Ryan Reynolds Reveals How He Accidentally Injured Denzel Washington On Set

Ryan Reynolds starred opposite Denzel Washington in 2012's action-thriller "Safe House" where Reynolds played CIA agent Matt Weston, who was forced to protect, and reluctantly work with, Washington's turncoat agent Tobin Frost. The "Deadpool" star claimed to "learn so much" from the Hollywood icon, but Washington said he just tried to lead by example. "No matter how far along you get in this business, I think there's still a certain fear that you don't want to screw up," the "Fences" star told CBS News in 2012. Unfortunately for Reynolds, he managed to "screw up" on a couple occasions while filming with Washington.

While filming a particularly pivotal scene for "Safe House" — one that included multiple actors — Reynolds accidentally hit his phone and a song started playing. "The worst time it could go off — in the middle of one of the most emotional scenes in the movie for him," the "Free Guy" star recalled to "CBS This Morning" in 2012. Despite the phone mishap, Washington continued on with the scene, but was furious once "cut" was called and filming stopped. "Denzel looks over and goes, 'Who the hell's cell phone is that?'" Reynolds recalled on "Late Show with David Letterman." In order to save face in front of the "Malcolm X" star, Reynolds pretended he had no idea where the music was coming from.

Reynolds made another on-set mistake that was not so easy to hide, as it caused an injury to Washington.

Ryan Reynolds was the first person to do this to Denzel Washington

During the second day of shooting "Safe House," Ryan Reynolds accidentally injured Denzel Washington — twice. The pair was filming a fight scene in a speeding car that Reynolds was driving with Washington in the backseat trying to fight him. Amidst the struggle, the "Green Lantern" actor inflicted an injury upon his celebrated co-star. "He and I are in this out-of-control car and [the] corner of my head — I felt it hit his eye so hard I was sure that it split wide open," Reynolds recalled on "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman" (via the New York Post). Thankfully for Reynolds, the Hollywood icon took it in stride. Always the consummate pro, Washington suggested they keep filming the scene, but from a different angle to hide his injured eye. As luck would have it, Reynolds repeated the mistake. "We did it again, and I got the other eye," he recalled.

"Safe House" had a resurgence on Netflix in 2021, and Reynolds reminisced about giving Washington two black eyes in an Instagram post at the time. "He was fine because he's Denzel Washington. But I still haven't recovered. I never will," the "Waiting..." actor joked.

At the time of the incident, the "Courage Under Fire" star played up his injury. "I tried to make him feel bad about it," Washington told Indie Wire in 2012. "I was like, 'I've never had a black eye in my life, but I can't say that anymore.'"