As Ryan Reynolds put it, his long-in-the-works superhero actioner Deadpool was made for “$47 and a bag of Skittles.” It was actually more like $58 million, but that is still peanuts (or sugar-shelled candy) compared to most major studio-produced comic-book movies; by comparison both Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War cost around a quarter-billion dollars to make.
Deadpool was a massive hit, grossing over $360 million in the U.S. and over $760 worldwide. It did big business in every corner of the globe except China, where it was banned due to its graphic nature. “I always joke, it’s rated ‘R’ in America and rated 'F–k you’ in China,” cracked Reynolds. It became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, and insiders have said it is spawning what was dubbed “The Deadpool Effect” in Hollywood’s rush to recreate edgier superhero fare.
A sequel is in the works, obviously. (More on that below.) But before Reynolds and company reconvene for Round 2 of the Wade Wilson chronicles, they gathered at a Beverly Hills hotel to promote this week’s DVD/Blu-ray release and take part in an expectedly hilarious Q&A hosted by hip-hop queens Salt-N-Pepa and DJ Spinderella, who provided Deadpool’s perfect anthem, “Shoop.” Here are five things we learned at the event — most of which deal with crying in one form or another.
Warning: Minor Deadpool spoilers ahead.
1. Director Tim Miller is a serial crier. And he has, um, history with Salt-N-Pepa.
Asked what his favorite scene to shoot was, Miller — a visual-effects pro (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Thor: The Dark World) who made his directorial debut with Deadpool — said it was the climax. “The final moment between Deadpool and Vanessa, when he takes off the mask,” Miller answered. “It was just such a powerful moment. Ryan and Morena [Baccarin, who played Wade’s main squeeze, Vanessa] crushed it. It was the first time for me, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but people say usually the ending of the movie is the hardest thing to get right. But I felt like we had that right immediately, and it made everything else fall into place.”
It was then costar Ed Skrein, who played the villainous Ajax, pointed out that Miller cried that day on set. “I did, I cried,” Miller confessed. “Well, I cried every day.” Reynolds backed up that claim. “Even when he witnesses, like, pure rage. It’s a weird thing. Like I’m completely losing my mind, I’m punching everything in sight, every other word is "motherf–ker.” And Tim calls cut and I just see this weeping Kleenex commercial.“
Reynolds, Miller, and Skrein at the ‘Deadpool’ DVD event (Fox Home Ent.)
Miller’s least favorite scene also had to do with climaxes. "The sex scene montage was the worst scene to shoot,” he said. “I feared that day like no other because, you know, I’m not very good at sex in my personal life. So I couldn’t relate to the scene. Except the pegging part.” His explanation was (likely) in jest, but he sounded genuine when, later on in the press conference, he told the members of Salt-N-Pepa how sexy their video for “Shoop” was before admitting he pleasured himself to it in the '90s. “You know what, don’t feel bad,” Salt fired back. “We’ve heard that before. We were a lot of guys’ first.”
2. Ryan Reynolds’s disfigured face made his daughter cry.
Deadpool had one of the industry’s top professionals in Bill Corso, the Oscar-winning makeup artist who has worked on Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Foxcatcher, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “When they greenlit the movie, maybe the second thing Ryan said was, 'Tim, you gotta call Bill Corso,’” Miller said. “He’s the best there is.”
It was Corso who masterminded the avocado-who-had-sex-with-an-older-avocado look of Wade’s disfigured mug. “One thing that he does that’s so great is he can apply copious amounts of prosthetics and still maintain the person underneath,” Reynolds said. “That’s the magic. It’s easy to just slap a bunch of foam on somebody, but keeping the personality alive underneath is a feat.” The actor endured four hours of makeup those days, and his young daughter James (with wife Blake Lively) may have endured nightmares as a result. “It’s so itchy and sweaty. But after a few hours it gets warmed up and it moves. It just made my daughter cry every time she came to the set.”
Peeling it off was much more fun. “At the end of the day Ryan would peel it off and roll it up in little balls and throw it at all the guys [on crew],” Miller said. Added Reynolds: “I’d treat it like a raffle. I’d be like, 'You won!’”
Reynolds and Baccarin in ‘Deadpool’ (Fox)
3. Annnnnd Reynolds wept, too.
Miller and Reynolds agreed one of the biggest unknowns going into Deadpool was nailing down the super-suit, especially given the time restraints they had to work with. “Making the suit was like a slow-motion nervous breakdown the whole time, because you’re thinking, if we don’t get this right, we are 100 percent f–ked,” Reynolds said. “And as it was being developed and designed, we had all these notes and all these thoughts, but no time. The studio had greenlit the movie and basically 10 months from our first day of shooting we were on the big screen. That’s no time for a film like this. So we had to get that suit right and fast.”
During preproduction, the pair went to see the suit at Russ Shinkle’s Film Illusions studio in Simi Valley, outside Los Angeles. “He had it there in this perfect light, sitting on a mannequin. And we cried. We just wept,” Reynolds said. Miller, too, of course: “Seeing Ryan in the costume for the first time is when I felt like, 'Holy s–t, this is gonna work.’ I cried there.”
4. Reynolds gets good use out of that suit.
In typical Deadpool fashion, Reynolds fired off a quick sex joke when asked where is the weirdest place he’s donned the suit. That would be in the bedroom. “I cannot maintain an erection without the suit,” he said. The actor did keep one of the costumes for himself (“There was no way I was not gonna leave with a suit”), and made a number of appearances in various videos during Deadpool’s marketing blitz. “I feel like I’m wearing it every other day. I feel like if I just let Fox run my calendar, I would be in that suit every day, making appearances at random Ohio state fairs.”
The one place he would have liked to wear it, though, was to the children’s hospital. Reynolds befriended many young fans through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and hosted terminally ill children on the film’s set. “To be totally honest, the one thing that was really fantastic was I’ve gotten to know a lot of these kids just based on Deadpool, they love this character of Wade Wilson, who’s basically is given his diagnosis and flips it the bird,” he said. “I always want to wear the suit when I go to the hospital. The problem is, the suit is mostly weapons. Like, Captain America has a shiny shield, and Thor has a semi-non-threatening hammer, and I have Katanas in my pants and semi-automatic pistols, which is not something you go through a metal detector in a hospital in…. That would be special, though. One day we gotta figure that out.”
5. About that sequel…
The Deadpool team played coy when asked about the upcoming sequel, which was officially revealed last month at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “That’s all in motion right now,” Reynolds said. “We’re trying to see what’s going to become of it. That’s a tricky thing to kind of announce.”
But again, in Deadpool form, they’ve got jokes. “If we’re lucky enough to have an opportunity for a sequel, Deadpool’s gonna fight Salt-N-Pepa in the sequel,” Reynolds laughed. Later, he dreamt up another possible scenario: “I do genuinely want to see a Han Solo-Deadpool team-up. I have a non-vocal, unwritten commitment by Harrison Ford. I didn’t need to actually meet him, I just read his astrological chart, and it looked good for us.”
And here’s Miller’s scoop on when to expect it: “It’s all based on Adam Sandler’s schedule,” he said. Wait, did he just announce who’s playing Cable?
Deadpool is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and on-demand.