's been on all day.
How many fire trucks
does it take to extinguish it?
[fire crackling]
I watched Deadpool and Deadpool 2.
It's self-referential,
uh, and it's snarky.
-And it's breaking the fourth wall.
-A little bit. Yeah.
And it satisfies, uh, the criteria
of why those movies are successful.
-That's all there too, but beyond.
-[Ryan] Yeah.
It's like, "Oh, you haven't seen
the rest of the buffet."
You know, "Here are the hot dishes.
Wait till you get to the desserts."
-[Ryan] Yeah.
-It's like the Golden Corral.
-I've lost this altogether. [laughs]
-[laughing] I think we're two steps
from the Golden Corral at this point.
-We're We're We're entering a Denny's.
Oh, hello! I know, right?
Whose balls did I have to fondle
to get my very own movie?
When we see you in the suit,
is it you or somebody else?
It's me. Unless someone's doing, you know,
a triple-backflip in pike position
-off of a building, it's me.
Also, because the character's
not really super macho,
-I wasn't trying to put him into this
-You're selling yourself a little short.
-You're selling yourself a little short.
It's like, when I land on the ground,
I always like to sort of sashay away,
as opposed to intermittently clenching
my jaw muscles,
squinting, and looking
for the next, you know.
I love this about Tom Cruise movies.
There'd always be
two or three scenes in profile
where you saw him flexing his jaw muscles.
I would try in the mirror, and I thought,
"I don't think I have jaw muscles."
I couldn't get them to flex. But if
I thought here, "This guy is so smart."
"They just put a kid in the suit,
and he voices it over later
at an audio booth."
-But that was actually you in the suit?
-That is me.
But there is some of what you're saying.
I sat in an edit room for months
with a microphone
and I would re-voice moments or jokes
or things that just had cultural relevance
six months later
-than it did when I was shooting.
[Ryan] I was mostly just proud of it,
you know?
You know, I think it was a time in my life
when I wanted more authorship
of my destiny. I was, you know
Before that,
I was like a lunch-pail actor.
But this was a moment where I thought,
"I want to take some ownership of this."
Which is scary
because if it fails, it's on me,
and if it succeeds, it's on me,
so it's a double-edged sword.
This was something nobody had done before,
which was a self-aware,
you know, kind of
you know, not necessarily macho superhero
who's wearing, you know,
a head-to-toe red body condom
-made of old pastrami.
-So it's a very
-[laughs] "Old pastrami."
There's a movie!
-Individually-wrapped toffees, um
is what most of the suit's
Everything about that was so budget.
I mean, we really had very little money.
It was a $58 million budget
to get this thing to look like,
or compete with
Now, $58 million, um,
put this in the category,
that's inexpensive
for one of these movies or
That is the cocaine budget on Thor.
Okay. I have no idea what that means.
-They do a lot of cocaine.
No, it's about
It's nothing for a comic book movie.
The movie makes
multiple billions of dollars.
A lot of money.
Yeah. Did you know that this was
a multibillion-dollar effort?
No, no. I thought I could play
that character very well
and thought people would like,
would find that character.
I didn't imagine, you know
I mean, it was also, like, uh
That was the moment
right before my dad passed away.
I remember telling him, "I did really well
on this thing, and it was amazing."
It was towards the end of his days,
and he just muttered, "Wear a condom."
Well, that's, "Thank you, Dad."
That's kind universal,
-across-the-horizon good advice.
-"Right now, or?
-Like, or I actually have a child, Dad."
-Oh, Dad. God bless him.
-You know. Yeah.
[breezy jazz music playing]
[Letterman] I've seen
most of your recent film work.
And, uh, Van Wilder and Dick
and, uh, other early efforts.
Dick, wow. Yeah, that's old.
First movie with Will Ferrell.
Oh, Will Ferrell is tremendous.
Dan Hedaya playing Nixon.
How did he prepare for that part?
[Ryan] He would prepare
Before every take,
from what I remember,
I would see Hedaya, you know, bear down,
-and go, "Cocksuckers!"
And then he would step on
and he would become Richard Nixon.
-I don't know what that was.
-That's what I did before every show.
-[Ryan] It worked, right?
-Yeah, it was
-Okay, so, uh
When you were a kid,
both in Canada and in the United States,
who, uh, that did work in TV shows
and in film
did you admire?
-Did you think, "Oh, I mean"
-Oh. There's a lot.
