Buckle up for "Buried
Ryan Reynolds and Rodrigo Cortiz dish about their big screen venture
Published: Monday, September 20, 2010
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 17:08
Take a deep breath, because you'll be holding it for 94 minutes. These are the words the eager audience heard right before the "Buried" screening Wednesday night at the Showplace ICON Theater.So why the intense disclaimer? Well maybe because for the next 94 minutes those movie-goers were about to enter the terrifying reality and tortured mind of Paul Conroy, an American truck driver captured and buried alive in the Iraq desert.
"Buried" takes place entirely in a wooden coffin where the lighting consists of a broken flashlight, a lighter, and the LCD screen of a cell phone. Conroy, played by Ryan Reynolds, awakes to his worst nightmare and quickly enters a race against time. With his only hope being the use of a cell phone, the character begins the fight for his life and the audience is along for the ride.
Film Director Rodrigo Cortes said that "Buried" is not meant to be seen, it's meant to be experienced. Cortes made sure that you were feeling every drop of sweat, every desperate thought, and every gasp for air that this character experienced.
How? Well if you're up for it, then check out this unique suspense thriller and you will soon find out exactly what Cortes meant.
In the mean time, the DePaulia had the chance to sit down with Director Rodrigo Cortes and Actor Ryan Reynolds to discuss the film.
The DePaulia: Ryan, what was your most challenging day of shooting?
Ryan Reynolds: Definitely the last day. If you have seen the film you know why, but it was challenging for a number of reasons. At that point all six sides of the coffin were set up, with one of them being glass so they could shoot, so I was just in there. I remember coming to set that day and there were a group of paramedics there and I was like 'why are they here?' and Rodrigo said 'well they are here to make you feel better.' I was like 'well that doesn't make me feel better, what is happening here today!' In that scene we shot, the woman I was talking to on the phone said she could feel my heartbeat pounding.
TD: Rodrigo, you said this was the impossible movie to make. What made you finally decide that you wanted to do the impossible?
Rodrigo Cortiz: It is simply a great movie. Your body reacts so strongly to that type of material and you see the great possibility and you just cannot miss that. There is always the right time to do something impossible actually. I think if you are scared enough to take the risk than you are in the right place.
TD: Ryan, you said that in order to make your voice horse you would put a towel in our mouth and scream. What other types of physical or psychological preparation would you do to prepare for this film?
RR: I think that every actor has their own weird process. While I think I am guilty of it at times, I try to curb it a bit. There's not that much you can do. With a movie like this you get into the process in the beginning and live it until you are done. Because the movie was only 17 days in Barcelona, my friends and family were not around, I could go off the radar and not call home and focus. You drop in the first day and you don't come out until it's over.
TD: Rodrigo, in addition to directing, you were also editing the film. How was it going through all those shots in the editing room? Did they all start to look the same?
RC: You have to shoot with the brain of an editor. You have to figure out during the shooting how you are going to put the puzzle together and decide what you want from the very beginning. You cannot make those decisions afterwards. It took us only five weeks to edit "Buried."
TD: You mentioned that there was very little rehearsal and that you really just jumped right into shooting. There are a lot of one-liners in the film, I'm curious as to how much was ad-lib or in the moment?
RR: Very little actually. There's a lot of 'verbal knick-knacks.' I call them that when they are all ad-libbed and needed to fill in the spaces and create the moments. But other than that, we followed the script. There were tough moments that were placed right before we shot the scene. Something me and Rodrigo talked about was allowing some of the gallous humor in places, because it's going to allow the audience to relieve some of that tension for a little bit.
TD: I noticed that in the film - where I thought to myself, 'is it OK to laugh?'
RR: Yeah. It's surprisingly funny. I know. My mom, though, was sitting next to me watching it and she wasn't laughing, but what are you going to do?
TD: Going off of that, your character goes through a gamete of emotions throughout the film, what was it like to be laughing one second and the next banging on the walls hysterically?
RR: I think Rodrigo summed it up best when he said, 'the movie is real time.' You don't get that opportunity to cut away, so when Paul has a breakdown you have to watch him recover from it and carry on. It's really tough to do as an actor, especially because you can't cut away. There are those moments in other films where there is a slight deficit in a moment and you can cut away to.you know.Sandra Bullock!
TD: So I have to ask, without giving away the movie. was there any talk of an alternative ending?
RR: The script was on the 'blacklist' in Hollywood, that is, of un-producible screenplays. I know that it did attract attention from a lot of studios and they all had their different plans for it. Cut-aways, flashbacks, all that stuff. But really it was never a consideration for us to change anything including the ending.
TD: One last question for you Ryan. How are those nightmares treating you?
RR: (Laughs) I had no nightmare while shooting because I honestly had no sleep to acquire the nightmares. You know, though, I have moments. Forever though, I will never forget the last day of filming, and that feeling of utter helplessness. But yeah, I don't want to repeat it ever again.
RC: Don't worry, you won't!
"Buried" opens nation-wide this Friday, Sept. 24.