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How Ryan Reynolds Makes Movies Like The Adam Project More Inclusive

How Ryan Reynolds Makes Movies Like The Adam Project More Inclusive

When it comes to triple threats, Ryan Reynolds has that title in the bag. The actor is a busy guy between his movie star acting chops, comedic genius, and his newer production roles. Yet, as integral as Reynolds is to Hollywood, he’s also a hard-working philanthropist — and sometimes, those two areas blend together to create something truly special. Of course, Reynolds has been around the acting block more than a few dozen times, making it a point to notice and combat the injustices he’s seen firsthand in Hollywood, whether it’s inequitable pay gaps or excluding marginalized communities both on and off the screen. 

To help combat this injustice, Reynolds has created a project called “The Group Effort Initiative” through his own production company, Maximum Effort; it offers a paid training space for marginalized communities to get onset experience and training. To fund it, Reynolds takes a pay cut from his films like his latest, The Adam Project,” set to debut March 11 on Netflix. 

Netflix invited Looper to a live Q&A event following a screening of “The Adam Project,” where Reynolds revealed how he uses his production company and his own clout to work toward a more inclusive filming environment.

Using clout to change the system

During the Q&A after a screening of “The Adam Project,” moderator Dave Karger mentioned Ryan Reynolds’ Group Effort Initiative, noting, “I understand, it is a way to provide opportunities in the film industry for basically underrepresented people.” Karger then asked, “Can you explain how that affected the production of this movie? Because I think this was the first one.”

Reynolds explained the inspiration behind the project, and said, “GEI or Group Effort Initiative was just founded basically because I worked on film sets for 20-plus years, 25 years, and the crews all look the same, and they’re wonderful. They’re amazing crews, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s really accessed by a lot of diversity. So I don’t really use it, the term ‘underrepresented,’ as much as just historically discriminated against folks and [wanting to] give them access and opportunity to tell these stories.” Reynolds also made sure to note that GEI isn’t quite a charity, and said, “But it sounds like I’m painting a charity or something. I’m not. … It’s literally designed to make the film industry better.”

Reynolds is wanting to improve the film industry

During the conversation, Ryan Reynolds added why he thinks having the initiative is so important. “When you have more diversity behind the camera, and you have more people from completely different perspectives than our own, cheering in and telling this story and growing into this community of filmmakers, which is what it is, you make better movies. And you don’t step into those traps, and you eliminate so many of those blind spots that so many of us have had, myself included.” Really, it’s about time the film Hollywood reflected the actual world both on and off the screen — and it’s great to see actors with clout work toward that goal.

Reynolds dove into The Group Effort Initiative for the first time on “The Adam Project,” and he noted how it’s already gaining momentum outside of the actor’s own sets. He said, “This was its sort of maiden voyage. … It’s the first time we did it. It was a huge success, and it’s just grown and grown and grown. It’s on … I don’t know how many dozens of different productions and films now.” Reynolds isn’t looking to slow it down, either. “It’s on all of my movies. As long as I still get to make movies, I’m going to keep having The Group Effort Initiative be a huge part of it. But, yeah, it’s a great program. I’m really super proud of it.”

Fans can check out “The Adam Project” starting March 11 on Netflix.

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