Because in every art form,
you imitate something you admire,
then it grows into your own.
So who were those people?
On Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place,
I worked with Dick Martin.
And he played my grandfather on the show,
and I really got
-He taught me so much about everything.
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
I fell down
all those Jack Benny rabbit holes.
You know, if you see the Deadpool movies,
there's always a Jack Benny
reference in there.
"The cheapest man alive."
I don't think anyone under 70 gets it.
The, "Your money or your life!"
"I'm thinking it over."
In Deadpool one,
there's, like, a real reference to it.
In Deadpool 2, you hear Jack Benny
doing it in the background.
-Oh, is that right?
Speaking of, I think I was watching
I mean, I know I was watching Safe House,
and I believe there was kind of a nod
to Steve McQueen in that movie.
[Letterman] This was you
sitting in an airless room,
throwing a tennis ball against the wall.
-[Ryan] Yeah. There's this scene from
-The Great Escape. That's it.
He's whipping the tennis ball.
It's a little nod.
-[Letterman] It's a Well, good.
-[Ryan] Yeah.
I love old movies.
I mean, Turner Classic Movies
is kind of my
-It's fun.
-anti-anxiety medication.
I just leave it on,
sometimes don't even have the volume.
I just kind of love the feeling
of an old movie.
But growing up, uh,
I had a real obsession,
quite genuine, with John Candy.
And I still do.
Uh, Steve Martin, you know,
a lot of the guys that came out of SNL.
If I'm flummoxed in a scene
or I can't figure out a way in,
I will just copy them.
That sort of Neil Page,
Trains, Planes and Automobiles,
kind of aggressively unimpressed,
kind of over-it character.
I just love that. I can never get enough.
And then John Candy is just
John Candy, I also loved.
I, uh, carry him with me
in everything I do. I mean, there's
-Also a Canadian, right?
-Also Canadian.
There's a book he's reading
in Planes, Trains and Automobiles
called The Canadian Mounted.
-[Letterman laughing]
-And it's supposed to be this nonfiction,
-sort of soft, uh, porn, basically.
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
-Like one of those sorts of trash
-[Letterman] Yeah.
Way sub-Danielle Steel.
Like, we're talking nasty. He reads it
in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
And I have that book.
Not the exact one he's holding,
but I had it remade for Deadpool.
-I'm carrying it under my arm
-That's great.
in a number of scenes.
I don't think it's ever
actually seen on camera,
but it's just those little things that
You try to never forget those people
-that have helped grow you where you are.
-[Letterman] That's nice.
In a row, uh, I watched Mississ
No, I watched Buried.
-Oh my God, wow.
-I watched I watched Mississippi Grind.
And I watched Safe House.
Are you okay?
-[Letterman] Oh, man! Uh
If, uh, there was still a TV Guide
that gave you a synopsis
of what Buried is,
you might just keep turning.
Yeah, that's a
Uh, I got in,
and I just thought, "Holy shit."
-[Ryan] Yeah.
-"This is This is impossible."
This one, of all the ones I've done,
I would say was actually really tough.
Wow, it was a revelation to me.
Unique in that you don't see
movies much like that.
The old buried-in-a-coffin film.
Please help, I'm scared.
-[woman] You're in a coffin?
[Ryan] Almost everything you see
in the movie was one take,
with the exception of a couple of, um,
uh, moments where I passed out.
Uh, the thing I wasn't ready for,
realized when I was shooting,
when you're out of breath
and you're not moving
to accommodate the increased oxygen
in your blood, you pass out.
There's one sequence in the movie
where I had a paper bag.
And I would breathe into this paper bag
as much as possible before the take.
And then, when I came to,
somewhere in the middle of the take,
I would grab it, breathe,
we'd wait for a beat and then keep going.
Did Amnesty International know
about these conditions?
[laughs] I don't think so.
-That's crazy!
Here's what I don't get. Did you
I don't know anything about acting.
I can act and it's, "Oh, it's no good."
-So I know that.
And then I know high-quality acting
is when you forget that you're watching
a guy act, or a woman act.
But how did you
I mean, what, in your history on film,
said to you, "I can be the guy
in the coffin for 90 minutes"?
Mm. I guess
And your only prop
is a cell phone and a Zippo.
Yeah. I love Hitchcock, I love Rope.
-I love these kinds Lifeboat.
-Rope, sure.
I love these movies
that, like, place unnecessary constraints
on the filmmakers, you know?
