When Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney aren’t busy running a Welsh football club or promoting their brands and Hollywood outings, they’re getting colonoscopies.
That’s what’s on show in a new video for colon cancer screening initiative Lead from Behind. The new spot shows the pair discussing a bet around McElhenney learning Welsh in honor of their team, Wrexham AFC. If he succeeded, Reynolds would share a video of his colonoscopy. If he didn’t, McElhenney would share his. The whole stunt was to promote the fact that the age for getting screened has dropped from 50 to 45, the birthday both talents celebrated this year.
It didn’t matter who won the bet because the video goes on to show both of them undergoing the procedure, during which both their doctors excised small polyps—underscoring the point of how colon cancer is a “preventable” cancer.
“I’ve been on camera a lot. But this was the first time one was shoved up my ass,” said Reynolds in a statement. “The procedure and prep were painless but the discomfort of filming and sharing the process was the hardest part. Rob and I did it because we want this potentially life-saving procedure to be less mysterious and stigmatized.”
“Ryan and I both turned 45 this year and this is just a rite of passage—and a great one because it can literally save your life,” ,” added McElhenney. “ It’s obviously a procedure that makes people uncomfortable but it sure beats getting cancer. We wanted to have fun with this because as with all the weird things that happen in life, why not make it fun instead of scary?”
Lead from Behind was founded by Brooks Bell, a tech entrepreneur and colon cancer survivor, with support from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the largest colon cancer nonprofit.
The initiative was created by Reynold’s agency Maximum Effort in partnership with Chrysi Phialithes, a brand marketer and former chief digital officer of (Red).