Ryan Reynolds References Classic ‘The Office’ Prank in Super Bowl Commercial


Ryan Reynolds went very, very meta with the Super Bowl ad for his new movie, IF. If you saw the ad during Sunday’s game, you may have noticed Reynolds paired with the film’s “director,” John Krasinski, best known for playing Jim on The Office. However, the person opposite Reynolds for the trailer is actually Fresh Off the Boat star Randall Park.

“Hi, I’m John Krasinski, director of the upcoming film IF,” Park begins the trailer, sparking a look of concern from Reynolds.

“You are not John Krasinski!” the Deadpool star intones, as if they’ve had this conversation before.

Adding to Reynolds’ confusion, certainly, is the fact that Park doesn’t appear in IF’s cast. Aside from this commercial, he has nothing to do with the movie. Park’s inclusion is actually a clever reference to a part the actor played on The Office early on in his career.

Park appeared in the season nine episode “Andy’s Ancestry,” playing an actor friend of Jim (Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) whom they enlist to play an elaborate prank on Jim’s desk-mate, Dwight (Rainn Wilson). Park’s character is able to convince Dwight that he’s actually been Jim all along, with the help of Pam and some clever photoshopping.

The Super Bowl spot sees Reynolds essentially stepping into the Dwight role as Park and (the entirely absent) Krasinski reenact their famous primetime prank. Adding even more metatexual layers to the 30-second spot is the fact that Steve Carell, who played Dunder Mifflin’s fabled manager, voices the title character in IF.

Krasinski’s film, in theaters May 17, stars Cailey Fleming as a young woman who realizes she can see other children’s IFs (Imaginary Friends). Along with the help of her irascible upstairs neighbor (Reynolds), she sets about reuniting forgotten or discarded IFs with their companions. In addition to Carell, Vince Vaughn, Awkwafina, Phoebe Waller-Bride, Maya Rudolph, and Emily Blunt voice the other IFs.

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