When you think of a cologne commercial, you may picture a very serious (yet sexy!) scene. It’s black and white. A brooding man is driving a car while a somber, deep voiceover plays. That’s not the case with Ryan Reynolds, who is the new face of Armani Code fragrances. His commercial, shot by The Handmaid’s Tale producer and director Reed Morano, has more humor, action, and yes, sexiness, but his famous comedic chops also come through. Most notably a woman—actress Elodie Yung—stars alongside him, leading and chasing him just as much as he is chasing her.
“They all feel like they come from a kit of ads—a lot of them have very distinct and, I think, antiquated notions of masculinity,” he tells ELLE.com of fragrance commercials. “In this particular piece, that power dynamic vacillates wildly between these two characters. I love what Elodie brought to the table and so it was pretty exciting to stretch a little bit and do something, at least in the fragrance advertising world, a little bit different.”
Ahead, we chat with Reynolds more about his self-care rituals, toxic masculinity, and the scent that smells like home.
What made you excited to be a face of Armani Code?
They wanted me to be more involved in some aspects and in a different direction which I was excited about. Working with Reed Moreno is so important to me. She’s a friend of mine and someone I have such immense respect for as a filmmaker. Getting to launch things off with that was just really probably the best part for me. She’s just so brilliant and wonderful in everything she does. So I was excited to work with her. Reed loves ’70s French cinema so that was imbued throughout this whole thing.
The fragrance messaging is about showcasing “the new masculinity”—what does that mean to you?
What does “the new masculinity” mean to me? I mean, I think as we move away from or make toxic masculinity a memory, I think that certainly anything that encompasses that is new and better. I also like the idea of everything feeling more integrated than it used to. It’s a pretty exciting paradigm shift that I think is welcomed by most people. I like that.
When I grew up, I grew up the youngest of four boys and I grew up in a household where my dad was a boxer and a cop and there was a tremendous emphasis placed on masculinity and what it means to be a man. As I’ve moved through life I’ve seen that none of that is really true and integrating both a feminine side and a masculine side is something that’s been important to me for a long time. I don’t shy away from any part of me. It’s something that I just enjoy.
Scent is known to evoke strong memories—which scent does that for you?
My first memory of scent is a fireplace growing up. There’s something just so warm and welcoming about that in a home. We grew up in a middle class family and, in the winter time, my dad would chop wood and bring it into the house. There’s something about that smell of wet wood that to me is pretty indelible in my mind.
What’s your grooming routine like?
I can’t really describe my grooming routine, because I don’t really have one. It’s just immensely dull. It’s mostly just involves showering with water that isn’t freezing and shampoo. If it’s bone dry and winter outside in New York and you get out of the shower and your face feels like it’s going to crack and fall off, I’ll use moisturizer, but I don’t know the specific products I use.
When you’re shooting Deadpool, how sweaty is that mask? Does it ruin your skin?
It’s a sweatfest under there. Some of the shoot days are 16 hours. There’s not much you can do. You really got to just kinda grin and bear it and, you know, Deadpool is something I spent 10 odd years before the first Deadpool film trying to get it made. I take it all as it comes.
Does Blake share any beauty tips with you?
Not really, I have a real minimalist kind of attitude with this stuff and it’s not that I don’t have great respect for people who have much more advanced routines that they go through, I think that’s great, to each his own but I don’t. Self care is a good way to look at it.
What are your self-care rituals?
I look at like different things as a luxury now. Sleep is a real luxury, I think. These days, we don’t really turn off as readily as we did 10, 15 years ago. With our phones, we can kind of work all the way right through REM. So, sleep for me is pretty important. I get it whenever I can. When my kids go down, I go down. I try to at least do that. If they’re going down at 8 at night or 9 at night, I’ll try to be right behind them.
What is your morning routine like?
I wake up early, like 5:30 or so. I just have a little bit of time for me and then I’m taking kids to school. If I have the time, I’ll go for a run. If it’s not, I’ll run on the treadmill or something at the gym. I eat breakfast, breakfast is very important. And then it’s just kid stuff.
You’ve got your own gin company, Aviation. What do you do to look fresh when you’ve got a hangover?
I try not to drink too much of it. Although, I have been guilty of doing that now and again. I’ve never really gotten a hangover—I don’t mix, I just stick to gin—maybe I’m not doing it right!