Many people are still reeling from the death of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek a couple of weeks after his passing. Trebek's many fans were stunned and heartbroken when he announced his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer in early March of 2019, and he fought the good fight for over a year before succumbing to the disease. Not long after Trebek's death, Free Guy star Ryan Reynolds confirmed that his fellow Canadian had filmed a cameo in the new movie while undergoing treatment, and now Reynolds is getting thoughtful while sharing his last encounter with the long-time Jeopardy! host.
Ryan Reynolds is very well-known for his comedic timing on screen, as well as his off-screen reputation for being a smart-ass of the first order with a fantastic sense of humor. But, when the actor spoke with Extra recently, and was asked about his last conversation with Alex Trebek, he noted not just what they talked about, but how that chat has made him reflect on life in general, saying:
It was a conversation about one of the shows he had coming up. I had been on the show a number of times, he was asking me about perhaps coming on again. I was shooting in Atlanta and was unable to do it… When you speak with people like that that you grew up watching and suddenly you are talking to them on the phone, you start to reflect. It forces you to look around a little bit and see the people and the faces that are in our lives every day and really remember not to taking them for granted. I was talking to Alex on the phone two months ago, and that was amazing then just like that he was gone.
Man, ain't that the truth? Ryan Reynolds is certainly not alone in being struck by this kind of reflective mood right now, as, I'm sure, tons of us have been confronting feelings like this for many, many months. As Reynolds said in his interview, he was already filled with special feelings just from being able to speak with Alex Trebek on the phone, and having him ask about appearing on Jeopardy! again. He knew by that time, like all of us, that Trebek was fighting cancer, so it must have really meant a lot to be able to catch up with him.
We've all been trying to come to terms with a lot lately. There have been huge cultural shifts, major changes to our daily routines, social upheaval and much more. On top of all of that, we've had the losses of several widely-admired celebrities this year, of whom Alex Trebek is one of the most recent. Ryan Reynolds continued, talking about how Trebek's death made him feel:
You just never know; tomorrow is not a given. Hug them tight, the people in your life. It was really shocking and sad. Obviously, he was sick and it wasn’t totally, wildly unexpected. It’s still heartbreaking nonetheless. It’s absolutely gut-wrenching.
Free Guy, with its Alex Trebek cameo, hasn't settled on a release date yet (though sometime in 2021 is the current target), but you can still watch the late Jeopardy! host daily on the quiz show, as his episodes will air through Christmas Day.