Ryan Reynolds brings heart and humor to family adventure-comedy “IF”

Ryan Reynolds is bringing his high-energy comedic humor that made his portrayal as the superhero Deadpool iconic, and turning it into something magical as the character Cal in the whimsical world of IF. In a world where IFs or imaginary friends are real, Cal, along with Bea (Cailey Fleming), are the only ones who can see these beings. Cal is on a mission to give purpose to forgotten IFs by matching them with a new kid to protect and play with, but his efforts have been fruitless so far. Along comes Bea, and everything begins to change.

The character Cal is a role tailored for Reynolds. Director-writer John Krasinski explains, “We needed someone who could play heart as well as humor, an expert at physical comedy who could create a very real relationship with Bea. Ryan is able to cover such a range of emotions and have such fun doing it.”

Krasinski also shares how Reynolds is uniquely qualified to be the person that takes Bea on an adventure she never dreamed of. “He has the ability to draw everyone in with his likability,” says Krasinski. “And he is able to make the kind of emotional hairpin turns that most actors can’t. He has incredible timing. But more importantly, he understands that while timing can make you laugh, it can also make you cry. He just knows how to craft a performance.”

Executive producer John J. Kelly agrees and says he cannot imagine anyone else who could fit the bill.. “The character is a lot like Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Kelly also notes that Reynolds went above and beyond in terms of commitment to the film, coming up with unexpected ways to deliver laughs to the audience. “Ryan is always coming up with ideas for another way to do something,” he recalls. “The physical comedy in this film is amazing.”

Reynolds shares his take on the story of IF, and the importance of imagination. “The concept of imaginary friends is provocative and interesting,” he says. “IFs are usually created out of necessity. It’s an adaptive coping mechanism for kids who realize that they can’t rely exclusively on their parents for a sense of well-being. They have to find other ways to manage. They seek it by creating their own imaginary friends.”

Personally, Reynolds also shares that he had his own IF as a child: a teddy bear named Pookie. “My brother Jeff and I shared this imaginary friend back and forth. It was a kind of weird bond we had.

A whimsical tale for anyone that dares to imagine, IF, rated G, arrives in Philippine cinemas on May 15. 

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