Joe Keery: 98% of Taika Waititi’s scenes aren’t in 'Free Guy' (exclusive)

·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Joe Keery talks to Yahoo about Free Guy

Taking a well-earned break from the terrors of Stranger Things, actor Joe Keery has moved to the world of video games for his latest film, rollercoaster action comedy Free Guy. And, for 'a whirlwind two weeks' he worked alongside Taika Waititi.

Keery plays Keys, the designer behind the Free City video game at the heart of the movie, who works for the wildly unpredictable Antwan (Waititi). Talking to Yahoo, he reveals the moment when his “boss” refers to his “shampoo commercial hair” was totally improvised, but that many others don’t appear in the final film. 

“I think about 98% of the things that Taika came up with didn’t make it into the film because he takes risks,” he said. 

Read more: How Jodie Comer influenced her Free Guy character

“Every single take he was doing something different. I’ve never worked with such a bold and talented performer and it comes from him being a writer and a director. It was like an education working with him.”

(L-R) Taika Waititi as Antwan, Utkarsh Ambudkar as Mouser and Joe Keery as Keys in 20th Century Studios’ FREE GUY. Photo by Alan Markfield. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.
Taika Waititi as Antwan, Utkarsh Ambudkar as Mouser and Joe Keery as Keys in Free Guy. (20th Century Studios)

Waititi’s approach to his role was very much in tune with Free Guy director Shawn Levy’s style on set. Keery, who also works with Levy on Stranger Things, describes it as “a blend of efficiency and creativity". 

"He’s really an actor’s director. He focuses on the character first and foremost. It always feels exciting on set, a really amazing experience for me, as I’m new in this industry. It’s great to collaborate with him.”

Watch a trailer for Free Guy

In Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds plays unassuming bank teller Guy, who realises he’s an NPC (non-player character) in a video game. 

But he’s developed a will of his own, allowing him to question everything going on around him: the daily bank raids, the frequent explosions and violence. 

Joe Keery, director Shawn Levy and Utkarsh Ambudkar on the set of 20th Century Studios’ FREE GUY. Photo by Alan Markfield. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.
Joe Keery, director Shawn Levy and Utkarsh Ambudkar on the set of Free Guy. (20th Century Studios)

Keery and fellow designer Millie (Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer) know that Antwan has ripped off their ideas and have to enter the game as players to get Guy’s help in claiming back their intellectual property.

Best known as Stranger Things’ Steve Harrington, Keery will be reprising his role when the series’ fourth season launches on Netflix next year. 

Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo in Stranger Things S3 (Netflix)
Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo in Stranger Things S3 (Netflix)

And the latest online sneak peek points towards the gang from Hawkins being up against their most monstrous enemy yet. 

Free Guy is released in cinemas on 13 August.

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