So I thought
it felt a little bit like that,
and at the time,
it was a purely shallow decision.
"I'm gonna go be in a Hitchcock movie."
Well, I'm telling you, that made me sit up
and take a different view of you.
I just knew you as the kid
that would come on the talk show.
And by the way, if you didn't get
a huge check from the Zippo people
-Right! Right.
-something is wrong, my friend.
I can't believe I have fingers still.
That thing was hot.
[Letterman] And I watched Safe House.
And I was taken
by two things in this movie.
-One, there you are
-[Ryan] Yeah.
uh, acting head-to-head seamlessly
with Denzel Washington.
They gave you the keys.
Do your duty, son.
Shut up.
Let me think.
I'm sorry to be gushing like a dope
-uh, but, uh
I was very impressed,
very taken by that
by your position in that film.
Well, I did, uh,
on our second day of shooting,
um, smash him in the face
so hard with my head
in an out-of-control car where we
There's a scene
where he crawls through the trunk.
[Letterman] Kicks his way through. Yeah.
[Ryan] We were really driving a car
at top speed.
-[Letterman] Actually in South Africa?
-[Ryan] Yeah, in Cape Town.
He and I are in this out-of-control car,
and my corner of my head,
I felt it hit his eye so hard.
I was sure that it split wide open.
And we stopped the car,
-and there he is with this giant egg.
-[Letterman] Yikes.
And I'm thinking I'm going to be sent home
via crematorium.
Like, "It's over right now. This is it."
Not only my career,
but my actual pulse will cease.
And, uh
And he was fine.
He was like, "Hey, accidents happen.
Let's do it again."
"We'll shoot from the other side
so we don't see this. It'll be great."
We did it again.
I got the other eye, Dave.
Costly delay in production.
For a minute, he looked
like a Christmas ornament.
Uh, and I was, uh Yeah, I wanted to die.
So, I don't know. I don't know
how to reconcile the Deadpool you
and the you of these other movies
that I have seen.
I've found that there's an element of
I've had this conversation
with other actors and filmmakers,
but there's an element in this world
of staying in your lane,
stretching within your lane.
I don't know that Mississippi Grind
or Buried is my lane.
I think the movies are amazing,
the movies turned out really well.
When people see them,
they quite like them,
but people, really, generally don't go
to see me in those kinds of roles.
So it's always a bit of a,
"How do I stretch,
but stretch in a way that, you know,
is still kind of in my lane?"
What have you turned down?
Is there a challenge,
and again, this is
an Entertainment Tonight question,
is there a film challenge
that you wouldn't take?
Uh, it was a musical,
but I'm doing one now with Will Ferrell.
-Oh. [laughs]
Well, then, it's a musical.
-[Ryan] Yes, right?
-That's all I need to know.
-Now, we hear the music.
Um, which has been, uh,
an incredible bonding experience
for Will and I.
And I'm working
actively working with one of my heroes.
It's odd to work with him.
I'll be doing a scene
where I'll stop myself
in the middle of the scene,
and say, "I'm doing you to you."
You said you've done 50 movies.
Of the 50, which do you
Which do you, uh
Which are you most impressed by?
Which did you enjoy most making?
I enjoyed, uh, Free Guy, uh, immensely
because it was kind of a reaction
to the times.
The world has felt pretty chaotic
and it felt like a response of just joy.
[Ryan] I'm very proud of that.
I'm proud of the movies I produced,
being Deadpool one, Deadpool 2, Free Guy.
The Adam Project is my favorite movie
which has yet to come out.
What is that?
Well, The Adam Project is very personal.
It's about a man
who's able to actually go back in time
and meet his father
when they're the same age.
[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
It's a lot of the things
I've been exploring about my own father,
which is, you know,
"Was he who I think he is,
or did I tell myself that story to make
everything else in my life make sense,
my own inadequacies make sense?"
It's fascinating. As you describe this,
I realize I didn't know my father,
except as somebody
who had to work six days a week.
We weren't poor,
but it wasn't a lavish upbringing.
But I don't know that I knew him.
-I feel the same way.
And I think that's something
we tackle in the movie
that is very personal to me,
which is that the reason I think I,
and I use cartoon quotes for this,
"hated my father" after he died
was because I was mad at him
because he died.
[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
I didn't get those opportunities
to get to know him,
'cause I never really, like you, just
I didn't know the man.
He was always kind of
He had a quip or a
So he was funny as well?
