Free Guy Star Camille Kostek Reveals What It Was Like Working With Ryan Reynolds And Channing Tatum - Exclusive Interview

Action comedy "Free Guy" has been taking the world by storm, so it's perhaps unsurprising that rumors of a sequel have already been swirling. And for model, actor, and activist Camille Kostek, joining the cast of "Free Guy" as non-player character (or NPC) Bombshell was a literal dream come true that she didn't want to end. "It was really great," she told Nicki Swift of working on the video game flick. "I didn't want it to be over when they called a wrap on my scene. I was like, 'No!'"

"Free Guy," of course, stars Ryan Reynolds as Guy, an NPC in an open-world video game who starts to realize that something is wrong with his everyday life. When the very existence of the world around him is threatened, Guy becomes the hero, working with Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) and his best friend, Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), to save the day. Channing Tatum, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi, and Kostek round out the cast of what's quickly become one of 2021's most popular movies.

Nicki Swift sat down with Camille Kostek to find out all about her role in "Free Guy," her hopes for a sequel, and what it's like dating football star Rob Gronkowski.

"Free Guy" is out now on Digital, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD.

Camille Kostek was born to play Bombshell

Appearing in "Free Guy" is a huge step in your movie career. What was it like working on such a big action adventure movie?

I mean, even before working on the set, the audition process was so fun for me. Getting the callback to audition in front of [director] Shawn Levy was, I mean, it felt like a privilege in itself, especially being so new into the acting space. And I just remember being in that audition and being like, "Wow, no wonder he's a director because he's so good at directing." ... I feel like as an actor and actress, when you first pick up a script, you perceive it in a certain way yourself. And then to hear how the director sees it is so different. So for me, going in that room, playing Bombshell, I had an idea of her in the first place. And then to truly figure out who she is, made the audition ... it was like starting from scratch. 

So, to me, I was like, "Well, this was a great opportunity to learn from the best, and I don't know [if] I'll ever see him again." ... I was so pleasantly pleased to get the call, to find out that I landed the role, because I learned so much in the audition that I was like, "Hopefully one day he sees potential." And I was just excited that he took a chance on me and allowed me to play out the role.

And then actually working on set with him and Ryan [Reynolds], who is — they're such a collaborative team, they work together often. They really understand each other. It was like a dream set. It was so fun. It was enjoyable to go to work every day, even seeing Ryan or Jodie [Comer] in hair and makeup quickly passing by, such incredible people. There were so many points in time where I just watched Buddy [Lil Rel Howery] and Guy [Reynolds] on set just truly being buddies and being funny. And it was really an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

She 'had the best time' working with Channing Tatum and Ryan Reynolds on Free Guy

And I have to ask, what was it like getting to work with both Channing Tatum and Ryan Reynolds?

I mean, they are... Let's state the obvious, they're both very handsome men. And I've grown up watching Ryan Reynolds films. I've grown up watching Channing Tatum films. So to be amongst two of some of the greatest actors was really inspiring and also extremely intimidating. But to come to find out they're seriously just such wholesome, awesome guys that are there to have fun — and you could tell that this is what they love to do — it made my job so easy. As someone who's still so new and so nervous, I felt so comfortable and just had the best time. 

But I remember when we were shooting, it was before we shot the scene and no one knew who Bad Guy [Revenjamin Buttons] was in the script. And so I just knew that Bombshell had such a love for all the bad guys and the robbers in the video game. But I didn't know who this Bad Guy was in that opening scene. So when he had said to me, "... Did anyone tell you who the Bad Guy is yet?" And I said, "Who is it?" He was like, "Oh, well ... Bad Guy is Channing Tatum." And I was like, "I'm sorry, I'm going to need to digest. You said who?" 

So it was a really... It was full of surprises. I can't, I'm going to constantly sound so redundant here, but yeah, it was a lot of fun. Ryan and Channing definitely [were] a treat. It was a treat for me.

Camille Kostek is on board with a Free Guy sequel

There's been a lot of talk about a "Free Guy" sequel. Would you return for a sequel? And what would you like to see Bombshell do next?

