Exclusive Free Guy Clip Discusses the Importance of Molotovgirl Looking Like an Avatar Created by a Woman
"It was so important that it was believable that this avatar was made by this young girl."
Slight spoilers for Free Guy
Free Guy will be available for digital download tomorrow (and 4K and Blu-ray on October 12th), meaning that more people will be able to see what I was screaming about back in August.
To celebrate the release, we got an exclusive clip that gives a behind-the-scenes look at Molotovgirl, the thought process behind her creation, and how her costume reflects both her persona and Millie’s (Jodie Comer’s) motivations when it comes to entering into Free City.
In the production notes for the movie, Comer had this to say about Millie. “Millie is so clever. She’s so smart and determined. She believes in herself, which I admire. And she’s funny,” says Comer. “But I think what I love best is that even though something bad has happened to her, she’s determined to make things right.”
In the exclusive clip, costume designer Marlene Stewart and Comer talk about how important Molotovgirl’s look was—more specifically, how important it was to make it look like she’d been created by a woman.
It’s interesting getting Stewart’s perspective on how the expectations of what women look like in movies have evolved, especially since she’s been in the business since the ’80s. “Nowadays, the power of a woman is not her body alone. It’s her character, it’s more of her mind, it’s the story that she’s living. That’s changing conversation right now, I think, and it’s a very important part of filmmaking and how that affects society.”
Comer adds, “It was so important that it was believable that this avatar was made by this young girl and this woman wasn’t a man’s ideal. I wanted you to believe that this girl had sat at her computer and made this woman herself.”
This conversation is also one that’s been a part of the gaming industry for as far back as I can remember, particularly in games where you’re allowed to create your own character. When you’re given the ability to create a character that represents you, it’s always jarring when you play a game that has fewer options based on gender, race, and other levels of marginalization.
No one is saying that a woman can’t be badass in that mid-drift baring outfit, but when her male counterpart is fully suited up with storage space for ammo and protection from guns and knives and whatever joke weapon does the most damage, you can’t help but wonder why she isn’t able to have a similar look.
If I’m walking around Free City, a place where the goal is to cause massive amounts of destruction and rack up kills for points, I’m wearing as much protective gear as I can, and I will always side-eye games that don’t give me that option (especially if they take the time to make something outlandish like a mascot rabbit costume).
While a women’s appearance in movies and video games is an ongoing conversation, in this particular case it also ties in with Millie’s story in the movie. The trailers lead you to believe that she’s the cool, dual pistol-wielding love interest for Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who gets to uncover the Matrix for him by revealing that everything he thinks is real isn’t. In reality, those are just a part of her story. Her overall plot deals with how Antwan (Taika Waititi) is treating his employees and how he doesn’t care who he screws over so long as he keeps making money.
I know I’ve talked about how Millie’s role in the movie was completely unexpected, but it’s definitely a relevant conversation to have in the gaming industry. The movie is still a lot of fun with all kinds of nods to video games, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it also included a story of how folks in the industry are mistreated by higher-ups for the sake of those higher-ups being able to add more dollar signs to their bank accounts.
This especially hits with Millie, who gets to fight back with Molotovgirl.
All of this added to Stewart and Comer’s feelings about the way Molotovgirl looked. “We walked right up to the edge of superhero is what we did,” Stewart said.
I think they nailed the feel of what they were going for … even if it meant that Comer had to deal with the heat while be, “leathered up, head to toe.”
Sorry, Comer! Maybe do a couple of extra takes of that ice cream eating scene?
(Image: 20th Century Studios)
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