So much attention of late has been paid to Blake Lively’s photographic exploits that it’s easy to forget she’s a multifaceted human being, one whose interests and hobbies aren't limited to just the voyeuristic arts. For example, did you know that she enjoys baking brownies and cupcakes? Or that she recently returned from studying French … in France? I wouldn’t have either, had I not had the good fortune of being at the Beverly Hilton yesterday when she, Ryan Reynolds, and other members of the Green Lantern cast and crew gathered for a press conference to promote their upcoming big-budget superhero film – and to blow our minds. Read on for some of the highlights of this illuminating affair.
The Green Lantern suit was anything but.
“In the mythology of the film, the suit is made of pure energy, so there’s no actual suit, because I would burn,” revealed Reynolds. “What I’m wearing is a motion capture suit, with tracking marks and tracking dots and those sorts of things. That was a little bizarre. I sort of looked like a crash-test dummy who lost his Volvo, walking around the soundstage there. And it was actually fine up until about mid-August, in Louisiana, which was like a wholly unforgivable experience in every way.”
Ryan’s improv comedy skills were less of an asset on-set than expected.
“Most of my ideas were thrown out immediately,” Reynolds lamented. “The guy can manifest anything with a ring. When you show up for your first meeting and say, ‘Okay, he manifests expertly lit French porn,’ that’s just thrown our right away. For the most part, you just stay quiet after that.”
Ryan isn’t a method actor, unless he’s suspended hundreds of feet in the air, in which case he’s very method. And a little strange.
“Thank god my character gets to be terrified when I do [flying sequences], because it was just genuine, each time I did it,” Reynolds confessed. “One day I hope they release the DVD outtakes of that, because I’d get to the top, and right when you arc at the very top of this ride, I’ll call it, you’re weightless for a couple of seconds … and somewhere in the back of my subconscious, I’d just scream out ‘80s sitcom characters. I don’t know why that happened, but I’d get to the top and I’d be like, “Alan Thicke! Judith Light!” I don’t know why, to this day. I’d just access some sort of weird brain cell that was affected by my early high school drug use.”
The appliance Peter Sarsgaard wore to create the distended-cranium look of his character, Hector Hammond, wasn’t just strikingly handsome; it was empowering, too!
“The thing about that appliance is that if you talked on a cell phone, it was kind of amazing-looking,” said Sarsgaard. “If you drank a cup of coffee, it was kind of incredible. I didn’t have to do much, and yet I could do anything. And so I really felt like, after my transformation, I could do anything in a scene. I think Hector feels like it’s his right, it’s his time, and f*ck anyone that gets in his way. He’s gonna have a good time. And I felt that way.”
“I heard that Martin [Campbell, the director] wanted me to play him because I look like Sinestro,” said Strong. “I’ve never quite known how to take that, whether it’s a compliment or not. But when I saw the way he looked, the kind of iconic imagery of it, I just thought that it would be amazing. And I’m glad we stuck to the comics, the way he is in the comics. It was great fun to play.”
Always the team player, Blake made productive use of her free time.
“One night we were on a night shoot out in the swamp somewhere, and Blake was off that night,” said producer Donald De Line, “We were all kind of getting to know each other – it was the beginning of the shoot – and all of the sudden we see this woman walking across the swamp, and she’s got baskets on her arms and it’s three in the morning, and she’s looking like a million bucks. She had made cupcakes and brownies and baked all these things and brought them out for the group. It was really extraordinary.”
Blake’s baking wasn't entirely benevolent.
“It was just a way to sabotage Ryan,” Lively revealed. “I’m the girl; I’m supposed to look better. So I tried to sabotage him with cupcakes and smiles.”
“With most actors it’s coke and guns,” Reynolds added. “With me, it’s baked goods.”
Believe it or not, Green Lantern may not be intended as a stand-alone film.
“That was one of the reasons I was so excited about this mythology: this character, the history, it’s like 70 years old,” raved Reynolds. “There are so many different worlds and stories you can tell in this universe. I was very attracted to this idea of the war between Hal and Sinestro. If we’re telling these stories down the road, if we’re lucky enough to do that, I really look forward to that."
We do too, Ryan, if only for the awesome press conferences.
Green Lantern opens everywhere June 17, 2011.