I think for Bombshell, it's so interesting. I'm having a lot of fun reading the movie reviews and watching a lot of the YouTube clips and different things that people are tweeting. And even seeing Zak Penn sharing some of the reviews that he's seen on his end, as one of the writers, it's really neat to see what catches his eye. And for me, I play a small role, but if you watch the film and you really pay attention, the character development of these NPCs is pretty incredible. So for me, I was even learning as I was on the set, because you film a lot of the scenes out of order. So when I was holding this little book, I came to find out that that little book really is a memoir to all of the things that [Bombshell] had learned about men being so toxic, without trying to give much away for those who haven't seen it yet.

But I think there's just so much room for her to grow, and so many of the other NPCs. Especially since, I don't want to give too much away, but I'm getting really excited about talk of a sequel, because I'm glad that she makes it out and I would love to have her role be expanded upon and learn more about her outside of the world before she was awake and had more self-awareness and stuff. So I would love to personally and selfishly dive in and get to know her more. 

So I hope those rumors are true, I hope that they keep rolling around and that Ryan [Reynolds] continues to stay excited about doing more with this team, because I would, no hesitation, be like, "Yes, let's do it."

This multi-talent has a man and a puppy at home

You've been dating American football tight end Rob Gronkowski since 2015. How do you balance such busy careers alongside your relationship. And I also wanted to ask how your dog, Ralphie, is?

He needs attention at all times. I feel like on my off days, between Rob and Ralphie, it's like, they need my attention, but that's just it. I think that's why our relationship has worked this many years later, because we both are so busy and we love what we do. ... Whenever, we're both on the road, we're so thankful for FaceTime. I think that we're very grateful for technology, Zoom calls, FaceTime calls, wherever we are in the world. We always make it work. And yeah, it's tough to be away from each other for a long time, but you also know that it's because you're out doing what you love and we have this one life. So seize the day, seize the opportunities. And I feel like that's what works for us. 

So we keep each other super motivated and we respect each other's wishes, if someone has to go to sleep early or being in different time zones or whatever it may be. And I'm very happy that his work allows him to be in one place here in Tampa, because Ralphie can't really be that big of a jetsetter. He is, but it allows me to go and be on the road, do things all over the place, while Rob's here with little puppy dog. And then I come in when I can.

Camille Kostek is all about self-acceptance

You've been really outspoken about body inclusivity, and you've even gone on the road, touring colleges talking about it. Why did you want to take a stand about that issue?

It was something that I quietly have dealt with for so many years. And it's an uncomfortable topic to talk about. And I think the moment that I kind of started to have the courage, and also self-love, is such a journey — and it's a journey for a reason, because ... I'm constantly growing and evolving and learning more about myself and then having low points and having high points. And just when I think I've overcome that low, another one comes and hits me in my path, but it allows for more growth. And I think that, being in my position, I'm the oldest of four in my family, and I've had the privilege to be captains of sports teams and things like that. I feel like it's almost been my duty to step up to the plate and take ownership. And I'm not a professional psychiatrist or psychologist or nutritionist or dietician or any of that. But what I do know is what's worked for me and my living truth. 

So I feel like getting to that vulnerable state to share it on social media or through these tour talks at colleges, I just share things that I wish that I could have heard: That it's okay to have low self-esteem, it's okay to have bad days, but don't let that overcome your being. Understand that you're having those low points to really talk through it. Have those conversations with yourself, look at yourself in the mirror. Understand, where is that coming from? Why do you feel that way? I am the number one advocate for having self talk. I am the number one advocate for writing down your feelings and your fears and things that you're grateful for and your affirmations, so let your journal entries take you anywhere that you want. I'm a firm believer in believing in yourself and manifesting your life. And that energy is all around you. So for me, it's just, it's only crazy for those who haven't tapped in and tried it out for themselves.

So I'm okay to be in that space of being judged. But for those that it can help, that truly inspires me to keep opening up and sharing my truth and everything that's worked for me or sharing the times that are tougher for me. ... And sharing that, I think, is one of the most powerful things that people can do in this life, because it's hard. It's hard to do sometimes.

"Free Guy" is out now on Digital, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD.