Ryan Reynolds Recalls The Time He Gave Denzel Washington Two Black Eyes: “He Looked Like A Christmas Ornament”

A man looking at another man

Remember when Ryan Reynolds whooped Denzel Washington’s ass?

Okay, it didn’t actually happen that way, but Reynolds did give Washington two black eyes once.

According to the New York Post, Reynolds sat down with David Letterman for his Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, and recalled the story of giving Washington two shiners while filming their 2012 film, Safe House.

In only the second day of filming, the two were fighting “in an out of control car,” and he was supposed to “smash” Washington “in the face.”

He said:

“There’s a scene in the movie where he crawls through the trunk in the back and he grabs me and chokes me. We were really driving a car at top speed.

He and I are in this out-of-control car and my corner of my head, I felt it hit his eye so hard I was sure that it split wide open.”

Reynolds, still a young actor at the time, said he feared for his job (and his life) after injuring one of the most well-known and well-respected actors in the world.

He continued:

“I’m thinking I’m going to be sent home via crematorium, like, this is it, not only my career but my actual pulse will cease.”

However, he said that Washington was understanding, and said he was okay:

“He was fine, he was like, ‘Hey, accidents happen. Let’s do it again and we’ll shoot it from the other side so we can keep shooting so you don’t see this.”

The two moved on, and proceeded to re-shoot the scene. However, Reynolds then did the exact same move again, hitting Washington in his other eye:

“We did it again, and I got the other eye, Dave… for a minute, he looked like a Christmas ornament.”

I mean c’mon, Ryan. How’re you gonna leave two shiners on John Q? On Coach Boone? On The Equalizer?


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock