Stephen Colbert Shocks Ryan Reynolds with Saved by the Bell Audition Story

See who Colbert auditioned to play — and how Ryan is riding out quarantine with Blake Lively, their kids and his mother-in-law.

Imagine being told you’re too "over the top" to play Screech on "Saved by the Bell" — because that’s exactly what happened to Stephen Colbert.

The late night host had Ryan Reynolds on his talk show Wednesday night, where the "Deadpool" actor spilled on his first audition. The conversation led to quite the revelation from Colbert, who said his "first professional audition" was for the morning show back in the ’80s.

"1986, they came to Chicago, I was a student at Northwestern University and I don’t know, they had scouted me at school," said Colbert. "I got called down to a casting agent, they handed me the thing and I was auditioning for the part of, was the character named Screech?"

Reynolds was shocked by this piece of intel.

"I auditioned for the part of let me tell you how big I was. Imagine how that character ended up in broadcast. I did my audition and they said to me, there’s a term you’re gonna want to need to know about as a professional, it’s called ‘over the top,’" he continued. "’You just went over the top, don’t do that anymore.’ I saw the subtle interplay of status dynamics Dustin Diamond brought to the part."

The rest of the conversation, which both of them had from the comfort of their own homes, revolved around how Reynolds is spending time in self-isolation with wife Blake Lively, the couple’s three daughters and Ryan’s mother-in-law.

"She’s been a life saver," he said of Blake’s mom, adding, "She doesn’t know it, but she’s emergency food if this gets real."

When asked what it was like to be surrounded by women, Reynolds said he just liked "being here with the girls."

"I like doing the girls’ stuff. I try not to push sort of gender normative ideas on my kids as they’re born, but each one as soon as they came out of the chute, they wanted to make dresses, they wanted to dress in hot pink all day," he continued. "So that’s what I do. This morning we made dresses out of tissue paper, which was fun for them. We’re developing skills to take us into the the new world."

They’ve also been spending a lot of time home-schooling and playing in their garden, but Reynolds joked, "I’m mostly drinking." He added, "I own a gin company, it’s a blessing and a huge curse."

He also said Lively would be giving him a haircut on Thursday, the second time she’s done it for him in their time together.

"She did this once before. It took two and a half hours. And then at the end it looked like she had done the whole thing using only a lighter or like those gloves that are made of sand paper," he cracked. "It would have been a little faster if she had just wore it down, rubbed my head until the hair disappeared."

Ryan and Blake recently donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada to offer relief to those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. They also gave $400,000 to hospitals in New York City, while Ryan’s Aviation Gin is giving a percentage of sales to out-of-work bartenders. His Mint Mobile company is also offering free unlimited high-speed data add-ons during the pandemic.

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