The ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ stars bond over their offscreen lives as dads of daughters
The Hitman’s Bodyguard: Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds.
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson first met at a fundraiser at Jackson’s Los Angeles home. “He had all these great photos of his life on a table,” Reynolds, 40, recalls. “I said, ‘I never think to do this.’ He said, ‘Why not? It’s your f--king life, man!’ It stayed with me, and now I have photos of my kids and my wife all over our house.” The Hitman’s Bodyguard stars sat down with WHO to discuss marriage, raising daughters— Jackson, 68, and his wife, Latanya, are parents to Zoe, 35; and Reynolds and his wife, Blake Lively, have two girls, 2-yearold James and 10-month-old Ines—and loving Downton Abbey’s grande dame.
What surprised you most about working with each other? Reynolds I didn’t know he could sing that well. I’ve heard him sing in movies before, but you always think they’re kind of faking it. Jackson He handles daddy duties while he’s working. Reynolds I like having my kids at work. You want to have them around, but you don’t want them to be an imposition. Jackson I used to like having Zoe around, then once she was of a certain age, she was trying to be around because she could stash candy in her backpack. She would go to craft service. I’m like, “Where do all these Blow Pops come from?” Reynolds My daughter’s like a dime-store thug on-set. She’ll open her jacket, and there’s like a hundred Tootsie Rolls inside. What’s the key to raising a strong daughter? Jackson I don’t know. She spent a lot of time with me. Her mom’s really strong. Reynolds My kids, fortunately they have both of our genes. They have my wife’s ability to just stay up all hours. Yet they also have my genes, which is to wake up no matter what at 5 AM. Sam, you’ve been married for 37 years. What’s your secret? Jackson We have a very strong bond. We met in college, in the theatre. We actually thought we were going to be the black Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, but we were going to stay together! She’s had a good career. I’ve had a good career. So it’s worked. What actor are you dying to work with? Jackson I finally got to do a scene with Michael Caine in Kingsman. I still want to do a scene with Maggie Smith. She is one of my favourite people. We hang out. Reynolds I love that Maggie’s face can turn one word into a 68-syllable thing: “I wouldn’t do it in-ten-shon-all -lee.” I watch her in Downton, and I’m like, “Wow!”
“They have my wife’s ability to just stay up all hours” —Ryan Reynolds on his kids
Samuel L. Jackson & Ryan Reynolds
“I got an Mma-style knee to the face yesterday morning at 5.36 AM,” says Reynolds (with his family last year) on life as a dad.
Jackson plays an assassin who needs his own protection (Reynolds) in the action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, in cinemas on Aug. 31.
Jackson with his wife, actress Latanya (middle), and their daughter, Zoe Jackson (in 2008).