Ryan Reynolds Gave Denzel Washington His First Black Eye

01/31/2012 at 07:30 AM EST

Denzel Washington: Ryan Reynolds Gave Me a Black Eye
Ryan Reynolds (left) and Denzel Washington
Jason Merritt/Getty; Scott Kirkland/INF
It turns out that action star Ryan Reynolds may be just as dangerous off-screen as he is on.  

Denzel Washington says that Reynolds gave him a black eye while they were filming Safe House in South Africa. 

"I've never had a black eye in my life!" Washington, 57, told reporters Saturday while promoting the film, which hits theaters Feb. 10. "There's a scene where I reach over to try to choke him while I have handcuffs on. We were flying around in the car. It just happened that as I was reaching forward he was flying back ... and POW."

Reynolds, 35, plays a CIA newbie who is forced to watch over Washington, a notorious fugitive. The two eventually end up on the run together, with plenty of brawls between the brawny costars. 

Reynolds joked that this punch was a highlight of his career. "That was my early retirement," he said. "I've given Denzel Washington a black eye and I should probably go home." But Reynolds admitted that he was a little embarrassed after the incident, saying, "It was weird to feel my face on fire."

Regardless, said Reynolds, "I'm glad I was your first. If it had to be anyone, it was an apologetic Canadian."

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