Ryan Reynolds may not be the first voice you'd think of for cute, cuddly Pikachu, but leveraging his comedic persona was a genius choice — here’s why.
Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton
May 10, 2019
His blood’s cold, his coffee’s black, and his fur is brighter than a Sharpie-brand highlighter. Detective Pikachu is on the case this summer, teaming up with friendly human Tim (Justice Smith) to find Detective Harry Goodman, who has vanished in the most detectivey of ways: mysteriously.
As if Pokémon trainers don’t have enough reasons to be excited about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, the title character is played by another adorable superstar: Ryan Reynolds. Not only did he voice the character, but the Vancouver actor’s physical performance was shrunk down to Pikachu size through motion capture (which uses sensors to track an actor’s movements and expressions for the animators to replicate).
Early reviews have praised Reynolds’s hilarious performance as the hard-boiled (yet lovable) detective. We wouldn’t have expected the sarcastic mastermind behind Deadpool to kill it as a cuddly Pokémon, but his sharp wit and comedic timing give Pikachu an amusing edge that appeals to Pokéfans and comedy lovers alike. In his roles in such films as Van Wilder, Waiting and the Deadpool series, Reynolds’s self-deprecating, wacky, cutting humour has proven him a worthy successor to Canadian comedy legends like Jim Carrey, Catherine O’Hara and John Candy.
Deadpan beyond Deadpool
Reynolds’s most memorable performances highlight his funniest self, a signature deadpan delivery of hilarious insults, ridiculous innuendos and self-deprecating jabs. But Reynolds doesn’t just turn on the laughs on film: He lives that comedy life, infusing humour into everything he tackles, including his social media presence, interviews, marketing for his Aviation American Gin brand and his Hollywood deal making.
People keep thanking me for getting Deadpool made. I didn't get it made. YOU did. The internet put Fox in a hammerlock death-grip. #sayuncle— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) February 20, 2015
He’s been hailed as “the funniest actor on Twitter”
Golden Globe nominee. MTV Movie & TV Award winner. People’s Sexiest Man Alive ’10 (suck it, Pitt!) But these accolades don’t mean a thing to a man who’s been named “the funniest actor on Twitter.” Nothing is off limits when he's tweeting to his 13.6 million followers — not even his wife, Blake Lively, and daughters are safe from his candid real talk on parenting.
Being a father is the single greatest feeling on earth. Not including those wonderful years I spent without a child, of course.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 22, 2016
I'd walk through fire for my daughter. Well not FIRE, because it's dangerous. But a super humid room. But not too humid, because my hair.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) September 11, 2015
His business savvy is no joke
Reynolds has turned liquor into so much more than nature’s mouthwash. All the promos for his gin brand feature his signature irreverent humour. An ad for Aviation gin demystifies how the spirit is produced: “To ensure that heavenly taste, every bottle is ordained by the Unitarian Church of Fresno, California,” he narrates in the picturesque commercial, featuring shots of rolling hills and farmland. “And then, before it departs home, it’s serenaded with the healing music of Sarah McLachlan.”
My secret is now Cage-Free. pic.twitter.com/gdmySvDK0W— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 13, 2018
He trolls with the best of them
Whether he’s poking fun at fans or other celebs on Twitter, no topic is taboo for Reynolds. He maintains a public love-hate (but mostly love) relationship with co-stars such as Josh Brolin and Hugh Jackman. Deadpool released a now-famous video for Australia Day (“You gave us Wolverine, and for that, I can’t forgive ya”), and Reynolds ran a spoof attack ad during 2018’s awards season, when Jackman was nominated for The Front Runner. But beneath the insults, their bromance is alive and well. Reynolds recently called a truce, producing a “million-dollar” ad for Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee Company. (Jackman countered with a commercial for Reynolds’s Aviation gin).
Here's what Hugh Jackman told us about their rivalry:
He takes his comedy seriously
Actors always say comedy is serious work, and Reynolds confirms that in his viral video “Outside the Actors Studio.” Wearing his most studious glasses, he walks fans through how he got under the Big Bird–esque skin of Detective Pikachu. “I read about him. I lived at his height. I tried to lose 182 pounds to match his weight, until doctors intervened,” he candidly reveals.
See (or at least hear) Ryan Reynolds in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, opening May 10.
Related: Lana Gay talks Pokémon: Detective Pikachu on the Hello Movies podcast
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is not just for kids.
If the idea of Pokémon makes you think of childhood, think again. Ryan Reynolds takes his sarcastic humour and makes Pikachu enjoyable for parents and kids alike. This is a fun adventure for the whole family.