Ryan Reynolds’ eyes are incredible. I know this because they are so mesmerising that I tripped over the foot of a light while being introduced to him.
This was the moment I had flown nine hours for and my dignity was out the window in a flash. But that’s a small price to pay spend time with Reynolds. In the flesh he is charming and irreverent. And his face? Well, the man is a dish.
Which makes his next big screen outing quite the departure because Reynolds is using his considerable voice talents and charm to bring the titular character in Pokemon: Detective Pikachu to wonderful and vivid life.
The blockbuster is the first live-action production which brings the world of Ryme City, in which Pokemon and humans live side-by-side, to reality.
Director Rob Letterman convinced Reynolds to take the role after presenting him with a fully rendered CGI version of Pikachu — paired with dialogue from the first Deadpool movie.
“I thought it weirdly worked,” Reynolds tells news.com.au.
Another factor in his decision was he knew this movie would appeal to two very particular critics: His kids.
“This is the first time since I’ve been a father that my children are psyched to see a movie that I’m in,” Reynolds says, “which is like worth the price of admission for me alone. They are really pumped, my two-year old and four-year-old are over the moon about seeing this movie.”
The film sees Reynolds’ Detective Pikachu team up with wannabe Pokemon trainer Tim Goodman played by Get Down and Jurassic World star Justice Smith. Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton rounds out the cast as intrepid reporter Lucy Stevens.
At the heart of the movie is the importance of partnership, a point Reynolds knows intimately. For nearly seven years he has been married to Gossip Girl and A Simple Favour star Blake Lively. (Their Charleston wedding was planned by Martha Stewart, and Florence Welch performed — you know, it was no big deal.)
Theirs is a rock-solid partnership in the midst of the pressures of Hollywood. What’s the secret?
“I think it’s remembering, constantly remembering, this is my best friend that I’m lucky enough to be married to and if you never really lose sight of that, it’s pretty great,” he says. “Also, just staying together, that’s another key thing. Working in this job, one of us could be shooting a movie in Thailand and the other one could be shooting a movie in Vancouver and we’re lucky in that we can chose to not work at the exact same time so we all stay together as a unit with our daughters. That’s really helped us.”
On the red carpet at the Pokemon: Detective Pikachu premiere in New York last week, Lively revealed that their family will be growing — she is expecting baby number three. However, Reynolds has a secret he relies on to help with the ups and downs of fatherhood.
“I think the [best] trick is empathy. Being a parent, I really wish empathy was something they taught in school,” the 41-year-old said. “F**k calculus, teach kids empathy if you really want to change the world and make it better, they’re the tenets I live by.”
There is another relationship that Reynolds is keen to “reignite” — his ongoing, “feud” with Aussie treasure Hugh Jackman. (“Let’s go easy on the treasure and icon thing, you can just go with Hugh,” he told me when we got onto this particular subject.)
“I’ve got to update that, I’ve think I need to reignite that a little bit I think. I gotta throw down with you. I’m not really sure, it probably involves me trying to do something and then inevitably humiliating myself.
“He’s on stage these days so he probably should watch out, any time it’s a live performance anything can happen and I mean anything.”