NETFLIX’S new action-comedy Red Notice is a story of odd bedfellows starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds — who not only jumped at the chance to work with old friends, he wrote jokes for the film.
It follows FBI’s top profiler John Hartley (played by Mr. Johnson) who finds himself forced to partner with the world’s greatest art thief, Nolan Booth (played by Mr. Reynolds), in order to go after the world’s most wanted art thief called “The Bishop” (played by Ms. Gadot). The adventure takes the trio around the world, where they are trapped in a secluded prison, in a coliseum dungeon, and a jungle.
At an online press conference with media from Asia on Nov. 5, Ryan Reynolds said that he jumped at the chance to work with old friends in the industry.
“I got to jump in the sandbox with some friends I’ve known for a long time and have fun,” Mr. Reynolds said. “It’s not every day that you get to do that. And sometimes you forget this job is fun.”
In the film, the Canadian actor plays a witty con artist who tries to outsmart the most wanted art thief to take possession of an Egyptian artifact.
“I love his mischief. I love that he’s a rascal, and I love that you never can’t ever trust him,” he said of his character.
Mr. Reynolds’ involvement in the film goes beyond acting in front of the camera, he actually wrote jokes for the movie. “I write eight or nine options for each joke, and I leave it to the editor and the director just to decide which ones they feel are suitable for the movie. So, I like to give them a whole bunch of options,” he said.
But writing jokes is not an easy task.
“I think humor and wit in movies are byproducts of personal pathos. I think you can’t really have any understanding of the dynamics of comedy unless you sort of understand its opposite…,” Mr. Reynolds said.
“Comedy is very challenging art form and I have a great deal of reverence and respect for it. I think I always will. I’m always trying to grow and learn more. I really, really do owe a lot, a huge debt of gratitude, to those who’ve come before me and [when] I grew up,” he added, citing comedians such as Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and Gene Wilder.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot liked the idea of playing a villain — something different from most of her roles.
“As an actor, you want to be able to explore different colors and different qualities in the characters that you play. And this one certainly gave me this opportunity. I super enjoyed portraying The Bishop,” Ms. Gadot said in a separate online press conference with Asian media alongside Mr. Johnson.
Ms. Gadot and Mr. Johnson highlighted a dance scene as one of the memorable sequences in the movie to shoot.
“And I kept on telling [Mr. Johnson], we [have to] practice we’re [going to] rehearse. And he was super cool. [He] kept on calming me down saying, ‘Don’t worry. This is going to be great.’ And of course, that just made me more nervous. But then he showed up and this guy is a ballerina,” Ms. Gadot said.
“It all comes down to the dance partner you have,” Mr. Johnson remarked afterwards.
Alongside the action and comedy are surprise twists and double-crosses.
Giving credit to the film’s writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber, Ms. Gadot said, “I think that [Mr. Thurber] really managed to re-engineer this type of heist movie. He managed to make it [his] own, as much as he got inspirations from different movies from the past.”
“We wanted to make a great movie and I think a lot of times with something like this, the content of the script really will dictate a lot of times what the set is [going to] feel like,” Mr. Johnson said. “The movie is big, [it’s] fun, [it’s] ambitious. As Gal said, with some twists and turns and surprises and but we had a great time.”
The cast also includes Ritu Arya and Chris Diamantopoulos.
Red Notice premieres on Netflix on Nov. 12. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman