Ryan Reynold’s Free Guy features an impressive number of celebrity cameos, including several real-life gaming personalities and streamers. If Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, perhaps the previous best gamer film, delivers a more arcade-style aesthetic appropriate to the pre-2010’s world of gaming, Free Guy releases to the contemporary world of Twitch streamers and YouTube reaction videos. The film marks this shift in gaming media and e-celeb etiquette with various appearances by famous YouTubers and gaming personalities.
Directed by Stranger Thing‘s Shawn Levy, Free Guy follows the story of Guy (Reynolds), a non-playable character (NPC) living in an online open-world video game called “Free City.” Guy works (or, rather, is programmed to work) as a bank teller with his friend and co-worker Buddy. The story is one-part Truman Show, one-part Matrix — with a lot of Grand Theft Auto thrown into the mix. After wearing a pair of sunglasses taken from a player who tried robbing his bank, Guy is able to see Free City with a player’s heads-up display, helping him learn the true nature of his world and, thus, deviate from his programming.
With this video gamey premise, Free Guy bursts with pop cultural Easter eggs, references, and e-celebrities familiar to gamers. No doubt, this fusion between the old world of Hollywood cinema and the new digital world of online streamers and gamers is significant, as there are still only a small handful of major movies that seem willing to address the game-changing rise and role of e-celebrities. With that in mind, here is every e-celeb that makes a cameo appearance in Free Guy:
Richard Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
Professional gamer and full-time streamer, Richard Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the most followed Twitch streamer with a distant lead over second-place Tfue and third-place AuronPlay. Starting his gaming career with Halo 3, Ninja has since branched out to other games, playing with notable eSports teams such as Cloud9, before really making a mark in online competitive gaming with Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale. With his signature blue hair and enthusiastic energy, Ninja has rose through the ranks of mainstream media, including non-gaming media events such as The Masked Singer and the annual Times Square New Year’s Eve program.
Of all the streamer cameos in Free Guy, Ninja’s gets the most cinematic treatment, as he is explicitly shown offering commentary in his streaming studio, whereas the other e-celebs are either shown or heard in a minimized space in the style of screen-within-a-screen reaction videos.
Seán “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin
Speaking of screen-within-a-screen reaction videos, Seán William McLoughlin (aka Jacksepticeye) has made a big name for himself as a YouTube star with his gaming Let’s Play videos and high-energy Irish accent. Among the ranks of fellow big-time YT gaming personalities PewDiePie and Markiplier, Jacksepticeye has amassed a substantial following with his multimedia pursuits in film, TV, and various web series, as well as with his business ventures into clothing (the Cloak clothing brand) and coffee (Top of the Mornin’ Coffee).
Playing himself, Jacksepticeye makes multiple fourth-wall-breaking appearances in Free Guy to deliver ongoing, evolving commentary on Guy’s journey from NPC to hero. Jacksepticeye’s presence in Free Guy makes sense, as he is contracted under Disney, the studio behind Free Guy‘s distribution.
Imane “Pokimane” Anys
Twitch streamer darling and YouTube sensation Imane “Pokimane” Anys also comments several times throughout Free Guy on the unfolding story. Known in real life for her League of Legends and Fortnite streams, Pokimane has been nominated for multiple streamer awards, including the Shorty Award for Twitch Streamer of the Year in 2018, which she won. Pokimane is also Twitch’s largest female streamer and the co-founder of OfflineTV, an online social entertainment group of content creators based in Los Angeles.
Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott
The Australian YouTuber Lannan Eacott, known by his alias LazarBeam, initially got noticed for his slow-motion demolition videos while working for his family’s construction business. After blowing things up for YouTube views, LazarBeam really made a name for himself as an Internet personality when he switched to Let’s Play and gaming challenge videos. Like Ninja and Pokimane, LazarBeam saw immense growth with his Fortnite videos, eventually landing among the top ten list of most watched content creators in 2019. In his Free Guy cameo scene, LazarBeam comments on his changing attitude towards NPCs, even expressing what might possibly be regret for nonchalantly slaying so many NPCs in his gaming exploits.
Daniel “DanTDM” Middleton
Believe it or not, Daniel Middleton’s (aka DanTDM) appearance in Free Guy is actually his second appearance in a Disney movie about conscious video game characters, with his first appearance being in the UK version of Ralph Breaks The Internet as eBoy, a minor character who personifies the eBay notification system in the animated film. Shorthand for “The Diamond Minecart,” the TDM of DanTDM hints at the gamer’s origins as a Minecraft streamer back in 2012. Following his success with Minecraft, DanTDM authored the bestseller Minecraft graphic novel Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal. He’s even earned a Guinness World Record for scoring the most goals in a game of Rocket League for a team of two players. His cameo in Free Guy is short, as he’s briefly shown expressing support for Guy.
One the more surprising cameos, former IGN editor in chief Terri Schwartz makes an appearance in Free Guy, appropriately as a video game reporter interviewing the video game developers behind Free City, the fictional open-world hosting Guy’s heroic exploits. A renowned journalist in the gaming world, Schwartz ran content at IGN for roughly six years before managing editorial work for Netflix Geeked.
Towards the end of Free Guy, Schwartz can also be seen in another video reporting about changes in the game, which is a common through line with all the film’s e-celeb cameos. More than a cheap marketing ploy to attract gaming fans, the various Internet personality cast and characters in Free Guy break the fourth wall to comment on changes of the gaming conventions and attitudes not only towards the fictional game of the film but also towards the real-life gaming ecosystem.
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About The Author
Ryan Simón (43 Articles Published)
Ryan Simón is a Feature Editor for Screen Rant, a writer and avid reader, and the founding editor of an art/culture magazine based in Montana.