Ryan Reynolds Gets Candid About New Movie The Adam Project And How His Real Past With His Own Father Tied In

Ryan Reynolds in Red Notice
(Image credit: Netflix)

In Ryan Reynolds' upcoming movie The Adam Project, the Deadpool actor plays a time traveler who comes in contact with his younger self. While it certainly sounds like a premise built for laughs, and likely has many, it’s also a premise that will deal with trauma and the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives, something Ryan Reynolds knows a little about.

One thing that both Ryan Reynolds and the character he plays in The Adam Project, the Netflix movie Reynolds filmed a year ago,  have in common is that they both have lost their fathers. Reynolds tells Vanity Fair that he related to this particular element in the story because his character has a view of the past that isn't necessarily accurate, and Reynolds knows what that’s like in a very real way. The actor explains…

I have this thought about life, which is that we tell ourselves stories. So you have this central character who has told himself a story about his own father that isn’t necessarily true. I know that I’ve done that in my life. I’ve told myself stories to justify things about my father and my complicated relationship I had with him before he passed. Reconciling that is really difficult.

Ryan Reynolds' father passed away in 2015 and while he has never really gone into detail, it’s clear that Reynolds and his father had a complicated relationship. He’s lamented the fact that he will never have answers to some of his questions about their relationship, and that may be where the stories he’s told himself have been important. 

Time has a way of changing things for people. Perhaps when you’re younger you see things with innocent eyes, and as you grow older you begin to understand the reality. At the same time, it’s possible to become jaded or resentful about the past in a way that’s unfair because you change the way things actually happened in your mind.

In The Adam Project, which also co-stars Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner, the younger version of the main character, played by Walker Scobell, has recently lost his father, played by Ruffalo, but for the older version of the character, played by Ryan Reynolds, that event is years in the past. This has resulted in the two having very different perspectives on the same event.

Interrogating this idea, that maybe things didn’t happen quite the way you remember, is the core of The Adam Project. Director Shawn Levy, who also directed Reynolds in the recent hit Free Guy,  says that really only you can can call you on your own bullshit, which is what the younger version of the character is able to do...

There’s the notion of confronting your younger self, who might just see things more authentically than you have come to narrate for yourself. The kid has real power because the kid’s the only one who can call B.S. on this grown man who has wrapped himself up in his ideas about his own history. The kid’s the one who’s living that history in real time and can say, ‘No, no, you got it wrong. I know because I’m in it.’

The Adam Project is sounding like a heavier movie than it first seemed. We’ll find out when it arrives on Netflix in March. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.