Why Wesley Snipes Didn't Like Working With Ryan Reynolds In Blade 3

David S. Goyer's 2004 film "Blade: Trinity" had all the makings of a hit. The character of Blade, as played by Wesley Snipes, was still popular after the first two movies in 1998 and 2002, and the cast expanded to include rising comedian Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, indie darling Parker Posey, and the WWE wrestler Triple H. The film would pit the titular vampire hunter against Count Dracula (Dominic Purcell). In small roles, "Trinity" featured Patton Oswalt, Eric Bogosian, and Natasha Lyonne. With a hot property, an amazing stable of talent, and a fun supervillain, what could go wrong? 

As it turns out, quite a lot. Snipes clashed a great deal with many different people on "Blade: Trinity," leading to arguments, disagreements, and even a lawsuit (Snipes sued the production for withholding pay). It's been reported in /Film that Snipes refused to film many of his "Trinity" scenes, largely because of a wardrobe incident. According to Patton Oswalt, a young Black actor — only an extra — was dressed in a t-shirt that had the word "garbage" printed on it, throwing Snipes into a rage, accusing Goyer of racism. Oswalt also alleges that Snipes refused to communicate with Goyer directly, using notes and assistants.

Things only went downhill from there. It certainly didn't help that the new kid on the block, Reynolds, actively attempted to get Snipes to break character.

Method Blade

According to a report in Showbiz Cheatsheet, Snipes also affected a method approach to playing Blade for "Trinity." Blade is a stoic badass, intense and cool, not speaking a lot, and capably taking up a sword should creatures of the night attack. "Trinity" paired Blade with two additional vampire hunters played by Reynolds and Biel, forming a superhero team called The Nightstalkers (named after a Marvel comic that starred Blade, a former Ghost Rider, and Dracula's son). 

Speaking with the AV Club, Oswalt recalled Snipes introduced himself as Blade and tried to stay physically far away from his co-stars as the character might. This caused some tension with Lyonne who, playing a blind character, grabbed Snipes unexpectedly by the face. Snipes didn't like that. Oswalt said that after that Biel and especially Reynolds turned to improv to make the shoot more fun and to gently mock Snipes. 

Reynolds certainly had a lot of leeway to improvise, as Snipes wasn't on set a lot of the time, and the supporting cast were permitted to go a little hogwild. Says Oswalt: 

"A lot of the lines that Ryan Reynolds has were just a result of Wesley not being there. We would all just think of things for him to say and then cut to Wesley's face not doing anything because that's all we could get from him. It was kind of funny. We were like, 'What are the worst jokes and puns that we can say to this guy?'"

900 variations of torture

That freedom was something Reynolds appreciated, and, in a 2012 interview with IGN, Reynolds talked about how "Trinity" allowed him to hone his skills as an actor, and how cracking wise with the amazing Parker Posey was blissful. 

"It was free flowing. Man, you sit down with Parker Posey and I'm in heaven. I feel like I could have shot that for ten years. We just lit the script on fire at that point and we were like, 'All right, let's roll it and let's do it.' The DVD is going to be so f***ing unbelievable for that scene, because there are 900 variations of what went down in that torture scene ... We don't ever stop. David has to stop us or they run out of film, and that's the only reason that "cut" was ever called in those scenes."

Reynolds feels that the stories of tension on the set of "Trinity" were, in his word, "overblown," saying that he may not be a Method actor himself, but respects it: 

"It's always overblown. My personality is the polar opposite of Wesley. I never met Wesley, I only met Blade, and he is a method actor. Say what you want about that style of acting, I have the utmost respect for whatever it takes to get through this process. We all say that these actors make so much money and they live such a life of leisure and privilege, but that is a vulnerable process, stepping onto the set everyday and performing in front of 110 judgmental souls. So whatever it takes for him or anyone else to get through that in a way that is artistically fulfilling to them, I have the utmost respect for."

I will break you

When IGN asked Reynolds if he had made it his personal goal to "crack" Snipes, he admits that he kind of did. 

"That being said, yes I did. You know what, what I found was, I just use every moment. There's a moment in the movie where I look up at Jessica and I swear to God, I didn't even know the cameras were rolling anymore and I say, 'He hates me, doesn't he?' And she's like, 'Yeah.' I'm just saying this about my relationship as Ryan Reynolds to this guy, and it works. The ad libs are just born of that. There's another one where I do a dime store psychoanalysis of him where I say, 'You ever thought about sitting down and talking with someone, getting in touch with your inner child, and also you might want to try blinking once in a while.' He just looks at me like he's gonna turn me into ass pulp."

According to Reynolds, though, Snipes wouldn't ever take the bait. Being a professional, Blade never once cracked a smile. 

"I don't know if I ever got him to laugh. The guy's Blade. Hopefully on the inside, he's laughing kind of on the inside, I don't know? It was a challenging process. I've never experienced anything like that."

Back at the AV Club, Oswalt admitted that he was into making movies for two reasons: money and anecdotes. He either wants great experiences or horrid ones, as the latter provides the best stories. While "Trinity" was not well-liked by fans or critics (it has a 25% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), it did provide for a lot of great stories. Audiences can be grateful for that much.