Archive for the ‘Free Guy’ Category
Posted by admin on October 06, 2021

When Jodie Comer was growing up in Liverpool in the north west of England, she and her dad would mess about copying accents on the TV. She didn’t know it then, but it would be excellent training for her career as an actor (she can seamlessly go from ‘frightfully posh British’ to ‘Russian assassin’).

Fast forward to 2021 and Comer is everywhere right now. Having honed her craft on British telly, her big break came after her portrayal of Russian assassin Villanelle in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s smash hit Killing Eve. Now, she’s made the move to the big screen with starring roles in Free Guy alongside Ryan Reynolds and a new Ridley Scott blockbuster, The Last Duel.

Set in 14th century Normandy and based on a true story of the last sanctioned duel in France, Comer steals the show – which is no mean feat given her co-stars are Adam Driver, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Comer plays Lady Marguerite de Carrouges, a noblewoman who is raped by Jacques LeGris (Driver), a former friend of her husband (Damon). We chatted about her progression from small to big screen, how she feels about becoming a national treasure and the time she got her mum’s roast delivered to a film set.

The Last Duel explores a powerful story based on real events. Did that play on your mind when you took on the role?
‘Definitely. The biggest goal was to encapsulate the strength and the resilience that [Marguerite] evidently had in speaking out in a time when women were so disregarded by society and not thought of as human.’

The film exposes the power dynamics between men and women in the 14th century. Does it feel different exploring that in a period setting rather than in a contemporary drama?
‘We are naive sometimes in thinking: “Oh, this was so long ago and we don’t have this problem anymore”. There are still these issues around the world today and especially with women fighting for autonomy over their own bodies – that hasn’t gone away.’

What was it like working with Ridley Scott on this massive film?
‘It was such a dream to get to see how he works, having watched his films and been a fan of him. He has four or five cameras rolling the entire time, which is unheard of.’

There’s lots of sword fighting and elaborate costumes in The Last Duel. Did you take anything home from the set?
‘I didn’t, although I had a hefty pair of wooden clogs on, which were a size too big.  I don’t think you ever see them. Ridley [Scott] really liked them, they made a great sound on the cobbles. A lot of those costumes are handcrafted and so many hours have gone into creating them so I wouldn’t dare ask for anything off that set.’

You didn’t fancy the wooden clogs?
‘Strangely not! No, they can go back in the cupboard until next time.’

You star alongside Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver. Did you teach them any Liverpudlian slang?
‘No I didn’t. Maybe I missed an opportunity there. It’s funny because we were in Venice recently and Ben was like: “I think this is the first time I’ve actually heard you speak properly in your own voice…”’

We’d be naive to think that we don’t have this problem anymore. Women are still fighting for autonomy over their bodies

Were the costumes fun to wear or was it a nightmare involving lots of corsets?
‘When you’re filming in a field and you have to go to the bathroom and you have 17 layers on, that’s when it gets a bit tiresome but all in all, it was amazing. The thing about those costumes is that you’re immediately transported to the world in which you’re in. You hold yourself differently.’’

You’ve just had another watercooler moment with British TV drama Help, alongside Stephen Graham. It’s set in a care home during the pandemic, a topic that’s raw for so many people. What has the reaction been like?
‘It’s been wonderful. We couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction. We’re aware that this is still very present in a lot of people’s lives. Having spoken to carers in my research, I wanted them to watch it and felt like we had spoken for them and represented them truthfully.’

I saw people on Twitter describing you as a ‘national treasure’ after it aired. Do you feel ready to be a national treasure?
‘Ooh, that’s a heavy weight to carry! But it’s very kind. I realised when filming Help: Why would you not utilise your gift, your job, and give back in this way and tell stories like this?’

What’s the best thing about working with Stephen Graham?
‘I want to say everything. He’s mischievous. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, which I love. When you think of how crazy talented that man is and he’s so modest, unassuming and a lot of fun.’

I saw on your Instagram that you got your mum’s roast delivered to the set of ‘Help’. Were your castmates jealous?
‘They were! Well, I took it up to my room but then I put it on Instagram, because I was like: this is possibly the best day of my life – a Sunday of filming and I’ve managed to get my mum’s roast dinner to set. Everyone was like: where did you get that roast dinner from? Steven was definitely jealous. But she also used to make scouse, a meat and potatoes stew, on a Thursday for Steven and I, so we’d have lunch together.’

