July 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM ET
When you think of snails, chances are you don't think of speed -- and it's even less likely that you think of Ryan Reynolds. But think again.
In his new film "Turbo," the actor takes on the part of a slug who isn't exactly what he seems.
"This is how it was pitched to me: 'This is about a guy with an impossible dream winning the Indy 500,'" Reynolds explained during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY. "I said, 'What's so crazy about that?' They said, 'He's a snail.' I said, 'You better animate this movie, because what a painful production that would be.'"
All jokes aside, the leading man now looks at the part and feels a real connection to the animated character.
"I think we've all had somebody in our lives that said, 'You're not good enough, fast enough, tall enough, smart enough. You can't do it. You Shouldn't do it.' I think everyone relates to that," he said. "To able to persevere beyond that, despite what those voices are (saying), ... I think it's a really beautiful message."
It's a message that hits theaters July 17 -- just two days before another Reynolds film, "R.I.P.D.", opens. That prompted TODAY host Matt Lauer to ask the star which movie he'd choose to check out if he could only afford one ticket.
"That's a brutal question," Reynolds shot back. "I'll hit the matinee twice!"
A little later the actor returned, along with Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Willie Geist, for a "Turbo"-style skee-ball faceoff. Check out the clip above to see who won.