Oscar-nominated actor Hugh Jackman tends to maintain a playful presence on social media, whether he’s posting videos of himself grunting, snarling, and panting through recording film audio for a scene as Wolverine, or practicing sitting down ahead of the Met Gala. He also isn’t above pretending to be pompous and competitive for a comedy bit, like his duel-slash-duet with Neil Patrick Harris at the Tony Awards, where they fought over who’s the better awards-show host. So his recent Instagram/Twitter post begging the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences not to nominate Ryan Reynolds for an Oscar this year is entirely in character.
Reynolds recently starred opposite Will Ferrell in the Apple TV Plus movie Spirited, yet another of the endless seasonal reworkings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. When the Academy released its shortlist of potential nominees for Best Original Song, the Spirited number “Good Afternoon” was on that shortlist. Which prompted Jackman to ask the Academy not to vote for the song to progress to the nomination stage, because Jackman is about to shoot Deadpool 3 with Reynolds, and he doesn’t want to listen to him bragging about it for a year.
We’ve known since last fall that Deadpool 3 would bring back Jackman as Wolverine, the fast-healing, short-tempered (and just short) superhero he’s played in nine different films now. (And that both Jackman and Reynolds promise the movie won’t take back Wolverine’s death at the end of the fan-beloved 2017 movie Logan.) What we didn’t know is that Hugh Jackman watched Reynolds’ Spirited, and has personal opinions on what an Oscar nomination would do to Reynolds’ ego.
Astonishingly, Jackson didn’t come out against “Good Afternoon” for the more obvious reason that it’s the worst song in Spirited, an upbeat and catchy but also repetitive and empty song that tries to turn “Good afternoon!” into the new “Fuck you!” Nominating this number for an Oscar is the equivalent of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut getting “Blame Canada” a Best Song nomination. Spirited has some significantly better musical numbers, including Octavia Spencer’s soulful “The View From Here” and Farrell’s similarly emotional “Unredeemable,” which Spirited gives the full Broadway stage treatment.
But no, Jackman claims (tongue in cheek, obviously) that he wants the Academy to give “Good Afternoon” a pass because he might have to spend a year listening to Reynolds be “insufferable” about it on the Deadpool 3 shoot. (Incidentally, in his post, he refers to the movie as Wolverine and Deadpool, a title that hadn’t yet been officially revealed.) “Trust me,” he says. “It would be impossible. It would be a problem… Please, please, from the bottom of my heart, do not validate Ryan Reynolds in this way.”
The nominations for the 95th annual Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 24, at which point we’ll all have a better idea of whether the year is going to be insufferable for Jackman because Reynolds will spend it all on gloating over his nomination, or sulking over his lack of nomination. Wolverine and Deadpool, or whatever it ends up being officially called, is currently scheduled for release on Nov. 8, 2024.