"Buried," which opens in limited release today before going wide on October 8, is an unconventional film, to say the least. It's 94 minutes in a box with Ryan Reynolds. There are no cutaways, no flashbacks, nothing like that.
Even more unusual is the manner in which the film was shot, which is to say chronologically. Most movies come together only after the scenes which make up the story are all shot out of sequence and then assembled into a cohesive whole. With "Buried," director Rodrigo Cortes simply went in order. "That was a help, because we needed to know where we came from and where we were going," he explained in a recent interview with MTV. "I've never shot chronologically, but in this case it was possible because we only had one location. Maybe this is the last time I will do it, but I took advantage this time to try to do it this way. It was really, really helpful."
This of course means that the last day of shooting was also the last scene in the film. Without giving anything away, it was one of the more dangerous stunt moments for Reynolds. Cortes recalls that, although steps were taken to be safe, the precautions created more stress than they relieved.
"The producers wanted Ryan to feel safe that day because it was going to be very hard," he explained. "So they decided to call an ambulance and two paramedics [to ensure] that Ryan felt safe. Of course, that was the worst idea. If you are Ryan Reynolds and you go to the set the last day of shooting, and for the very first time you see an ambulance and two paramedics you don't feel safe at all."
Reynolds was a good sport about it though. Ever the professional, he made a joke of it. "What he felt," Cortes explained, "is that if he died that day at least it was the last one, so we could have the film completely over. Of course he was laughing, but that's what he said, that's how he felt. It was a very, very tense day."
As much as he made light of it, Reynolds still had one particularly scary moment on that last day. "I remember he had the microphone on his chest and it was pressed [down]," Cortes said. "So the [on-set] coach... thought [Ryan] was about to have a panic attack because his heart started to beat faster and faster."
The coach reacted quickly in trying to calm the actor down. Think on open spaces, wide open spaces, he suggested. A forest. Outer space. The beach. Reynolds replied, "Forget about the beach, forget about the sand, please go back to the forest, go back to the meadows." And now you know where Reynolds' happy place is!