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As a producer, what was your goal when you decided to work on Free Guy?
What both Shawn Levy and I wanted is that when you walk out of this movie you feel elated, that same sense of joy that the old masterpieces gave to you. Of course, ours has its own identity, I hope that the viewers will learn that you can step out of the background and be a force of change. In recent years especially we saw that huge change can be achieved in a collective sense, and not just individual. It’s not only done by the powerful, it’s also done by the many. At the same time, we wanted to keep that level of comedy, entertainment, and levity which are so important for movies like this.
What kind of experience was it working with such a talented director as Shawn Levy?
I’d wanted to work with him for a few years, we had a couple of misses for a number of reasons. So I sent him the script and he was very excited to do it. He is amazing at world-building: he is intuitive, responsible, and inclusive, he can pull everyone together in the process. I am so proud of the way we made the movie, from the first draft of the script to the end of post-production. We truly listened to it, making huge changes in the middle of the shooting because it was required.
Do you think that comedy can be a benefit to the audience nowadays?
I don’t know if it will save the world, but it’s definitely an essential service right now. Even though I starred, produced, and wrote a good amount of it, when I saw the final version of Free Guy it made me feel like I was walking on sunshine. You need to value the power of that in the darkest times. And, in some way, it tells you where we are going, which is another plus for an entertaining product like ours
Do you enjoy playing video games?
I’m just a casual gamer. The most I played was while researching for the film. I have three daughters: it’s difficult returning emails, let alone gaming! The great thing about that is the accessibility of it, especially during the pandemic with so many people shut-in. It allows you to connect with your own community, sharing goals and passions. I admire gaming culture for this kind of connection. We shouldn’t undervalue the benefits of this, especially today.
Interview by Adriano Ercolani