Ryan Reynolds on ‘Free Guy’: Challenging to create something original

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New Delhi: As someone who is known for his superhero roles like Deadpool and Green Lantern, Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds says playing a “naive” background character in the film “Free Guy” was an interesting experience for him.

Coming up with an original idea like ‘Free Guy’ was a taxing process in a world full of comic book-based movies, sequels and pre-existing IPs (intellectual property), said the actor, who reached out to director Shawn Levy soon after reading the script, penned by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn.

“We were talking about this world and how we could build it, and how we can make changes that would make it kind of relevant and speak to the world that we’re living in now. It’s hard to make something that isn’t based on some pre-existing IP or a comic book. It’s very challenging,” Reynolds said at a global press conference.

While the film premiered in theatres worldwide in August, the action-comedy is scheduled to be released in India on Friday in English and Hindi. A sequel has also been announced.

The film’s story revolves around Guy (Reynolds), a bank teller who discovers that he is actually an NPC (non-player character) inside a brutal, open-world video game called ‘Free City’.

The events in the movie motivate Guy to become the hero of the story, by saving his friends from getting deleted by the game’s creator (played by Taika Waititi).

The 44-year-old actor said it was fun to explore a character that rises to the occasion and transforms into a new person.

“There’s something really wonderful about playing a character that is kind of naive and innocent, and in a sense, kind of like a four-year-old adult,” he added.

The actor said he drew inspiration from the 1979 film “Being There”, starring Hollywood veteran Peter Sellers, to understand the character of Guy.

“There’s something really fun about exploring everything with new eyes, which is what this character gets to do, and filtering that through the prism of comedy, and occasionally, cynicism. I love playing a character who is sort of stepping out of the background into this kind of new person,” he said.

The film, a 20th Century Studios project, also features actors Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery and Utkarsh Ambudkar in pivotal roles.

The story may have a video game setting, but Reynolds said “Free Guy” has much more to it than being a gamer’s delight.

The actor said the film has emotions and relationships at its core.

“It’s sort of like saying, ‘Titanic’ is a movie about boatmanship. It’s not. Similarly, ‘Free Guy’ is about so much more. But I love the narrow target we had to hit to create a world that felt so authentic to gamers and then still sort of smuggle this other story into it. That was pretty special.

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