'Safe House': Ryan Reynolds Recalls Giving Denzel Washington a Black Eye During Filming

Safe House is trending in Netflix’s Top 10, and that fact has not gone unnoticed by one of its stars. Ryan Reynolds co-starred with Denzel Washington in the 2012 action flick, and the Deadpool actor shared a behind-the-scenes story about the film. Apparently, he accidentally hit Washington the face while shooting a hectic scene, and still feels bad about it.

Ryan Reynolds recalls ‘smashing’ Denzel Washington’s eye in ‘Safe House’

Safe House is almost 10 years old, but it’s finding new life on Netflix. In it, Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a CIA agent in charge of overseeing a safe house in South Africa. Washington’s character is a rogue CIA vet named Tobin Frost who’s carrying detrimental state secrets. When Frost is apprehended and arrives at Weston’s action-less site, action finally commences.

There’s a car chase in the film where Frost breaks out of the trunk through the back seat. He tries to fight Weston in the driver’s seat. In a new Instagram post, Reynolds recalled how he accidentally hit Washington in the eye twice while shooting the scene.

“Fun fact in honour of SAFE HOUSE trending on @netflix… The second day shooting, we were filming a fight scene inside a speeding, out of control car when my head smashed into Denzel Washington’s eye. I couldn’t stop apologizing. In the next take, it happened again. This time I got the other eye. He was fine because he’s Denzel Washington. But I still haven’t recovered. I never will,” Reynolds wrote.

Washington spoke about the black eye incident too

Back in 2012, Reynolds and Washington spoke with IndieWire to promote the film. They joked about how Washington received his first black eye thanks to Reynolds’ stunt gone wrong.

“I reach over, we’re flying around in the car, and just as I was reaching forward, he was flying back,” said Washington, describing the scene. “And then pow! He gave me a black eye.” Reynolds was mortified and explained to IndieWire how he already felt intimidated after seeing his co-star in Hurricane. He was waiting for Washington’s reaction.

“I tried to make him feel bad about it,” Washington teased. “I was like, ‘What the …!’ I’ve never had a black eye in my life, but I can’t say that anymore.” And Reynolds laughed and quipped that at least his first one came courtesy of an “apologetic Canadian.”

Washington endured waterboarding in ‘Safe House’

Another little known factoid about Safe House is that Washington underwent waterboarding in the movie’s torture scene. He talked about it in an interview with ScreenSlam, and said he endured as much as he possibly could for his character.

“I did it to the degree that I was able to, and I tried it for real,” he said. “It’s very confusing and disorienting… choking. But I really wanted to go for it to see what it felt like. And you think, ‘Oh, I can hold my breath and it’ll be fine.’ But they just keep pouring the water.”

Safe House arrived on Netflix on Sept. 16 so fans can watch Reynolds and Washington run, shoot, and bleed while visualizing Reynolds’ black eye blunder.  

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