Ruiz went viral over Thanksgiving weekend as many criticized the health and wellness brand’s commercial for being sexist and odd. People were so incensed, in fact, that the actor who played Ruiz’s husband—the character who now-infamously gave his wife a Peloton bike for Christmas—said in an interview on Good Morning America that his “image is being associated with sexism, with the patriarchy, with abuse.”
Following the conversation surrounding the Peloton commercial, Reynolds worked with Ruiz on an advertisement for his liquor brand, Aviation Gin. In the Aviation video, which Reynolds shared on Twitter last week, Ruiz is out for drinks with two friends who tell her she is “safe” now—either safe from the buzz or from her Peloton character’s husband. “To new beginnings,” she says.
The two stars said on Thursday that it was their first time meeting in real life. Reynolds told Hoda Kotb in the interview that after watching the original commercial, he and his Aviation creative partner, George Dewey, considered sending Ruiz a “year supply of gin” before the plan evolved into their own project.
“We love acknowledging and playing with the cultural landscape,” Reynolds said. “But we had this thought that we could do this ad without contributing to that divide, without really vilifying anybody, just sort of commenting on the person and the actress in the ad all at once.”
As for why she thinks the commercial drew so much heat (and subsequently led the fitness brand’s stock to decline 10 percent, according to Forbes), Ruiz is pretty sure she’s cracked it. “Honestly, I think it was just my face. I think it was my fault,” she told Kotb. “My eyebrows looked worried.”