The SXSW Film Festival began Friday with a thirst-trap premiere at Austin’s Paramount Theater. “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” the Paramount Pictures title that served as the opening night film, has a lot of things going for it: owl-bears, fat dragons, Hugh Grant. It also has Regé-Jean Page, who attended the filmmakers’ post-screening Q&A.
A woman who identified herself as “Rochelle from Detroit” cut to the chase with directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Francis Goldstein: “Can you talk a little bit about the decision to cast gorgeous men? I just want to know if that was a ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ kind of thing?” This is, after all, a “Dungeons & Dragons” movie, and yet it stars Page, Chris Pine, and Justice Smith, none of whom resemble a “Stranger Things” geek you’d expect to play D&D.
Rochelle then asked for “something that every woman in the room wants” and requested a photo with the “Bridgerton” star. He happily obliged, after which the woman swooned in the aisle. (She’s fine.)
She then told the audience that it was a “fantastic movie,” and though she’s never played D&D, “and I probably won’t still,” she agreed to tell everyone in Detroit to go see it.
Page is not the star of “Honor Among Thieves;” he has a few scenes in a scene-stealing supporting role as Xenk the mighty Paladin. While his character has no sense of humor and does not tolerate “colloquialisms,” Page the actor took the attention in stride alongside his co-stars Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Sophia Lillis, and Daisy Head.
The lively crowd greeted everyone warmly, but cheered especially loud for Page (much as they did in his first appearance in the film).
During the Q&A, Rodriguez started giggling uncontrollably when a young woman in the audience mentioned she was a LARPer in Austin, and the two shared a moment discussing Burning Man that perhaps only they fully understood, but the crowd ate it up anyway.
Pine said that in addition to playing a round of D&D with the cast, he also played with his family, notably his 82-year-old father who took on the role of the Warrior in a campaign. Pine said D&D is very much a game for actors, as it encourages people who are willing to say “Yes, and” at every new turn of the game.
The directors also acknowledged one starstruck film student from Alaska, saying that they’ve seen the tweets she’s been sending them and encouraged her to keep following her dreams and telling stories.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will be released by Paramount Pictures on Friday, March 31.
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