Killing Eve has been such a big turning point in your career. When you got that role, did you think it would be life-changing?
‘Not at all. By that point, I only had the script for episode one. I knew it was Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] and I knew the script was special. However, none of us really knew what that was going to turn into. I was overwhelmed that I had been given the opportunity, because you always think it’s going to go to someone who’s more well known than you and can put more bums on seats.’

Did you ever think that your ‘big break’ might not happen?
‘I feel like each job contributes to something. One thought I did have was that, doing predominantly television, I’d always had this insecurity, like: “I’m never going to be in films because there are film actors and TV actors and  there’s such a huge difference, I’m never gonna be able to step into that”. That was my own insecurity, because there’s such little difference.’

What do your friends and family make of your rise to fame? Are they impressed when you tell them you’ve got the part in a massive Hollywood film?
‘It’s funny you should say that, because I remember when I got my first role in [UK medical soap opera] The Royal Today and it was like: “Wooo!”, celebration, champagne popped. And now it is a little bit more like: “Oh, amazing. Well done, babe.” They’re always so happy for me but I always remember that.’

Is it true that you learned how to do accents from watching TV adverts when you were younger?
‘Yeah, anything on the television that had some sort of regional accent, whether it was Cilla Black or a KFC advert. Me and my dad would always mimic them, purely just to make each other laugh. But I think that made me a bit fearless, so then when I was going to auditions and there was an accent on it that wasn’t my own, I wasn’t intimidated.’

“I’ve always been a bit fearless going into auditions”

 

What’s the most awkward audition experience you’ve ever had?
‘Oh god. They’re all a little bit awkward, I’m not going to lie! I remember one a very long time ago when I was with my first agency and I came all the way to London. There was dancing involved, I think it was for a theatre production. I got the train from Liverpool, was half an hour late, came into a dance room where everyone was already halfway through the routine and I had to tag along and then dance with two other people at the front. That was pretty humiliating. I wanted to leave as soon as I got there.’

What’s been the most surreal moment of your career so far?
‘Doing Help, there were so many Liverpool actors there, people who I’ve admired for so long – Ian Hart, Cathy Tyson, Sue Johnston. I had a moment where I was doing a scene with Sue Johnston. I was like: “Sue, I just want to tell you this – I wish my nan was alive to see the fact that I’m in this room with you”.’

You’re filming the fourth and final series of Killing Eve at the moment. Do you ever freak people out by putting on the voice of your character Villanelle?
‘No, never. Sometimes I get asked to do it if I’m out in a bar and someone’s had a couple of drinks. My insides just go: “Urghhh” and my toes curl up. So no, I never get that one out – only when I’m on set and they say action.’

Posted by admin on August 09, 2021

Jodie attended the Free Guy UK Premiere, I’ve added images to the gallery! Enjoy


 

Posted by admin on August 02, 2021

Having dazzled us as Villanelle in Killing Eve, Liverpudlian Jodie Comer is taking her impressive skills to Hollywood. First up, a sci-fi comedy opposite Ryan Reynolds.

Jodie Comer: “We all go through these years of feeling a bit lost and not really knowing who we are. And I feel like I know who I am now. I honestly think that the trick is to just not pay attention [to what other people think].”

When British actor Jodie Comer was daydreaming about packing her bags and heading to Hollywood, she signed up for elocution lessons. “Because I’d go into auditions and people would be thinking I couldn’t change my accent,” says Jodie, who hails from Liverpool. “So I thought, ‘Well, I have to have a different accent.’ And then I remembered working with Stephen Graham, and him saying to me, ‘Don’t you dare do anything to your accent.’ ”

Graham, an actor’s actor, had worked with Jodie on the BBC series Good Cop in 2012. Impressed with her talent, he persuaded his agent, Jane Epstein, to put Jodie on her books. Their careers would diverge: Stephen largely remains a hometown actor, starring in UK television dramas like The Virtues and Line of Duty, while Jodie beat a path to Hollywood and will soon have her first leading role in Free Guy.

But Jodie, seemingly an industry veteran at just 28, is walking, talking proof that you can take the girl out of Liverpool but you can’t take Liverpool out of the girl. As she sits down to talk to Sunday Life, we bond over our shared experience of her home town: the Royal Albert Dock, the renovation of Merseyside, and her childhood in Childwall, in the city’s south-east.

