Ryan Reynolds has had many ups and downs in his career, with most people agreeing that his low-point was 2011’s superhero movie Green Lantern. Ironically, just a year before, he had given a performance which many people consider his best – in the low-budget war movie Buried. While he may have received some of the best reviews of his career, Reynolds certainly had to suffer for his art.
Buried is about a US civilian working in Iraq who finds himself buried alive in a coffin in the desert by terrorists. At one stage, the coffin is damaged and starts to slowly fill with sand. Reynolds filmed the movie in Barcelona with a Spanish cast and crew and suffered badly from insomnia while he was there, as well as loneliness.
In 2010, he told EW; “I never slept, and it was a real problem. I was just so wound up, and I was totally alone out there [in Barcelona, where the movie was filmed]. Very few crew members spoke English. Coming home at the end of each day was kind of a lonely, anxiety-ridden experience.”
“I’ve never been happier to finish a movie. I will never complain on a film set again. I mean, I’m standing right now in the Green Lantern costume on my 93rd day of shooting this movie. My hardest day on this is nothing compared to my easiest day on Buried.”
Speaking to the Evening Standard in 2010, Reynolds said that he tried to get his family to send him sleep aids such as melatonin but they kept getting confiscated. “I’d go home and I’d pace until sun up, like a vampire, and then climb into a coffin to film. I was losing my mind, I hadn’t slept in days, weeks. In Spain, you can’t get over-the-counter sleep aides. Melatonin is a herbal one that I like to use because it’s not really harmful. You can’t get it there, it’s basically like crack. I had my family ship it over from America, and it never got to me each time. I tried six times to get it there.”
As for the claustrophobia he experienced while making the drama movie, Reynolds said that he “had moments of utter panic that were soothed in various ways. One woman was playing all the roles when we were shooting. I had a microphone close to my chest and she could hear my panic attack starting ’cause she could hear my heart accelerating. There were times when I couldn’t get out of the coffin with any ease so I just had to stay in there with 50-60 pounds of wood on your chest pressing down, so you start to have moments of panic.”
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