Even after he already convinced people that he basically was Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds draws even more comparisons to the Merc with a Mouth. While the Deadpool of the comics makes no mistake about his gigantic crush on The Golden Girls‘ Bea Arthur—raging when she “loses” Sexiest Woman Alive to Halle Berry, even hallucinating her at one point—it’s not the kind of detail you would expect to make it into the movie version. But clearly we all underestimated Reynolds, because he paid a cool ten grand to make sure that Bea took her rightful place on Wade Wilson’s chest, side-eyeing baddies during gruesome fight scenes.
According to the movie commentary (via io9/Gizmodo), Reynolds ponied up $10,000 for the right to use Bea’s likeness on a tank top that Wade Wilson wears in at least one scene. It’s the perennial blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo-slash-homage, but it was important enough to Reynolds to happen. In fact, the money (which was donated to an undisclosed charity, instead of the Arthur estate) was only one part of the equation, and arguably less important than the other: Reynolds reached out to Bea’s son Daniel Saks for permission. Set designer Saks told The Hollywood Reporter that he and Reynolds already had a little bit of personal history:
I was on Dharma & Greg on Stage 21 at Fox when Ryan was on Stage 20 doing Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. He was always a nice guy, and the fact that it was him gave it more weight with me and my brother, Matthew. We thought, “Why not?”
Saks tells THR more about his mother’s other roles in SFF, including the surreal experience of watching Mos Eisley aliens pump oxygen into their rubber heads when they weren’t being serenaded by barmaid and songstress Ackmena. Although he claimed that Bea played so many roles that she didn’t remember them all (including the Femputer on Futurama), he thinks she would have appreciated her small part in Deadpool because of “the sardonic sarcasticness of the character.”
With so much positive response, does this mean that the next Deadpool movie could ride in style on The Bea Arthur?