Why Isn’t Hugh Jackman a Total Asshole? Ryan Reynolds’ New Ad Shares the Secret

The new spot, by Maximum Effort, follows years of collaboration between the two actors

Hugh Jackman drinking coffee
The 60-second ad dropped on social channels today. Maximum Effort/Ryan Reynolds

If you’re unable to function like a civil human before a morning cup of coffee, you’re in good company.

In a new spot for his coffee brand Laughing Man, fans see a different side of the ever-optimistic Hugh Jackman: his pre-coffee alter ego.

This darker, moody Jackman sends his alarm clock crashing against the opposite wall in response to its blaring wake-up call, hollers at the kids outside his window to shut up, curses at his Frenchie and blasts death metal as he relaxes on the couch.

As he slumps around his house, grumbling, a voiceover by Ryan Reynolds describes his accolades, which include noted humanitarian, Goodwill Ambassador and founder of Laughing Man coffee, which donates 100% of Jackman’s profits to support fair trade farmers.

It’s only after a cup of the “nicest fucking coffee on Earth” that he turns back into the version of Jackman that we’re more familiar with.

The spot continues a long history of collaboration between Reynolds and Jackman—their yearslong faux feud laid the groundwork for a pair of ads they created for one another last year. It turned out, however, that they weren’t exactly on the same page.

While Reynolds claimed to have spent $1 million on a dramatic spot for the “Hugh-roic” Laughing Man brand, Jackman simply recorded himself calling Reynolds a “fucking asshole” and pouring a bottle of Aviation Gin out onto a fancy mahogany table.

The new Laughing Man spot, created by Maximum Effort, fits right into the Reynoldsian canon. It’s the latest in a seemingly never-ending stream of new releases from the company during a time when many in the industry are struggling to meet production goals.

Reynolds, who’s being honored this week at Adweek’s Brandweek virtual event as this year’s Brand Visionary, will be speaking at the event on Thursday.

@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.