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AUDIO:In the Rodrigo Cortes film Buried, Paul Conroy (played by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds) wakes up six feet underground with no idea who put him there or why. Q host Jian Ghomeshi interviews Reynolds about the emotional intensity of starring in a one-man film. (TIFF)

Ryan Reynolds thought Buried was the kind of movie that would get overlooked until the recognition began with a bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival.

Shot in 17 days in Barcelona with a small crew and a low budget of about $2 million, Buried rests solely on the performance of the Canadian-born actor, the only character in the 94-minute movie.

Reynolds plays a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive in a wooden coffin, so the shoot involved 17 days spent inside a very small box.

The panic and fear that the character experiences were too intense for much preparation, Reynolds said in an interview with Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC's Q cultural affairs show, aired Tuesday. 

"For something like this in particular you just go in and you discover it there. I'm a big proponent for preparing and getting ready, but you can't prepare for this," he said.

Director Rodrigo Cortes often restricted shooting to one or two takes, as Reynolds's character, equipped only with a cellphone, tries to find a way out.

"What I found most moving in the film is the enemy keeps changing — who is the enemy in the film? Is it the coffin? Is it the terrorist? Is it a bureaucracy that's killing this guy? He makes dozens of calls and he can't get anyone on the phone to help him," Reynolds said.

Buried, which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, gets its release in Toronto on Friday and the rest of Canada on Oct. 8.