Ryan Reynolds, Michael Bay talk about 6 Underground, the pros and cons of releasing a film directly on Netflix
Firstpost was invited by Netflix to Seoul for the official press tour of 6 Underground.
To say that Ryan Reynolds walks into a room and single-handedly lifts the spirit, sarcasm and wit of the space by an infinite amount would be a disservice to him.
No, Hollywood's funnyman walks into a room and makes you despair over the fact that you aren't the one who's married to him — sorry Blake, but extreme(ly) gorgeous men call for extreme statements.
All my beliefs are confirmed when Reynolds walks into the room where the world premiere of his upcoming Netflix movie 6 Underground is being held. Straight off the bat, after a minor screen malfunction which results in a not so minor sound, Reynolds has the room in splits after taking the blame. "Sorry, that was me. I had a big breakfast."
An electric screening of the action-packed trailer ensues after which Reynold's along with the rest of 6 Underground's cast members Mélanie Laurent, Adria Arjona, director Michael Bay and producer Ian Bryce take their seats on stage to kick off a spirited question and answer session with the press.
Even the sub-zero weather in Seoul, South Korea, cannot dampen the spirits of all that are present at the event. This is in huge part due to the super zealous Korean host of the evening. A lady who is probably as excited (if not more) about 6 Underground as Bay himself. In all honesty, if she wasn't around — that 11 a.m press conference would have probably gone down a lot differently (read: drooling mouths and sleep deprived eyes).
With mega blockbusters like Transformers and Pearl Harbor under his belt, director Michael Bay describes his latest venture as "Six damaged souls looking for redemption" wherein they become "ghosts, lose their digital footprint and from there they take on some very evil people". He feels that his 6 lead characters — named 1, 2, 3, 4, you get the drift — are "reluctant heroes, evocative of an image".
"He's an enterprising billionaire who has lost his way and become disenfranchised with geo-political issues," says Ryan Reynolds of his character, 1, who happens to be the leader of the film's Team Ghost. When questioned on whether he was actually the group leader on set as well, the world's most foul-mouthed superhero responds with a rather humble rejoinder. "On any set, the leader is the director and here too, it was the same. If there was any leader in the cast, it would be Mélanie. She suffers no fools. Most movies I do these days, I'm a producer as well. In this one, I was not a producer and got to be there as a student which was a huge load off cause I just got to enjoy myself."
Just when one might think the actor-producer-gin brand owner may have a serious bone in his body, he wraps up his answer by looking despondently at his translator. "I'm so sorry, I just go on and on and on don't I?" And just like that, everyone is once again swept up in Deadpool's charm.
Mélanie Laurent, number 2 to Reynolds' number 1, describes her character of a former CIA operative as cold and tough. "I don't know if the world sees the French like this," she jokes. Her character is perhaps one with the most number of actions sequences in a movie where it seems as if there is endless action. "6 Underground gives us something new about action scenes and something we haven't seen before because of the utilisation of real locations. We were shooting out in the open, and realised that the next five months are going to be like that. We were tired after five months of shooting," says Laurent with a twinkle in her eye, that suggests she would be game for another five.
The Doctor's character, played by the stunning Adria Arjona, is perhaps the most contrasting to the other five in Team Ghost. For a narrative that is seeped in violence, Arjona's character decidedly "hates violence and is always hiding behind other characters," says Arjona with a sheepish grin. She reveals that the toughest action sequence for her was the film's opening car chase since she had "never had a director operate the camera and direct me at the same time."
"After turning forty, hitting hard cement is just not fun," quips in Reynolds when questioned about his most challenging action scenes. However he feels that the most challenging stuff was the hand-to-hand combat sequences, something his character can be seen pulling out of the bag every now and again.
At some point, the elephant in the room is addressed, when a member of the press asks director Michael Bay if he has any regrets that 6 Underground won't have a cinematic release and will only be seen on television screens, considering his penchant for huge-scale action movies. "Of course there are regrets," says the master storyteller, "however, movie-going culture is sadly dying. Netflix gave us the money that we needed and we are very glad. For everyone else, I'd suggest you get a big TV," concludes Bay, leaving the audience in splits.
A spontaneous song and dance from the d̶i̶r̶e̶c̶t̶o̶r̶ enthusiastic host of the event ensues, following which Laurent sums up the gist of 6 Underground poetically. "Audiences these days watch movies with a lot of superheroes. This is just a movie with super human beings who are super heroes but with no super powers."
The metaphoric curtains fall, and Ryan Reynolds with his not-a-day-over-30-looking-face walks away with my heart.
(The writer was invited by Netflix to Seoul for the official press tour of 6 Underground)
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