The Peloton Girl’s fame started with her making a face of nervous excitement for her first stationary bike ride — which thanks to the context of the now viral ad came across to many viewers as a look of tortured obsequiousness from an abuse victim.
Now the crazy 15-minute ride (which isn’t actually enough to get your daily cardio on a Peloton btw) has hit its peak with a very different look.
Monica Ruiz, the actress who shot to viral fame thanks to the controversial ad, gave her thoughts on the backlash during an interview on the Today show on Thursday.
She explained how at first it was like any commercial job, with the only reaction being from friends and family who were excited to see her on the TV.
And then… le déluge. She recalled:
“Last week, I started getting all these messages from friends and family and it was just like links and screenshots of everyone’s really upset. I’m like, ‘About what?’ I’m starting to read some of it and some of it was really negative. So, I was like ‘OK, I can’t read any more of this.’ So, I kind of stopped reading it thinking, it’s going to blow over. But it didn’t really blow over as quickly as I thought it would.”
No, instead it resulted in something even more shocking — another commercial job offer!
Monica was contacted by Ryan Reynolds‘ team at Aviation Gin to make their own viral ad playing off the controversy of the Peloton ad! It worked, too; laughter is the best medicine, and this was the perfect remedy to such a wild experience with social media. Monica got to show she had a sense of humor about the situation, unlike her Peloton husband, and really come out of the whole thing looking like an actress with class and range.
Aaaand through a bit of universal serendipity (or NBC Universal hiring clever bookers), Monica’s rescuer was also in the building promoting his upcoming Netflix action movie 6 Underground.
So they brought Ryan on for Monica to meet for the very first time, and it was SO adorable! The first thing she said to him was simply, “Thank you.”
But the look in her eyes was anything other than the fear as she exhibited the last time we saw her thank someone for a gift! Ha!
Asked about the idea for the ad, Ryan recalled his creative partner George Dewey had sent him the Peloton commercial:
“I watched it, I said Oh wow, I see why there’s some backlash. I think I said, ‘Could we just send her a year’s supply of gin? She doesn’t have to film herself!’”
That evolved into the idea of hiring her for a commercial of their own, perfect for them since they “love acknowledging and playing with the cultural landscape.” Ryan explained:
“You see everything is sort of divisive these days. It’s like one camp here, one camp there. We had this thought that we could do this ad without contributing to that divide, without really vilifying anybody — just sort of commenting on both the person and the actress in the ad all at once. So, for us, it seemed like a no-brainer and it was a lot of fun to do. It was a rush. We did this thing in 36 hours.”
For her part, Monica was reluctant at first but then gave in… and filmed herself biking for a year. No, sorry, we mean she agreed to be in the ad!
“I had such an amazing experience when I shot the Peloton commercial that I was like I don’t want them to think that I’m like going to make fun of them or say anything mean. But they assured me it was an idea that was just taking air out of the situation.”
It certainly does just that!
AND she got to meet Ryan Reynolds! So, we guess she really did come a long way on a bike that doesn’t even move.
Watch the whole interview for yourself (below)!
[Image via Today/YouTube.]