“I have a big family that I’m very close with, and always have been,” Jodie says. “They very much keep me on an even keel. Scousers, people from Liverpool, we’re a very specific breed. There’s something in the water, I don’t know where it comes from, but everyone’s very personable and got a very kind of wicked, naughty sense of humour. It’s something I really miss when I leave.

Jodie stepped into the global spotlight in 2018 as the star of the spy thriller series Killing Eve. She plays Villanelle, a Russian assassin obsessed with MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), who has been tasked with her capture. The role won Jodie an Emmy and a Bafta.

If you overlook a brief cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Jodie is about to make her feature-film debut in Free Guy, an action-comedy in which the real and virtual worlds become enmeshed.

She’ll follow that with two Ridley Scott films, The Last Duel, co-starring with Matt Damon, and Kitbag, in which she’ll play Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, Joséphine, opposite Joaquin Phoenix. As movie careers go, it’s not a bad start.
But the first cab off the rank is Free Guy, directed by Shawn Levy. It stars Ryan Reynolds as Guy, a bank teller in a virtual-world computer game who, thanks to a programming glitch, becomes aware that his world is a fictional construct.

Jodie plays Millie – online avatar Molotov Girl – a programmer who realises a sinister, code-stealing Silicon Valley fast-talker, Antoine (Taika Waititi), is going to cover his tracks by wiping this virtual world and restarting it, kicking off a race against time to save the self-aware Guy from erasure.

“I think what’s really interesting, and especially about Millie and Molotov Girl, is that the gaming world is also a very male-dominated industry,” says Jodie. “The film explores that through Millie’s experiences and the kind of obstacles she faces.”

Things are not so different, Jodie adds candidly, in Hollywood. “This is also a very heavily male-dominated industry. I love the idea that Molotov could be a role model for a younger generation of women. There’s a lot of innocence and life and humour there that I hope a lot of young women can relate to.”

Jodie understands the importance of role models, in turn acknowledging the women who have played an inspiring role in her life, from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who wrote Killing Eve, to the much less known Vanessa Caswill, who directed Jodie’s episode of Snatches, a 2018 series of monologues inspired by real women in history (she played a secretary exploring her sexuality in 1960s Liverpool).

“I love the idea that Molotov could be a role model for a younger generation of women. There’s a lot of innocence and life and humour there that I hope a lot of young women can relate to.”

“They play a huge part,” says Jodie. “It’s probably something that is more subconscious, something that filters through without me recognising it. What I’ve always admired about these women is they know who they are, and they’re so free in that expression.

“There could be an instance where a male director may lose his temper and shout and tell people what to do, and everyone will just go, ‘Okay, it’s the way he is.’ And if a woman was to do that, it would be, ‘Who does she think she is?’ So I think seeing these women in this space, and coming at it with such humility, is what inspires me. They do a brilliant job.”

One of the most difficult things about being an actor is that everyone has an opinion about your success or failure. The great thing for Jodie is that so many of those opinions are complimentary. The New Yorker, for example, describes Jodie as a woman of “mercurial, unassailable charisma”.

“I’m going to be honest, [the opinion of strangers] definitely used to hit a lot harder than it does now,” Jodie says candidly. “It’s very surreal, because you’re out there, you’re accessible to people through your work, and people form ideas of you. Plus the media is a very powerful thing, and people believe what they read.

“I think also that as you get older, you worry about these things less. We all go through these years of feeling a bit lost and not really knowing who we are. And I feel like I know who I am now. I honestly think that the trick is to just not pay attention to [what other people think].”

Jodie recalls a conversation with Phoebe Waller-Bridge during the early days of Killing Eve which shifted her perspective. “We were talking about reviews, opinions, whatever, and I said to Phoebe, ‘I think if you read the good stuff, you’ve got to read the bad stuff.’ And she was like, ‘No you f…ing don’t.’ And then, obviously, I just fell in love with her even more, which I didn’t think was possible.”

Jodie is notably private, even by Hollywood’s gatekeeper-driven gold standard. She does not talk about her personal life in interviews, which leaves the media to speculate. (She has been romantically linked to American lacrosse player James Burke, but has never discussed the relationship.) “My personal life feels so sacred to me now, and it’s something I want to protect,” she told Marie Claire magazine last year.

But Jodie does have an Instagram account with 1.8 million followers. Her social media “self” feels authentic, but it also highlights the performative nature of social media. “It’s something we all get swallowed up in,” she says.

“For me, it’s a public platform, and my Instagram is very much a work-focused thing. I sometimes post personal things, but that is when I’m feeling very comfortable.

