Ryan Reynolds explains the relationship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro in Green Lantern

Illustration for article titled Ryan Reynolds explains the relationship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro in Green Lantern

On Friday, we were lucky enough to sit with the ring-slinging superhero himself, Ryan Reynolds, and talk about Green Lantern with a group of other reporters. And he explained how Hal Jordan sees Mark Strong's Sinestro as a father figure.


Plus we've got a ton more super high-res screencaps from the four minutes of new footage that came out over the weekend! Minor spoilers below...

So you might think of Sinestro as Hal Jordan's arch nemesis — but fans of the Green Lantern comic know that Sinestro starts out as Hal Jordan's friend and mentor. And indeed, Ryan Reynolds talked a lot in interviews at Wondercon about how much Hal sees Sinestro as a father figure.


Green Lantern, the film, is full of "daddy issues" due to Hal Jordan's long-dead father and all the new father figures he takes on in the film, explained Reynolds.

[Hal Jordan] needs mentors. I mean, this is a guy that's out of control at the beginning of our film. He's out of control in a more realistic way. He's not like in the band Poison and falling asleep on an oven which is turned on. He's out of control in a kind of a more realistic sort of a way. He's a rudderless guy, he's arrogant and misguided... He's shepherded by these guys. Mark Strong, who's such an immense talent and an immense presence, serves as a bit of a mentor. You have Kilowog, who's sort of a mentor. Then you have Tomar-Re, who's inducting Hal and really showing what this world is.

We asked Reynolds how he went about portraying a hero whose main strength is the ability to overcome fear — how do you dramatize feeling fear but overcoming it? And Reynolds explained how the utterly fearless Sinestro makes it possible to show Hal's struggle to overcome fear:

What distinguishes Hal from the other Lanterns is that he has the ability to overcome fear, because he experiences it. They see that as a weakness, that he experiences fear. Overcoming fear is the very definition of courage. It's moving on, in spite of it not because of it. It's what makes him the greatest Green Lantern of them all. He harnesses that fear that he's feeling, and he converts it into pure will. It's exciting to play that, but it's also easier to tell that story when you have its opposite next to you. When you're standing next to Mark Strong as Sinestro, who feels no fear and has no fear. And in his performance, you feel no fear. You hear no fear. It makes my job easier to show that contrast.


And here are a ton more screencaps from the new Green Lantern footage:

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Two things about modern movies piss me off to no end: the never-ending parade of heroes with daddy issues and the notion of a callow, immature hero who is "chosen" by fate to save everybody. Just for once, I'd like to see a genre movie in which the hero does good deeds because it seems like the right thing to do, instead of fulfilling some bullshit Campbellian archetype or making amends with a father figure. You know, like most Hollywood movies not involving the Bible made before 1977.

Then again, when you realize that most action scripts are written by twentysomething frat guys with zero life experience trying to satisfy the fickle demands of the general public and the entertainment industry, it all starts to make sense.