He was funny, but he was inaccessible.
I genuinely
I always longed for a moment,
maybe a lot of people
feel this about their parents,
a moment of like, "Hey, how you doing?
When I was a kid, this is how I felt."
He'll tell me about things he did,
never about how he felt.
It's the "felt" part
that gives you context, that you don't
Yeah, that's right.
It was like we shared the same house
and not much more.
-My father.
-Yeah, that's Yeah.
Periodically, we would go fishing,
and we went up to a lake near the house
when we were gonna go fishing.
I had to use the bathroom,
we'd go to a filling station.
On the back of the filling station door
-was a prophylactic machine.
-[Ryan] Mm-hmm.
I don't know if those still exist,
but you would go in
-I hope so. Yeah.
-to buy prophylactics.
And I had no idea what it was.
And I asked my father what it was.
He said, "Oh, that?"
He says, "Son, you and I
are gonna have a talk one day."
-And no.
-Never had the talk.
We never had the talk either. Ever.
And I don't blame him.
I don't think I wanted the talk from him.
I guess, but yeah, you don't
I don't think I wanted the talk
from my old man either, but I I I
now I wish I'd kind of gotten it.
As close as I got was his deathbed,
where he said to wear a condom.
-What was his name?
-One of your daughters is named James.
-James, yeah.
That's cool. That's very cool.
My dad died
right when she was born, basically.
So he got to FaceTime her
for a quick second, and then he passed.
-[Letterman] Oh, boy.
You came from a family full
-a house full of males.
-[Ryan] Mm-hmm.
-Now you're in a house full of females.
-[Ryan] Yeah.
-What Any irony there?
Or is it just, "Kids are kids."
"We don't care,
it's the same deal, here we go."
Yeah, I think
the only thing that strikes me
-is I think my dad would have loved them.
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm. Yeah.
I think he would have
really been softened by them
in a way that he wasn't with boys.
As you go through life with them,
are you often surprised
by how different the treatment
you administer with your daughters
is so 180-degrees opposite
what your parents did?
-We're not even the same animal, I think
-[Letterman] Yeah.
from what I grew up with.
I mean, my parents probably had
the attitude of "be happy."
"I want to raise my kids to be happy."
I think my feeling, and Blake's feeling
as well, she shares this,
is to raise our kids to be self-aware.
Not in the comedic way of self-aware,
but just self-aware
that any kind of feeling you feel is okay.
Sometimes it's like
I certainly learned that in a marriage.
You don't need to be
Captain Solution with everything.
Sometimes people just need to be heard
and mirrored and validated,
and then it's done.
[jazz music playing]
[Letterman] Holy crap. This is very good.
-[Ryan] Um
-[Letterman] Thank you.
-Guys, can I offer you some pizza?
Please. Holy crap.
My father made red wine,
I'm not making this up,
in the basement of our home
in a garbage can,
which was just fitting on every level.
Yeah. Are we talking about grapes?
No, we're talking about a powder
that you would send away for.
Was it Was it potable?
[clears throat]
Jesus, I don't even know what that was.
Uh, this is
Tammy and Jim's special reserve.
Excuse my greasy pizza fingers, but yeah.
-He bottled that.
-[Letterman] Really?
Yeah. Now, you wouldn't
wash your car with it,
because the whole car would disappear.
It is really not great.
But it's really the only thing
I have left of him, and that's
It's this bottle of wine, which Blake
has asked me on numerous occasions to try.
But I'm worried I'll just
I would only try that
in the lobby of a hospital.
Well, also one wonders
about the sentimentality of it all.
-If you open it and drink it
-It's kind of done, right?
and you're rushed to the hospital,
then it's all over.
He would spend days down there.
You know, again,
I have this different view
of my dad now than I used to,
but I have so much empathy
for a guy
who just wanted to kind of, you know,
have something besides, you know,
mowing the lawn and going to work.
[Letterman] Right. Yeah, exactly.
-How was the pizza?
-Unbelievably decent.
-Pretty good, right?
-Very good.
-What are these?
-[Ryan] Pepperoni.
You pre-cook 'em, and then cook 'em again.
-This was great fun.
-[Ryan] An absolute pleasure.
No, the pleasure's mine. Thank you.
-Thank you for coming.
-He said, chewing pepperoni.
-Goodbye, Blake!
Bye, Dave.
-[Ryan laughs]
-Nice to see you. Thank you.
[jazz music playing]
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