On Feb. 8, byteclay.com was on the red carpet for a special fan event celebrating new film “Deadpool” at AMC Empire in Times Square presented by Twentieth Century Fox. From the film stars Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein, Brianna Hildebrand, and Leslie Uggams, were in attendance. Director Tim Miller, producer Simon Kinberg, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were also in attendance. Fans dressed as Deadpool gathered in excitement for the cast to arrive. Other special guests included Salt-N-Pepa who were doing a snapchat activation and Molly Ringwald. She attended with her husband Panio Gianopoulos. Ryan’s wife Blake Lively also came to show her support. Rod Ortega for L’Oréal Paris did Blake’s hair for the red carpet. Mike’s Harder also sponsored the event. The brand recently released a limited edition Deadpool beverage.
The film, which marks Tim Miller’s directorial debut, tells the origin story of a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary named Wade Wilson. After he is subjected to a rogue experiment, he is left with accelerated healing powers. He then decides to adopt the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities, Deadpool attempts to get revenge on the the man who nearly destroyed his life. “I wanted to make this movie with such a passion and desperation for so long I was to a certain extent heartbroken when we weren’t able to make it. And then along comes a little thing called the internet which our materials leaked on to and fans demanded the movie. I had nothing to do with it, the fans demanded the studio make this movie, they overwhelmed the studio and because of that we’re standing here right now,” Reynolds told reporters. Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
Shaina Moskowitz: So you were hired to write the screenplay in 2010. How does it feel to finally see it come to the screen?
Rhett Reese: It’s like a dream come true. The project came back to life so many times, we thought we were totally dead so sometimes I wonder whether I’ve died and woken up in heaven itself.
SM: From when you wrote the screenplay until now did you find yourself changing much of your original vision or did everything play out similarly?
Paul Wernick: Well I would say that from the original script to what audiences are seeing, I’d say it’s about 70 percent the same. Now it went through cycles of changing a lot and then returning to what we originally had. That has a lot to do with Simon Kinberg, who really embraced the script. He’s one of the producers of the film. You know, he really embraced the R rating. You gotta push it. Ryan Reynolds is another huge reason we are where we are now.
SM: And so did you guys write the role with Ryan in mind, because he’s been attached for a long time.
RR: Actually he was attached before we were attached. In fact he hired us, and the director both. Ryan really pre-dates all of us and we really in a lot of ways have been serving his vision from the beginning.
SM: Were there any characters you wanted to fit into Deadpool that didn’t make the final cut?
PW: Absolutely. A lot.
SM: Which ones?
PW: We had some other characters in there that came out, like Garrison Kane, and Sluggo, and Wire, and Dr. Killebrew so there are some characters who the Deadpool fans would’ve really embraced who were in there but had to come out due to either budgetary reasons or creative reasons. But maybe we can bring them back in a future movie if we get the opportunity.
SM: Congratulations! Tell us about your character?
Brianna Hildebrand: My character’s name is Negasonic Teenage Warhead and she is an X-Men trainee basically. She is working under Colossus and she helps Deadpool to save his girl.
SM: Can you tell us about the process of casting?
BH: Yes! I went into an audition and it was Nov. 11. I remember that. Yeah it was cool, they put me on tape and then called me back about a week later and put me on tape again once with all the producers and that was it.
SM: There isn’t a lot of background for you to go on when it comes to reading about your character in the comics. Did you give your own backstory to the character or did you work on it with the director?
BH: I kind of halfway did both. I asked him what his ideas were for her, but for the most part I love to give her my own stuff. I give her a lot of stuff that I felt like she would be feeling or experiencing. That was probably the most fun part, the character development.
SM: What was the experience like of stepping on set for the first time?
BH: It was pretty nerve wrecking. I was kind of afraid that I wasn’t going to be a part of the crew, because they are all experienced actors and they’re all older than me. But they were all really nice and funny, and fun. It was a good time.
SM: And what was it like working with Ryan?
BH: Working with Ryan was amazing. I’ve had a crush on Ryan since I was like 8 or 9 years old so yeah, that was great.
SM: What was it like working with first time director Tim Miller?
BH: That was awesome as well, and kind of comforting to know that it was his first time directing. It kind of felt like we were both in this together.
SM: On screen you spent most of your time as Colossus’ buddy, what was it like acting next to a giant in motion capture?
BH: It was very hard. His stand in was in these platform shoes and this crazy hat and I had to look at the dot, with this sphere on top of his head instead of his face, when I talked to him and that was probably the most difficult part.
SM: So fans have been waiting for this movie for a long time and how much pressure did you feel from having to bring this to life?
Rob Liefeld: I’m a ridiculously positive person, glass half full all the time, and I knew it was a matter of time and it turned out this is the perfect time. I’m not sure this movie would’ve gotten the same reception maybe a year or two ago. I think the world is primed for this; it’s so different because we’ve had so many great superhero films but nothing that moves, and feels, and tastes like this.
SM: Speak about Ryan and watching him bring that to life.
