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When we look back on X-Men Origins: Wolverine we can see a lot of reasons why the Deadpool in that movie didn't work, from sewing his mouth shut to messing with his powers to leaving out his costume. The rebirth of the character in 2016's Deadpool offered a chance to remedy all that and do Wade Wilson justice by portraying the character in a faithful way. But going all in was a gamble, and one of the most critical elements was a source of concern for Ryan Reynolds. The actor feared that Deadpool would not work after trying on the suit, as he explained:
With the first movie, I put it on, I thought, 'We're done, we're dead. This is never gonna work.' I took the camera for two days and just played with stuff. I just sort of learned, you know, not unlike a silent film or Marcel Marceau or these guys, you just be bigger. You just have to go bigger and push through the mask. Somehow it works. Somehow it translates.
It's kind of interesting that one of the missing elements to the character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine wound up being one of the potential pitfalls for Deadpool. There is a saying that 'acting is in the eyes,' so to remove that method of expression and connection to the audience creates a unique challenge for the actor and the film. As Ryan Reynolds told Lorraine, rather than giving up, he experimented and played around to see exactly how he could make this character that he loves so much work on the big screen. What he found was he had to be bigger with his acting and emoting so that the character shines through the mask to the audience. Ryan Reynolds cited French actor and mime Marcel Marceau, who had to emote in an exaggerated way without words. Similarly, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool has to emote in an exaggerated way without the audience being able to see his face.
We often talk about how Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool, but this shows just how much more is involved in playing the character than just rattling off jokes. Ryan Reynolds is going bigger with his acting, but he is also using his body language and especially his voice to communicate what we can't see through the mask. Whether that is a crude joke, sarcasm or heartache, the message gets to the audience one way or the other. It's hard to quantify exactly why Deadpool in the suit translates when it could easily come off as disconnected, but somehow it does through the completeness of Ryan Reynolds' whole body performance.
You can imagine how this concern could have lead to a mask-less Deadpool or some version of the film that saw him without the suit for large periods, and perhaps this thinking is what happened in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Thankfully, Ryan Reynolds figured out how to make the suit and the character work, and Deadpool is now one of the most popular cinematic superheroes out there, rising from his niche origins to have the kind of success and name recognition usually enjoyed by the Batmans and Spider-Mans of the world.