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Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the supernatural action-adventure ‘R.I.P.D. ‘as two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side. Veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges) has spent his career with the legendary police force known as R.I.P.D. tracking monstrous spirits who are cleverly disguised as ordinary people.  His mission?  To arrest and bring to justice a special brand of criminals trying to escape final judgment by hiding among the unsuspecting on Earth.

Once the wise-cracking Roy is assigned former rising-star detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) as his junior officer, the new partners have to turn grudging respect into top-notch teamwork.  When they uncover a plot that could end life as we know it, two of R.I.P.D.’s finest must miraculously restore the cosmic balance…or watch the tunnel to the afterlife begin sending angry souls the very wrong way. ‘R.I.P.D.’ hits 2D and 3D cinemas on July 19th in the US and August 30th in the UK. The likes of Kevin Bacon, Stephanie Szostak, Mary-Louise Parker, Marisa Miller, Mike O’Malley, James Hong and Robert Knepper also star. Robert Schwentke (Red) directs.

Ryan, you portray the slain detective who has a big surprise awaiting him in the afterlife. Plus, you also took more active part in the development as an executive producer….

Ryan Reynolds: Yeah. The graphic novel really interested me. The script has been through all sorts of iterations, and finally landed on this current version. I love the comic and our script takes its essence, as well as its basic plot lines and devices, and uses that. There’s a bit of tragedy and a love story wrapped up in this incredibly funny, charming movie – which is a hard thing to pull off. It’s a graphic novel, which I read after I read the script. I just thought that the world was really cool, seeing these two lawmen who were of completely different eras and modalities, and how they do things, kind of come together and clash, that’s what I thought was kind of cool.

Jeff, you play the grizzled Sheriff Roycephus “Roy” Pulsifer, who after serving several tours of has a weary “been-there, seen-that” attitude. What was it about the character that intrigued you?

Jeff Bridges: I threw my name into the hat and I’m lucky I got the gig. I had a really good time filming this movie. My character is kind of a veteran at this business of catching Deados. One of my jobs is to train the new guy, and Ryan Reynolds character is that in the film. He’s the rookie. I teach him the ropes, which are some bizarre ropes to learn (laughs). I like bizarre movies, and this one fit the bill. You know, ones that are surprising. I love to see movies where the filmmakers are ahead of you and you don’t know what’s gonna happen, and the premise of this one was so bizarre that I thought, “Oh, yeah. This could be interesting.”

What was the experience like shaping the character and his persona with director Robert Schwentke? Also, I loved your accent in this movie. Can you talk about developing your character’s accent and dialect?

Jeff Bridges: I enjoyed working with Robert so much. It’s funny, but when I’m preparing for a part, I find that I see everything through the filter of that role. While I’m working, I glean all kinds of inspiration from everything I’m around – from the way a guy sits in a chair to a book I’m reading. One of the things Robert turned me onto was a great artist named Jim Woodring (a cartoonist and Dark Horse Comics contributor) who created the cult comic ‘Frank.’ It’s very surreal and influenced my character quite a bit.

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With the accent, the sound man didn’t like that too much (laughs). It’s kind of hard to understand some of it. Sometimes, when I’m preparing for a role, I’ll kind of invite the character into me, and that’s how the guy sounded. He’s like one of those, not séances – what do they call it? A medium!

The constant friction between the two mismatched cops drives the comedy throughout ‘R.I.P.D.’ But even as Roy schools Nick in the rules of engagement or waxes poetic on life, love and the pursuit of Deados, he offers up the rare insight that resonates with the rookie….

Ryan Reynolds: Yeah (laughs). Occasionally, Roy produces a real nugget of wisdom, but usually it’s pretty tried and true (laughs). He’s got 200 years of experience working in this world, and he knows there’s no way to reach out to loved ones left behind. With Roy’s guidance, Nick discovers that he’s haunting his wife and not connecting with her.

There’s a lot of running around and action in the film. How did you prepare physically?

Ryan Reynolds: I think with movies like this, you have to have some degree of toughness. You’re gonna get beat up a little bit, but it’s not as bad as you’d think. I did a film a year and a half, two years ago called ‘Safe House’ and my neck was killing me after the movie and I went six or seven months and I finally went and got an x-ray. The doctor laughed and said, “You broke your neck!” I was like, “What?” My C5 and 6 were broken! You think you’re an actor and you think the stunt guys do it all, but you get beaten up so now I’m a little bit more, “Let’s let the stunt guy do it. I’m good.  I’m fine.”

How was it working with each other, considering your on-screen rapport?

Jeff Bridges: Ryan is just a lovely cat, man. This guy is a great actor and such a sweet soul. Man, we enjoyed it. He just hits all of the targets and makes it come together, and that’s a special talent. We jammed on so many levels. Acting is all about creating that illusion, but if you do have a cool relationship outside of shooting the movie, you can bring that into the work. Ryan and I had a good time together off the set just hanging out.

Ryan Reynolds: It’s truly a dream cast. Jeff Bridges is someone I’ve loved since ‘The Last Picture Show.’ He has an incredible body of work behind him and he’s just a gentleman in the old fashioned, spirit of that. He’s a guy I hoped an actor would be like when I was growing up. He’s a great guy and a real detail oriented artist. That was fantastic to be around. I learnt so much from Jeff. Whenever Jeff and I rae together we never have enough time to finish what we’re talking about (laughs). He’s awesome.

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