Walker Scobell Was Uniquely Prepared To Play The Adam Project's Young Ryan Reynolds

"The Adam Project" is a sweet, sad, time travel-laced family adventure that you're going to be hearing about non-stop for the next week or so. The film, directed by Shawn Levy ("Stranger Things," "Free Guy"), is chockablock filled with stars, including Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldaña, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, and Catherine Keener, and is aiming for that perfect family niche. The kind of film you can watch with parents, older kids, and young ones alike. 

It's got those sweet "Jumanji" vibes that make a film so wildly appealing, a little adventure, a little danger, a little comedy, and a whole lot of heart at its core. Or at least, that's the film that's being presented in all of "The Adam Project" trailers, including the very expensive one that was aired during the Super Bowl. This movie's got money and clout and it's not afraid to use it.

Meet Walker Scobell

Despite the big names and the (probably) wild budget, "The Adam Project" is also the debut of the young actor Walker Scobell, who spends most of the movie acting opposite Reynolds. Working alongside an incredibly famous and established actor would be daunting for anyone making their Hollywood debut, but according to Reynolds, Scobell flourished. More than that, he was able to easily keep up with Reynolds' improvisation style. As he explained, in an interview with Collider:

"Oh, Walker's amazing. I fire off 10 alts to any given joke or moment ... So there's all sorts of things that come about out of nowhere and work in surprising ways, not the least of which is you could throw that kid anything and he'll deliver it perfectly. It was just unbelievable. He felt like a much more extroverted version of me as a kid. I was much more shy than he was, but he really could turn that on. But actually, Walker in real life is quite shy."

But the high praise didn't stop there. In addition to Scobell's natural comedic chops, Reynolds also praised him for the breadth of his performance, saying:

"Walker in real life is a kid that I think lives in his head a little bit ... I'm not saying that's an easy thing necessarily, but I know it gives him a kind of dimension and depth that you don't find with a lot of kids at 12 years old. He really delivered that."

The key is watching 'Deadpool'

So how does a kid that young get prepared for what is gearing up to be one of the biggest movies of the year? Besides going to acting camp, which kicked off a row of dominos for Scobell, including getting an agent and manager which lead him to "The Adam Project" casting call, he watched a lot of "Deadpool." And I mean a lot. Perhaps a concerning amount of "Deadpool?" (But also, no judgment, I'm not a parent and I used to watch movies over and over again too).

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Scobell and Reynolds joke about his obsession with the "Deadpool" franchise. With Reynolds saying, "He knows them verbatim. Literally, I'm not kidding. He even knows the expositional lines that people usually forget," and Scobell adding:

"I just watched it so many times so that if anyone asked me if I had seen it, I could start reciting lines. I didn't realize that I had memorized the whole thing from start to finish [until that day]."

Of course, he's talking about the day he got to read with Reynolds for the first time. Whatever Scobell did in that reading (or before the reading) must have worked, because he's got one hell of an acting credit now. Maybe we should all watch "Deadpool" before big interviews? If it worked that fantastically for Scobell, I'm willing to try it.

"The Adam Project" time travels onto Netflix on March 11, 2022.