“I’m constantly having that kind of see-saw of what I should do, what I feel comfortable doing. Some people are so much better at that. Some people find it so easy and don’t think about it. And I probably think about it too much.

But of course everyone has a responsibility. You don’t post the moments when you’re having a mini-breakdown on the sofa. It’s something that I’m always trying to navigate.”

She pauses. “I think we’ve become so consumed with ourselves. I was doing a yoga class the other day and my yoga teacher played a meditation, a song, at the end. And there was a guy speaking and he was like, ‘We’ve lost our curiosity.’

“And I thought, that is so true. You grow up as a child, and you question everything, you want to know everything, everything’s so brand new and you’re seeking out so much. Then, as we get older, we lose that curiosity.

Returning to her new film, she adds, “I think what’s so beautiful about Guy – he has this innocence. He’s experiencing things for the first time, and he’s finding the joy in the simplest of things. The heart of this film is essentially about realising your worth, and that you have agency. And that, if we all come together as a community, the things we can create and change are incredible.”

Free Guy opens in cinemas on August 12 in Victoria and on September 9 in NSW.

Posted by admin on June 21, 2021

Comer takes her first leading lady role in a major Hollywood production with this summer’s Free Guy. And it’s just the start.

With Killing Eve drawing to a close next year, Jodie Comer, who made a name for herself on the BBC drama, now embarks on a new era as the star of her first Hollywood movie – even though, technically, she already made her mainstream film debut.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams had seen Comer’s work as chic, sharp-tongued assassin Villanelle and had to have her for a small but splashy role in his 2019 film, that of the mysterious mother of rising Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley).

“It was spectacular,” Comer says of the part over the phone. “But I had to keep that a secret for a long, long, long time.”

The 28-year-old Liverpool-born actress admits she hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars films but felt the weight of being involved, even in a small capacity. “That’s a beast of its own,” she remarks. The appearance required just a day’s worth of work as she filmed flashback sequences of Rey’s mother and father, the latter a strand-cast clone of Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid), losing their lives to protect their daughter from her galaxy-conquering grandfather. Comer calls it “the most peculiar, incredible experience.”

“Hearing the detail that goes into the makeup and the costumes, it was so eye-opening,” she elaborates. “Speaking about green screen and visual effects, when I got Star Wars, I was like, ‘They’ll probably be a lot that I don’t see.’ But these kind of figures, their mouths move and they were remote-controlled and there was so much there that you didn’t have to imagine.”

Call it a solid introduction for Comer, who would soon face what she considers a more intimidating experience as the leading lady opposite Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy, another big-budget studio feature.

Jodie Comer as Rey's mom in Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker
Jodie Comer as Rey’s mother in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.’
| CREDIT: LUCASFILM LTD.

Despite what one might think, nobody in the industry knew of Comer when she first started making the rounds in Hollywood to convince studio executives she should be booked and busy. Killing Eve‘s first season was on the air at the time, but the show hadn’t yet amassed such a following as it has today. In between takes on Free Guy‘s Boston set in June 2019, when the production took over cross streets near the Waterfront, filmmaker Shawn Levy admits he hadn’t seen any of the show before casting Comer to play two roles in his film: Milly, a video game developer, and Molotovgirl, Milly’s gunslinging avatar inside the popular game Free City, in which Reynolds’ plays Guy, a background character who becomes aware of his virtual existence.

The day after Comer wrapped on Killing Eve season 2 before Christmas 2018, she flew to New York for a chemistry read with Reynolds. The flight from the U.K. proved to be “a long way to think about all the ways in which I could possibly f— up this meeting,” Comer recalls. But the audition felt like a relaxed workshop with Levy and her soon-to-be costar working through scenes. She flew back home the next day, and a few weeks later brought the news she had landed her first leading role in a big-budget Hollywood movie.

“Casting is always tricky,” Levy remembers of the audition process. “We had the luxury of lots of people putting their hand up that are impossibly talented, not the least of which being Jodie Comer, who just anchors this movie in a way that I think is going to really blow people away. She’s so fantastic.”

“I just remember so vividly how terrified I was when I started the job [compared] to how I felt when I finished,” Comer says. “I’d never done a film of this size with the caliber of people. I felt like a very small part of something very big, and I always had this insecurity of having come from television. I think I created this idea that film is a completely different beast when actually you walk up to set every day and you prepare in the same way.”

