Ryan Reynolds was so smitten the first time he saw the final costume for Deadpool that he had himself a good man-cry. But it took plenty of work to arrive at that euphoric moment, and also some invaluable creative criticism from Reynolds’s famous other half.
“Ryan sent me this note about the costume when we had it and he’s like, ‘I love it, except for the whiskering in the crotch,” director Tim Miller said on the film’s Vancouver set. "And I had to get out my fashion dictionary to see what actually 'whiskering’ was and then I was like, 'Goddamn, this guy is f–king on it with his knowledge of fashion and the costume stuff.’“
Whiskering is a fashion term typically associated with jeans. According to the Conselle Institute of Image Management, "Whiskers are prefabricated creases that create a broken-in and worn look in the denim at the crotch level. Since attention goes to contrast, these so-called whiskers on jeans draw the eye’s attention to the crotch area.” Translation: Deadpool’s junk was screaming for attention.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that Miller found out the origin of the whiskering comment. “Ryan was like 'Did you think that note was from me? That was my wife,’” Miller said. Reynolds’s wife, of course, is actress-model-“celebrity homemaker” (actual Wikipedia description) Blake Lively, who co-starred with her future husband the last time he headlined a comic-book movie, in 2011’s Green Lantern.
“She was like, 'There’s whiskering around there,’ and I was like “Ooh, that’s a good word!’” Reynolds explained. Coincidentally, the costume designer on Deadpool was Oscar winner Angus Strathie (Moulin Rouge!), who previously worked on Lively’s 2015 fantasy drama, Age of Adeline.
As Reynolds told ComicBook.com, they “fought like hell to get that as though it jumped right out of the comic. Our goal was to make this the most faithful comic book to movie adaptation fans have ever seen… There was a lot of work with very little time. Fox gave us the green light and we had to be on camera in 12 weeks. That’s NO time for prep. So we kept fighting and fighting to make tweaks to the suit.”
Another issue that needed addressing was what — if anything — Reynolds would wear underneath the red and black super-suit. As Miller told us on set, typically on superhero movies the costume team will outfit the actor with a polyurethane muscle suit to emphasize the character’s physique. So they tried one on Reynolds, and as he put it, “I looked like a house in it. It was too much.”
“We didn’t need it,” Miller added. “The funny thing is he is jacked… So we dropped all the muscle suit and that’s all 100 percent USDA Ryan Reynolds underneath. But it looks great because the costume kind of slims him back down, which is to what I think is the quintessential Deadpool.”
After the laughter came the tears. Reynolds recalled his initial reaction to seeing the finished product to ComicBook.com: “When we finally saw that suit, fully done, finished and completed… both Tim Miller and I wept. I’m not even exaggerating, we wept in Simi Valley California in some warehouse where some guy makes all these crazy suits and had this one under a spotlight. We walked in and we wept. Tears coming down our cheeks. It felt so good.”
Especially because that crotch wasn’t whiskering.
Deadpool is now in theaters.