While visiting the Today show on Monday to promote his new holiday movie Spirited, the actor, 46, looked back on his 2018 experience filming South Korea's iteration of the hit television series, saying that his time on the show was less than ideal.
"When I was there, I was like, 'Why did I sign up to do this? This is horrible! This is truly horrible! I don't know this song, I don't know how to do this ' " he recalled of his May 2018 visit to the reality singing competition. "It was traumatic."
"What's crazy is I was in actual hell," he said.
Reynolds showed up on King of Masked Singer, as it's known in South Korea, during his overseas press tour to promote Deadpool 2. He was disguised in a unicorn mask and sparkly cape, and sang a rendition of "Tomorrow" from Annie.
His appearance quickly became a viral hit online, making headlines in America months before FOX debuted The Masked Singer in January 2019.
Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) and @octaviaspencer are here!
They talk all about their new highly anticipated holiday movie “Spirited,” working together, clicking on set and how they kept a straight face while filming. pic.twitter.com/JG4hTM3kel
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 7, 2022
Today anchor Hota Kotb brought up the moment to Reynolds on Monday while discussing his role in the movie musical Spirited, in which the actor also sings. "Your singing skills have been on display many, many times," she told Reynolds before playing the clip, her co-anchor Savannah Guthrie following up the video by wondering why he appeared on the show in the first place.
"I've been doing this job a long time, and you go on these international tours, and you start saying, 'What's the weirdest show we can go on?' " he remembered. "And at the time, this was before The Masked Singer was in the U.S. So they said, 'They have this show called The Masked Singer, which is huge in South Korea.' I said, 'We're doing this show. We have to do that show.'
"At the time, no westerner had been on that show before, so it was a big surprise when I lost the mask," Reynolds added.
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A surprise, it was. Watching the clip back, both the audience and judges go completely wild when Reynolds removes his mask and walks into the spotlight.
"Hello, everybody. I'm so sorry about that song," Reynolds said after his performance, later admitting that he was "absolutely" nervous to perform in front of the crowd and television cameras.
"I was wearing an adult diaper!" he teased, before then telling the crowd that he "didn't even tell my wife, [Blake Lively]," about going on the show.
Apple TV+ Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in Spirited (2022)
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Reynolds appears to feel a little more comfortable with his singing in Spirited, which is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol that features music by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, as well as Dominic Lewis.
"This was 7 weeks of rehearsal," costar Will Ferrell said on Today of the preparation he, Reynolds and costar Octavia Spencer did on the film. "Basically we were thrown into theater camp. Dancing, singing, voice work — the whole thing. It really started with us all staring at each other going, 'Are we ever going to be able to get to the end of this?' And low and behold, we somehow did."
Spirited will be released in select cinemas on Nov. 11, ahead of a streaming release on Nov. 18 on Apple TV+. Today, meanwhile, airs weekdays beginning at 7 a.m. ET on NBC.