Free Guy, also featuring Stranger Things‘ Joe Keery and Jojo Rabbit‘s Taika Waititi, introduced her to a lot of firsts. Though she had come equipped with that experience on Star Wars, the movie was the first time she acted heavily opposite green screen. (“I feel like I rely so much on what other actors are giving me that when you are now put in a green box and told to imagine something flying towards you, that’s a totally different skill.”) It was the most physically demanding role she’s had so far, even factoring in Killing Eve. (“A lot of people think Killing Eve is very physical, but it really isn’t all that much.”) In one sequence, Comer and Reynolds simulate jumping through a window on a motorcycle as she fires at enemies.

Free Guy
Jodie Comer as Molotovgirl in ‘Free Guy.’
| CREDIT: ALAN MARKFIELD/20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

The film was also the first time Comer got deep into playing video games. Levy compares the virtual world of Free City to Grand Theft Auto in that it’s an open-world space where players can interact with each other online through their characters, steal cars, go on shooting sprees, and generally wreak havoc. Comer got her hands on a PlayStation as “homework,” with Marvel’s Spider-Man being her favorite that she tried.

“I liked the freedom of swinging from buildings and wasting time,” she says. “But something like Grand Theft Auto is super stressful for me… I take games way too seriously.”

Looking back, though it feels like a lifetime ago that Comer made this film before the COVID-19 pandemic delayed all of movie kind, she sees Free Guy as “a real warm hug of an introduction into the industry” after Levy and Reynolds created an environment that encouraged her to share ideas and even improv – which is not her “comfortable spot,” she admits. “I like a good ol’ script.”

Free Guy, one of the summer’s few theater-only blockbusters, premiering this Aug. 13, is only the beginning for Comer as she charts out her next moves. Soon she will be seen opposite Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in The Last Duel, where she actually gets to act opposite her Star Wars colleague Adam Driver in the 14th-century France-set drama from director Ridley Scott. Then, she’ll play the wife of Joaquin Phoenix‘s Napoleon Bonaparte in Kitbag, another Scott production.

“I think what I’m really enjoying about film is it’s a very different experience than television in that you have a fully fleshed out thing in front of you that you can really dive into the material and know where you are from beginning to end, which is a new experience,” Comer says. “Killing Eve is ever changing and ever growing. So, I think I’m really enjoying that aspect, to have the freedom to work with different people and it not take as long out of the year.”

“I’d also love to do theater,” she adds. “I’ve read an incredible theater script at the moment which I really, really want to do. I’m really hungry to throw myself into new territory.” She’s off to a good start.

Posted by admin on October 29, 2020


One of the most memorable action beats in cinema this year came partway through a bust-up in Birds Of Prey, when Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn stops mid-brawl to offer Jurnee Smollett’s Black Canary a much-needed hair tie. It was a refreshing moment of practicality in the middle of an action sequence, one that felt real, necessary, and a jab at the impracticalities of most stylised action heroines. Now, get ready for Jodie Comer’s Molotov Girl in Shawn Levy’s video game romp Free Guy – a character who, even in an outlandish open-world RPG, is all about sensible costuming in the name of maximum damage.

Speaking in a joint interview with co-star Ryan Reynolds in the new The Suicide Squad issue of Empire, Comer opened up about the no-nonsense approach to the look of virtual character Molotov Girl – boots, knee-pads, layers, and easily-accessible weapon holsters – as constructed by her gamer character Milly. “I love that this twenty something girl has created an avatar for a video game and it’s not, like, a man’s idea of what she should look like. Milly created it, and it’s practical. Of course, it’s practical!” she says. “I remember when we were still filming and the stunt guys were asking me, ‘Are you in heels for this stunt?’ and I was like, ‘No! She’s in practical, flat boots, just like she should be.’”


As Reynolds points out, Molotov Girl’s look was partially based on Bonnie, of Bonnie and Clyde. “At first the character was written as this kind of punk-rock, nondescript sort of goth character and it just felt so dated,” he says. “So in order to make the character less dated, we… well, we went even further back and based her on Bonnie Parker. She had an iconic look, very practical, very chic.”

Read the full conversation between Comer and Reynolds in The Suicide Squad issue of Empire, on sale Thursday 29 October and available to order online now. Free Guy is currently expected in UK cinemas from 11 December.

Posted by admin on October 05, 2019

Jodie attended New York Comic Con to promote her upcoming movie Free Guy, I’ve added images to our gallery enjoy