Ryan Reynolds may be just another pretty face, but in the past couple of years he’s been showing a range of acting chops that, combined with those looks, have made him a Canadian who’s hot in Hollywood.

Ryan Reynolds may be just another pretty face, but in the past couple of years he’s been showing a range of acting chops that, combined with those looks, have made him a Canadian who’s hot in Hollywood.


He played action well in “Blade: Trinity,” took on a romantic lead in “Definitely, Maybe,” and went for – and got – laughs in “The Proposal.”


Now he dons a skin-tight emerald-colored suit, puts a special power ring on his finger, and takes to the air, fighting off all kinds of villainous opponents in the newest comic book to screen adaptation, “Green Lantern,” which opens Friday.


Reynolds plays talented but cocky test pilot Hal Jordan, an everyday guy who, unbeknownst to him, has been chosen to become a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an elite group of 3,600 intergalactic peacekeepers.


At an recent interview in Los Angeles, he pointed out that the eye-popping, living and breathing suit he wears doesn’t actually exist. It’s a computer-generated special effect.


“In the Green Lantern mythology, the suit is pure energy,” he said. “So I’m wearing a motion capture suit, with tracking dots all over it. It was a little weird. When I was walking around the set I looked sort of like a crash test dummy that’s lost his Volvo.”


The plot revolves around the fact that Hal Jordan is the first human to be inducted into the Corps, and it’s his humanity that turns out to be both a plus and minus for him because he’s expected to be fearless and brimming with discipline and willpower in his new post.


“But Hal Jordan isn’t fearless,” said Reynolds. “It’s his humanity, his inability (at first) to overcome fear that separates him from the other Green Lanterns.”


Reynolds identified with the character he plays.


“Each time I take a role, I’m always nervous about it at the beginning,” he said. “It’s like I’m afraid of ‘what if this, what if that.’ But then I get into it and I start working, and that’s a big win for me. It’s stepping forward into the face of whatever fear I’ve created for myself.”


OK, that’s fair. But what about Green Lantern’s willpower and discipline?


“I’ve always relied on discipline to achieve goals, great and small,” said Reynolds. “At a young age, my father instilled a real work ethic in me. So I’ve always felt that if I didn’t have a natural knack for something, I could kind of out-discipline the competition, as it were. I’ve always worked as hard as I possibly could, sometimes to my own detriment in my personal life. So for me, willpower and discipline are synonymous.”


Reynolds, working opposite his real-life former flame Blake Lively as his character’s love interest, and Peter Sarsgaard as the film’s resident mad scientist, became known as the guy with the party trailer during filming.


Nicknamed the Earth Man Café, it was the place others could join him for a cocktail after work.


But during working hours, there wasn’t much room for play. Reynolds was regularly called on to be a superhero.


One of the powers his ring gives him is the ability to fly, which turned out to be one of the actor’s biggest challenges.


“I didn’t expect to have wire work like that,” he said of his training regimen. “It defies the laws of physics that a 6-foot, 2-inch person should be doing any form of gymnastics. But they had me doing that before production to get ready. They called it being aerial aware, so when you’re flipping and spinning and turning, you kind of know where your body’s at in relation to the ground.”


Early in the movie, shortly after Hal Jordan is “chosen,” he’s yanked up in the air and shot through space by the ring’s power. The character’s reaction is a believable one: He’s scared out of his wits. Apparently the filmmakers wanted a realistic reaction from Reynolds.


“On my third day of shooting, they fired me up in the air a couple of hundred feet, at 60 feet a second,” he said. “It was a mind-boggling experience. Thank God my character gets to be terrified when I do it. Because it was genuine each time.”


The Patriot Ledger