Ryan Reynolds had the viral coup of the year when he closed the loop on the Peloton Lady saga with a commercial for his own gin company, and now we know his experience with a failed superhero movie played a part in him tracking Monica Ruiz down for the role.
Ruiz has blamed herself for the backlash to the ad, with some saying the gift of a workout bike is sexist, while other simply found her performance as more of a cry for help than an appreciative wife. But Reynolds has said it’s larger than that, and as an actor he wanted to help pick a colleague up while selling a bit of booze in the process. In an interview with the New York Times, Reynolds said he had to work quickly to “jump on the zeitgeist-y moment as it happens.” But he had a slightly different answer in an interview on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Reynolds went into a bit more detail about how he found Ruiz for the spot.
The ad comes up at the 4:35 mark of the interview, when Fallon turns the conversation to his Aviation American Gin. Reynolds started by echoing something he told the Times about sympathizing as an actor, but this time used it as an opportunity to make fun of a specific superhero movie of his.
“I’ve been there in that position as an actor when you do something that doesn’t quite work. I really wish someone with a gin company called me after Green Lantern,” Reynolds said. “And was like ‘Hey I’ve got something funny you can do as an answer to that.”
Reynolds said it was “really difficult” to find Ruiz because no one he knew had her info, and also one specific company wasn’t going to be very helpful.
“Obviously the people at Peloton didn’t want us to get a hold of her,” Reynolds said. “But within 36 hours we’d shot, chopped and put out this commercial.”
Renolds called Ruiz “amazing” and “super funny,” which is high praise. He and the audience gave her a hand, and both Reynolds and Fallon said they hope she continues to get more work. But it’s funny that Reynolds, who found success with comic book movies with two Deadpool films, used it as yet another chance to poke fun at his failures with Green Lantern. Perhaps even Ruiz can strike gold with another workout commercial someday. Or hopefully something even bigger.