“Who else could I think of?” Cortes says of his star. “He never acts; he always sees. And when you’re doing a movie that has just three elements, you have to be very aware of pace, of rhythm and of music.”
Before long Reynolds was in Barcelona for a 17-day shoot that would prove to be much more difficult than he ever expected. “I lost a lot of weight,” Reynolds jokes. “It’s a great diet, coffins.” He had trouble sleeping; he had trouble eating. He even developed a bit of a bald spot on the back his head by the time it was all done. “Wood and sand are tremendous exfoliants.” Fortunately, the box didn’t kill his sense of humour.
Still, there is a big difference between preparing yourself mentally to get into that box and actually getting in the damn box. “I’m not a huge fan of actors overly romanticizing their process. It is usually self-aggrandizement masquerading as story telling,” Reynolds says, as if excusing himself for answering the question asked. “But I had a tough time on this movie. I will definitely say that.” Tough is perhaps too easy a word to describe a set where paramedics were present for the last days of shooting. They didn’t have to do anything but the fact that they were there nonetheless says plenty about what was at risk. “I was a little out of control when I was in there and it was nice to be done.”
Reynolds swears he will never complain about his job again after BURIED. And while it may have been rough, he could not be happier with the way it turned out.
“I love that the beginning of this film is in total darkness, that we don’t know who this person is but, by the end of the movie, there is a whole universe in that coffin. That is what Rodrigo saw from the very beginning and that is what I fell in love with.” His pride in both the director and the picture is clear. “Rodrigo made it a big movie not in spite of its limitations but because of them.”
One other thing is clear too. When Reynolds emerges from BURIED’s coffin, he too will be bigger because of it.