In 2016, PIAGET launched a new line of men’s watches that has brought envy to our girls’ faces, the so-called PIAGET POLO S. Originally created in 1979, the new Piaget Polo S takes its name from the elegant and demanding sport of polo, its motto «play a different game». Yves Piaget was one of the first ones to link celebrities to watches in the ’80s.
The Piaget Polo S watch collection.
My favorite model: The Piaget Polo S Chronograph 42mm.
While I was in NYC for the launch party, I had the honor to interview the house’s international brand ambassador Ryan Reynolds, a real game changer. For us, the 40-year-old Vancouver native opens up about his many titles: «Sexiest Men Alive», «World’s Sexiest Dad», «GQ Man of the Year for 2016», massive movie star, and «Deadpool», the biggest achievement of his life so far. He has been obsessed with the character for a very long time, trying for 11 years to get it to the big screen, so the outstanding critical and fan success of the film has been a gratifying experience for him. Driven by passion, that is a tailor-made role for him.
The Canadian actor and producer, who is married to no other than the beautiful Blake Lively (Do you remember the interview I did with her just before their wedding… if not click here please…) and father of two daughters, is a man in a hurry, constantly on the move, and yet his style epitomizes a certain kind of timelessness mirroring that of the Piaget brand.
Ryan, you are the ambassador of Piaget. What was your first encounter with the brand?
My first encounter with the brand was as a kid because my favourite film «Planes, Trains and Automobiles» featured a Piaget watch. This movie influenced a lot of what I do today. Even in my movie «Deadpool» there are six or seven hidden references to this film. For example I am reading the same book that John Candy is reading in the train station. Then there is a scene where Steve Martin’s character experiences a critical moment as he needs to sleep more than anything else in the world but he has no money left because his wallet has burnt in a fire. All he has left is his Piaget watch and six dollars. So he tells the hotel guy that he will give him six dollars and «one hell of a nice watch». The watch still exists, it is so beautiful. That was my first experience with Piaget, a symbol of a relaxed kind of luxury. It was a pivotal point for me as I took note of a brand for the first time in my life.
If you had to design a watch, how would it look like?
It would be mostly made of wood and cheese. It would be very bad for anyone who needs to be anywhere on time. I couldn’t even get a sundial together. But if I had to design a watch, I would look for this beautiful intersection between function and fashion, something that is timeless and classic. I have been doing this job for longer than most people realize which is 26 years. I started as a little kid. So I can look back and catalogue myself for this amount of time and see the different styles I was into. The only ones that stay are the classic things. Watches are accessories that men can hang on to for the rest of their lives.
How do you wear your Piaget Polo S?
I like the idea of relaxed luxury. I’d wear it to the Oscars or for my kids’ first grade graduation. It’s one of those things you can pretty much wear anywhere, with anything from a tuxedo to sportswear. It’s a watch for a new generation. As I said for a man a few accessories count, my daughter’s initials are engraved in the back. She loves to play around with it. She will get it when she is older. It is not necessarily a watch for a girl but if she is any daughter of mine, she will want Dad’s watch.
First family appearance: When Ryan Reynolds accepted the Walk of Fame honour last December, he was accompanied by his wife Blake Lively and their two daughters.
Speaking of your daughter. How has fatherhood changed your life?
It has enriched it in every way. I don’t sleep anymore. I am a little bit more protective, I noticed those «Papa Bear» instincts are coming out in a way I have never experienced before. When you live in a public eye to a certain degree, it can be a little stressful because my child has not expressed any interest in living the public eye, it is not a choice she is making. I try to protect her as much as I can while at the same time being somebody who volunteered for this job, not also hiding her. There is a difference between secrecy and privacy. I never wanted to be secret but private and most people respect that.
What is the biggest challenge you have ever encountered in your life?
Wow, that is a very lofty question. Let me think. Growing up and taking responsibility for myself has been the biggest challenge. Most kids are not fostered or taught dialogue or taught to emphazise and understand other people. That has been the biggest challenge for me as a young man at the age of 20/21, I really took this task on myself. I realized that anything that happens in a relationship I have a stake in it. Learning this nurtured a lot.
GQ Man of the Year 2016 Ryan Reynolds on the December cover.
You are 40 now. As a man do you also feel pressure aging especially in the industry you are in?
I welcome age. You should never mourne a birthday. We are all lucky getting a year older. I hope to be so old one day that I look like a deshelled moleskin. I do also understand the certain imbalance with men and women in that regard. I see it shifting incrementally and I hope it keeps happening. It also needs us men to foster that change. I certainly try to anywhere I can. I think, excluding my wife of course, the sexiest actress on planet earth is Helen Mirren.
What do you do to stay fit? Any special nutrition plans? Sports?
When I am not shooting «Deadpool» or something like that, I run and do a lot of weights. But when I film a movie like this, I have three months in advance to get prepared and that is a whole new ball game.
How do you prepare yourself for a role like that?
It is a lot of writing. That is the part that is the hardest. Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick (both screenwriters) and I wrote all the material for «Deadpool». That is the biggest challenge.
Ryan Reynolds in «Buried»
What is the role you played that you are most proud of?
That one is «Deadpool» because it took me eleven years to get it made, to convince the studio. Actually we didn’t convince them, we held them hostage until they said yes.
But seriously, «Buried», a movie that most people probably haven’t seen but it is a very challenging Spanish movie.
(About Buried: The story is about an Iraq-based American civilian truck driver, who, after being attacked, finds himself buried alive in a wooden coffin, with only a lighter, flask, flashlight, knife, glowsticks, pen, pencil, and a mobile phone. It was shot in a time period of only 16 days in Barcelona. The director Rodrigo Cortés’ inspiration was the film Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock.)
Do you have a dream role that you would love to play?
I would love to play Chet Baker but the problem is that I cannot sing. «Deadpool» was my dream role. It goes in line with the «game changer» theme. It was a game changer for me, a game changer for film, for comic books and for comic book movies.
How do you see yourself as a game changer?
Yes, I do. Game changers typically fight for something they believe in against great odds, against everyone saying it will never happen. I still have e-mails from the head of the studio at FOX, who is no longer there, saying that we will never make that movie. Sticking with something like that, hanging in there, believing in it, even when everyone else doesn’t. And being given very limited tools in order to make that movie, our budget was nothing compared to what a normal superhero movie would be. And then still making it even better than everything ever been done. Those are game changing moments. It is easier to walk away. Emotionally it would have been easier seven years ago to stop those e-mails and move on. But I did have a nice moment the weekend after the movie came out. I walked into the head of the studio’s office and said: «You can thank me now». It was a very nice moment for me.
Your wife, Blake Lively, is an actress herself. Do you see it as a blessing or a curse? Are the two of you ever in competition?
We are never in competition. I think that is why we have a great relationship. We don’t work at the same time. Recently, she shot four movies, and I shot none. We never travel and work at the same time. That seems work out for us. The key to our relationship is that we are friends first.
Ryan and Blake met on set of the movie «The Green Lantern» in 2011.
Could you imagine shooting a movie together with your wife?
Probably. We are kind of working together every day anyway. Living in our house and doing all those small daily things. But thinking of it, yes, it would be nice doing it one day.
Ryan Reynolds in three words.
Integrety. Father. Husband.
Thank you, Ryan, it was a pleasure talking to you!
And I am looking forward to seeing you tonight again at dinner with Piaget…
Photos: Courtesy of Piaget, © GQ Magazine, © Reuters, © Sandra Bauknecht