While Deadpool is so full of easter eggs and references that catching them all would be a herculean task, one of them was apparently so important that Ryan Reynolds himself got involved in order to be sure that it happened. He asked Bea Arthur’s son for permission to use her likeness in the movie.
In the comics, the character of Deadpool has something of an unhealthy relationship with The Golden Girls, and specifically with star Bea Arthur. Because of the comic connection, it made perfect sense to include some kind of reference to Arthur, but, as it turned out, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds actually had a connection to Arthur’s family. About a million years ago, when Ryan Reynolds was doing a sitcom on TV (how old do you feel now?), he worked on the stage next door to Daniel Saks, one of Bea Arthur’s two sons, who was a Hollywood set designer, and the two got to know each other, at least in passing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, when it came time for the movie, Reynolds wanted to put Bea Arthur’s image on a shirt that Wade Wilson wears early in the film. So, Reynolds called up his old colleague and asked for permission to use his mother’s likeness.
I was on Dharma & Greg on Stage 21 at Fox when Ryan was on Stage 20 doing Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. He was always a nice guy, and the fact that it was him gave it more weight with me and my brother, Matthew. We thought, ‘Why not?’
Ryan Reynolds was a producer on Deadpool as well as the star, so to some extent, it qualified as his job to deal with these sorts of things. Still, the fact that he reached out himself is a pretty nice gesture.
We know that Deadpool was a very personal project for the actor and that he wanted to make everything great for the fans. This meant getting all the details right, including giving Wade Wilson the right clothing. It’s the shirt that he’s wearing when he goes to play skeeball with his new prostitute friend. Something about that just feels right.
The shirt, which is apparently a tank top, is never directly referenced by anybody during Deadpool so it’s only there for those who notice it. We would guess many movie fans who noticed the image just saw it as a silly joke, which certainly it was, but for Deadpool fans it meant a little more, and was a very nice touch.
Did you notice the Bea Arthur t-shirt in Deadpool? What was your favorite joke or reference in the film?
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