When I sat down with Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal during the Austin, Texas press day for their brand new movie Life, I planned to have a fun conversation about the wonder of space and their perceptions of it after making the new sci-fi horror film. As I should have predicted, however, and as you can see in the video below, the conversation wound up going off in some odd directions, as the actors clearly brought out the goofiness in each other:
Cutting right down to it, Life didn't really change their opinions about space travel because it has been a long time since it was on their list of interests. Jake Gyllenhaal makes the great point that when we are young we find ourselves inspired by and gravitating towards those who take on courageous individuals, but that personally stopped for him when he started getting interested in girls. As for Ryan Reynolds, his stance on the issue was just a tad softer, as he said that he wouldn't turn down the chance to travel to the moon and back -- but when it comes to the idea of deep space exploration or any kind of colonization, he assured me that it would end in guaranteed disaster. Ultimately, it seems that they are more than content to just play astronauts in the movies instead of searching the stars themselves.
Had the making of Life changed what could have been Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal's enthusiastic ideas of space travel, it would have been more than understandable. Even if you cut out the monster element of the story -- which finds the main characters desperately running away from a quickly-evolving, extremely dangerous extraterrestrial -- it still doesn't make being an astronaut seem all that appealing. Sure, there's the special thrill of making huge discoveries (like the first alien life), but the mix of isolation, cramped spaces in the International Space Station, and an anti-gravity experience that must eventually get exhausting must compound into an experience that is maddening on at least a tiny level. Basically, director Daniel Espinosa's movie leaves the idea of science being an exciting thrill up to titles like Ridley Scott's The Martian.
Audiences are actually now able to experience the particular space terror of Life right now, as the film arrived in theaters this Friday. After you catch your screening, hit the comments section to tell us what you thought, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the stars and filmmakers behind the new movie.