RL: Oh come on, Ryan is Deadpool. I mean honestly he is the living, breathing embodiment of the character, and that’s why people wanted it so bad. You gotta remember what he gave them in “Wolverine: Origins” in the first 20 minutes, he nailed the landing! People wanted more, and so now we’re here and he gave people more than they could ever possibly imagine. The violence, the humor, and the love story! This movie has tremendous heart and that’s because of Ryan.
SM: And speak about how you got your start in art and creating comics.
RL: Oh my gosh, I graduated high school and I had no choice but to become a comic book artist. I wasn’t very bright. I wasn’t going to be a lawyer; I wasn’t going to become a doctor. So if I didn’t draw … so at 18 years old I got my first break with Marvel comics, and they let me start creating characters like Deadpool and it created a great success for me and I can’t be more grateful.
SM: Speak about the experience of working on this film.
Greg LaSalle: Well it’s great working with Tim Miller. He’s an awesome director and I had a lot of fun working with him. I’ve known him for quite a while now.
SM: And speak about the motion capture technology.
GL: Well it’s a new version of the technology that actually captures the entire surface of your skin then transfers it to the final character automatically. So there’s no animators necessarily involved and every wrinkle and little detail, expression, gets transferred to the final character, in this case to Colossus.
SM: And you’ve done this kind of work before, motion capture. Speak about what attracts you to that kind of acting.
GL: Well you get to play characters that don’t exist so you get to have a lot more fun with them. You get to come up with ideas that you maybe couldn’t do with a human character and that’s what makes it a lot more fun and challenging.
SM: So what’s next for you?
GL: I just finished a movie, actually, with Ryan’s wife, Blake Lively, called “All I See Is You,” we play two different characters in that movie.
SM: Tell me about playing Blind Al. How was that?
Leslie Uggams: It was a lot of fun because she’s quite a character and she’s a good match for Deadpool.
SM: Can you talk about her relationship with Deadpool?
LU: I think it’s a very lovely also antagonistic, sarcastic but they’re good for each other.
SM: How is it working with Ryan?
LU: It was fabulous we had a lot of fun. He’s funny anyway.
SM: How about working with first time director Tim Miller?
LU: I love Tim. I think he’s an awesome director. He was helpful in the character and the look of the character. I was very pleased.
SM: What’s next for you?
LU: I’m leaving tomorrow to shoot “Empire.” I’m going to be on “Empire.” Yes. Taraji, Terrence, I got to meet them all. We’ve become very close and I’m having a ball doing it. I’m in the season coming up in March.
SM: Speak about collaborating with first time director Tim Miller.
T. J. Miller: We love Tim. He looks like he’s a dangerous rugby player. He has the affect of a teddy bear and he was one of those great first time directors in instead of saying ‘do it my way, I have to prove to everybody I know what I’m doing’ he really said you know ‘what do you want to do. Let’s collaborate. You guys have the expertise, here’s my expertise, let’s work together to make’ and that’s why the film’s so good.
SM: What was your first reaction when reading the script?
TJM: I just showed up on set and they were like ‘here are the words your going to say’ and sometimes I didn’t even know what movie it was. For awhile I thought I was in “X-Men: Apocalypse” for like two weeks straight. So yeah.
SM: What did you love about playing this character?
TJM: I liked that it was so far away form myself. I think I get self conscious and I go ‘Kate I’m nothing like Weasel right?’ because he is the most unabashedly, unapologetically selfish person on the face of the plant and it was kind of fun to do that. My favorite line in the entire movie, I have two favorites line. One is “This may further plot” which is Weasel’s breaking the fourth wall moment and I love, it sums him up in the end where Wade’s about to do his huge ending fight scene and he goes “I would go with you, but I don’t want to” and then he just sort of takes off. That to me is so funny and it’s so indicative of how these two were great friends because Wade is Weasel’s only friend and Weasel’s Wade’s only friend because they’re both just nihilists. Both of them are just like nothing really matters. You know, morality’s flexible and Weasel unabashedly is like ‘I’m out for number one. I don’t care about anything else except for me.’
SM: So you’ve been involved with the X-men franchise for about ten years now. What is it about these mutant characters that keeps drawing you back?
Simon Kinberg: Well I grew up on X-men comics and I think the thing that’s so special about them is that they are about identity, they’re about the fact that we all feel a little different, there’s something we’re all ashamed of in our lives and we try and find people that celebrate things about us and that’s what mutancy and the X-men are all about. It’s about feeling different and finding people who are similar.
SM: It seems like “Deadpool” is going to be a hit. What are the chances we can see Deadpool meet up with some other mutant friends?
SK: I would love to see it. We have references to the X-men in Deadpool and just the tones are so widely different. Deadpool’s a raunchy, R rated comedy and what we’ve done with X-men is way more dramatic and I think the collision of those tones would be really great.
SM: Are there any characters that haven’t been put in a film that you would love to see sometime soon?
SK: There’s thousands of characters from the X-men many of which we haven’t explored yet on film so yeah there’s tons. And each movie we try to introduce new blood into the franchise.
The film is now playing.