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LazarBeam Talks Free Guy, Fortnite And Teletubbies - Exclusive Interview

What is the greatest video game movie ever made? Is it "Tron?" Is it "Sonic the Hedgehog?" Is it the version of the "Super Mario Bros." movie that's way longer and includes all the deleted scenes? So many movies have tried to either adapt or approximate a video game narrative over the years, but the best one yet may be just around the corner. "Free Guy," the Ryan Reynolds-starring film focused on a sentient NPC in a game called "Free World" who takes his artificial life into his own hands, has an element to it that separates it from so many other films of this genre — it stars actual gamers.


"Free Guy" not only features a number of popular online streamers, but the filmmakers have gone to great lengths to make  a film that feels true to gaming culture. One of the streamers who both appears in "Free Guy" and acted as consultant is Lannan Eacott, a.k.a. LazarBeam. SVG sat down with him to talk about what kind of input he had with "Free Guy," how the film gets gaming culture right, and what sort of game he feels like he truly belongs in.

LazarBeam on original games and talking with gamers

How do you think this movie did as far as getting gaming culture right?

I think they did the best job they could, and I think they did a good job of it because I think it all comes back to the director actually caring about if he got it right. I think no one will ever probably do it a hundred percent perfect, but I think they got as close as they could have because I know, working with [director Shawn Levy], how much he respected people's input. He didn't just go in thinking, "I know everything. I'm the smartest man alive. I'm a suit in Hollywood. I know what people want. They just want this and that." He actually asked questions and listened when you spoke. Even in my parts in the movie, he allowed me to have input in what I was saying and how I was acting and stuff, and he actually cared. He admitted that he didn't know everything and cared to learn, so I think that's really reflected in it.


Prior to you coming in and acting, did you have an input?

I had minor input, I would say. He's asked me questions through the whole process, in little bits, but I know he sourced that information from other people.

What kind of questions?

I couldn't remember specifics unless I went through every single text message. But just sort of like, "What's your thoughts on this, does this feel right, does this feel good, this thing we're adding, do you think people will like this, do you think people will enjoy this?" Just sort of gauging our reactions on it. But yeah, I know from speaking to him when I was there that he definitely sourced that information from a lot of people and actually [sought] it out, which was refreshing, because I didn't know what to expect in that regard.


On playing games wrong and Guy fighting a Teletubby

Other than having streamers involved to add a degree of realism, is there something from "Free World" that they created or the way that gamers were directed that you thought that they got right?

I think there's some of the player interactions and stuff that were pretty real, and I think that perhaps the way that you can sort of be a different character in real life to someone in the game, and stuff like that — and be a completely different person, be a complete dirt bag in a game, but be a quiet, nerdy person in real life. I think they did a really good job with that. I think a lot of the references and stuff, actually, they did a good job with that and it didn't feel too, "Our focus group said this would work."


Guy is an NPC, but he is still doing a thing that streamers and gamers in general do, which is intentionally playing a game wrong.

That's my business, man.

Right, exactly. And considering that you recently posted a video of every "GTA" mod you could find, I found myself thinking, "What would be the best mod to use against Guy? Like, for example, in one of the mods you played as Jesus.

I don't know I'd want to say that Guy could beat Jesus Christ in a game. That mod had Jesus breathing fire, so I don't know if that'll do well in a Hollywood movie, but I don't know. There was the one where a Teletubby was eating people, so I'd like to see how he went up against a Teletubby that could eat human beings and see how he could fare against that, because I don't think he'd win. I don't think he'd beat the Teletubby.


What is the best game to play broken and what is the broken way that you like to play it?

I've got a love for "Fortnite" and some of the glitches and the (what I would call) meme strategies and stuff that we came up with over the years. I think that is just always going to have such a special place in my heart. When you find something that is just so broken — that this billion, billion, billion-dollar company just could not find, and you just completely invalidate the entire game — it's so funny. It's just so great. There's invincibility glitches, ones that make your character look funny. I don't know. That always made me laugh.

The NPC life LazarBeam wants vs. The one he deserves

If you woke up tomorrow and you were inside of a video game, like Guy is, what kind of game would you want to be in? And if you were being honest with yourself, what kind of game do you belong in?

Oh, God. I mean, I grew up playing "World of Warcraft," so I'd kind of like to be in that world a little bit because I probably spent the majority of my teenage years daydreaming about being in that world, or something "Star Wars"-related, but that's too big of a franchise to be in... So I'd say being in "World of Warcraft" would have been pretty cool.


As far as what I belong in, oh, God. Honestly, I don't think I'd fare too well in any game. If you put me in anything with violence, I'd be terrible. Probably one of those German construction SIM ones or something. It's just like, you go on about your day, normal, you're driving a bus or something, something nice and safe at just a normal job, nothing crazy is going on, and I can just be a normal human being, because I have no special skills in regards to surviving. I would be doomed.

Your honesty is appreciated.

I'm not going to sit here and say, "No, put me in the new Superman game or something like that."