STARRING: Ryan Reynolds
DIRECTED BY: Rodrigo Cortés
Ryan Reynolds was riveted when he first got the lean, 75-page script for Buried, about a U.S. truck driver in Iraq who finds himself trapped inside a coffin with only a cell phone and a lighter. But he was wary about a movie shot entirely in one sporadically lit box. ”We’re in a coffin, for God’s sake — for an entire film!” he says with a laugh.
Reynolds signed on after up-and-coming Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés wrote an impassioned 15-page letter explaining how he would build and maintain tension, with the panic mounting as Reynolds’ character hollers into his rapidly fading phone. The actor differed with his director on just one point: Cortés wanted a week of rehearsals; Reynolds preferred to just be thrown into the coffin and have the cameras roll — which is what happened. ”Knowing myself,” explains the actor, ”I would have gotten my head too far up my own ass if we’d rehearsed.”
The movie, shot for less than $2 million over 17 days in Barcelona, doesn’t seem an obvious choice for Reynolds, who’s been jumping smoothly from romantic comedies (The Proposal) to superhero flicks (next summer’s Green Lantern). But the 33-year old star is sanguine about this odd little film on his résumé. ”Look, if this doesn’t work, no one’s ever going to see it, and everyone gets an encouraging pat on the back for trying something a little different.” And if it does work — Buried played to enthusiastic crowds at this year’s Sundance — Reynolds comes out of that coffin with some killer indie cred.