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Ryan Reynolds' Toughest Role Saw Him Pass Out On Set While Filming Inside Coffin

Jess Hardiman

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Ryan Reynolds' Toughest Role Saw Him Pass Out On Set While Filming Inside Coffin

Ryan Reynolds has opened up about the one role from his career that proved to be the toughest, recalling how he passed out while filming scenes for a movie about a man buried alive inside a coffin - the majority of which was filmed as 'one take'. Watch a trailer for the film here:


Reynolds, 45, may be most well-known for his comedy and action credits, but not all of his work has involved cracking jokes as Deadpool or solving crime as the rosy-cheeked Detective Pikachu.

The Free Guy star appeared in a new episode of David Letterman's Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, which is now in its fourth season and sees the seasoned talk show host interview a number of high profile celebrities about their career.

During their chat, Reynolds spoke about everything from life growing up as one of four brothers to what he's like as a parent now, while also reflecting on the ups and downs of his job as an actor.

One role that stuck out most for all the wrong reasons was 2010 film Buried, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive a positive reception from critics - currently standing proud with a fairly decent 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Credit: Icon Film Distribution
Credit: Icon Film Distribution

But the job wasn't an easy ride for Reynolds, who played an Iraq-based American civilian truck driver who is attacked and finds himself buried alive inside a wooden coffin, armed with only a few basic tools including a lighter, flask, torch, knife and mobile phone.

Speaking to Letterman about the film, Reynolds admitted it was one of the harder gigs he's had to go through, saying he 'passed out' while on set.

“This one – out of all the ones I’ve done – I would say was actually really tough,” he told Letterman. 

“Almost everything you see in the movie is one take, with the exception of a couple of moments where I passed out. 

“The thing I wasn’t ready for or realised when I was shooting was that when you’re out breath and you’re not moving to accommodate the increased oxygen in your blood, you pass out. 

“There was one sequence in the movie where I had a paper bag. That's when 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, breathe, breathe, we’d wait for a beat and then we’d keep going.” 

Credit: Icon Film Distribution
Credit: Icon Film Distribution

Letterman jokingly asked if Amnesty International knew about these conditions, as Reynolds laughed along and said: "No, I don't think so!"

The TV host then quizzed his guest on what made him want to be 'the guy in the coffin for 90 minutes’, with only a ‘cellphone and a Zippo [lighter]' as props.

Reynolds explained: “I love Hitchcock, I love Rope, I love Lifeboat, I love these movies that place unnecessary constraints on the filmmakers, so I thought it felt a little bit like that. 

“At the time it was a purely shallow decision.” 

Letterman joked that Reynolds should have at least received a huge cheque from Zippo, prompting the actor to add: “I can’t believe I have fingers still, that thing was hot!” 

At the time of the film's release, Reynolds admitted to Entertainment Weekly that he'd 'never been happier to finish a movie', and that he would 'never complain on a film set again'.

He also told Reuters that shooting in such close quarters had an understandably huge effect on him, explaining: “It quickly became a phobia of mine, because you can’t help but feel the walls closing in like that, in this particular shooting, under the circumstances."

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros./Netflix

Topics: TV and Film, Ryan Reynolds

Jess Hardiman
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