Free Guy’s Epic Cameos Explained
Ryan Reynolds' new movie Free Guy transports viewers into the world of a Grand Theft Auto style video game, where a forgettable NPC (non-playable character) becomes an unlikely hero. Naturally, the premise of Free Guy opens the door to a lot of fun cameos both inside and outside of the video game world - an opportunity that Reynolds and director Shawn Levy did not let pass them by. Levy and Reynolds managed to tap some of the biggest stars in the world to show their face (or lend their voice) to Free Guy's comedic antics.
In his interview with ComicBook.com, Free Guy director Shawn Levy talked about how the film's epic cameos game together:
"Some of the onscreen cameos were literally friends that we called or texted while we were making the movie," Levy explains. "And then, in post-production, Ryan, who produced the movie with me, we would sit there in my edit room. We're just on the couch, and we're noticing, 'Wait, there's all these characters who are players in masks and sunglasses. Why don't we populate the movie with another layer of celebrity cameos in the voice casting?' And that was literally just us sitting there on a couch together, pulling our cell phone contacts and just going, 'Oh wait, what about that famous friend?' And we would just call them and say, 'Do you want to do this?'"
During the Free Guy press conference, Ryan Reynolds let fans in on some of the big Free Guy cameos they have to keep an eye and/or ear out for (SPOILERS!):
You read so many things that are just so utterly terrible about that industry and the people in it. Largely true. But there is actually a community there that is real. And there are a lot of people within that community that are wonderful. And the thing I'll never take for granted is the idea that you can be shooting a movie that big, like Free Guy, and call someone up and just be like, 'Is there any way you'd maybe jump in and do this little cameo?' Chris [Evans] happened to live in Boston was like, 'I'll be there in five minutes... For the love of the game.' And I've known Chris for probably 10 years now. And so that was great.
And then there's a whole bunch of other cameos you might not have noticed. Hugh Jackman's in there. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's in there. John Krasinski's in there. Who am I leaving out? Hugh Jackman. That guy. Little cameos here and there. And another cameo, which was one of my favorites, is Jodie Comer, who is singing 'Fantasy' in the third act of the movie... It was great."
However, what Reynolds didn't reveal - and Levy is now speaking up about - is the fact that a lot of these big celebrity cameos didn't even require the kind of trip that Chris Evans made to shoot his scene; the voicework cameos just required an iPhone:
"And half of those, in fact, all of those celebrity cameos were done on iPhone voice memos that we put straight from the iPhone into the movie," Levy said.
Other Free Guy cameos include Tina Fey in a voice role; a bunch of famous gaming industry figures like Ninja and Pokimane; Channing Tatum as the obnoxious character of the best player in the game; and Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek as himself, in a cameo shot before his death.
Free Guy is now playing in theaters.