The following contains minor spoilers for Dungeon & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a fantastic movie whether or not you know anything about the game it is based on. It’s a grand adventure, which we might expect from a classic fantasy story, but what’s perhaps surprising to a lot of people is just how funny it all is. Most of the humor was written into the script by co-writers and co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, but the pair revealed one of the film’s funniest moments wasn’t scripted and was all thanks to Regé-Jean Paige.
Page plans Xenk the Paladin in the Honor Among Thieves cast, and in true Paladin fashion, he takes everything extremely seriously. Everything from the way Xenk speaks to the way he walks is done with the most serious intent. Even when Xenk leaves the party and walks away he’s stiff and serious, leading to a hilarious moment when Xenk must decide what to do about a massive rock in his path. As Daley explained to Mashable…
Xenk enters Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves to help the adventuring party on a side quest to get a magical item they need, but once that’s done, he takes his leave from the story. He literally just walks off down the beach, and when the directors realized Page was walking toward a large rock in his path, they decided not to yell “cut” and simply wait and see what the actor did.
Chris Pine’s Edgin is giving a sort of commentary the whole time, wondering where Xenk is going and what he’s going to do with the rock in his path. Page handles the boulder perfectly, going right over, which does look a little silly. At the same time, Page never breaks his stride, making it look like he knew exactly what he was doing the whole time.
This is actually one of the ways that Honor Among Thieves is a perfect adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons. Paladins are holy warriors that swear an oath to their god. They take this oath very seriously and thus are traditionally played as being focused, sometimes to a fault, on being honorable and lawful. Xenk is also a perfect NPC, a character who appears to help the players, is frequently overpowered when compared to them, but then refuses to hang around because he’d make the game too easy.
The new D&D movie teases us with sequel possibilities. If they happen, hopefully, we’ll get more of Xenk along with the rest of the cast. You can, and should, see Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves in theaters now.