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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves - Rege-Jean Page Improvised That Hilarious Rock Moment

"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" is an extremely entertaining film. While it doesn't take itself as seriously as most high-profile fantasy films, the lighthearted confidence of the movie's storytelling style gives it its own level of engrossing viewability. The flippant way that the bard Edgin (Chris Pine) and his ragtag crew question the dead in their graves or navigate the unpleasant realm of the Underdark leads to a humorous experience laced with an ever-present self-awareness that is, in many ways, similar to the feeling of playing an RPG in real life.

One character that defies the self-aware feeling, though, is Xenk (Regé-Jean Page). The righteous paladin does everything with deliberate sincerity, whether he's challenging Edgin to distribute his loot or battling a demon dragon in the underworld. The earnestness and solemnity with which Xenk goes about his business make his final act in the film feel a bit out of place — even if it's one of the best comedic moments in the movie.

As Xenk leaves the group, he strides off across a rock-strewn beach, heading ...somewhere? The scene is clearly a jab at the iconic trope of the hero walking off into the sunset. At least, it is until it's punctuated by the warrior's confrontation with a large boulder in his path. Rather than walking around it, the hero skip-hops directly over the obstruction, undisturbed in the midst of his epic exit. It turns out, Xenk's rock moment wasn't planned, either. In an interview with Mashed, the film's co-directors, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley revealed that Regé-Jean Page improvised the entire thing right on the spot.

Let the camera roll...

In filming Xenk's exit scene (and subsequent confrontation with the rock), co-directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley pointed out that the original point of the shot was, indeed, to pull the rug out from the "walking into the sunset" trope. As the scene unfolded, though, the directors decided to take things even further by calling an audible mid-scene. "We had Regé walking in a straight line away from the scene, and we decided to just keep the cameras rolling and see what he'd do," Daley explained, with Goldstein adding, "He would just go until we'd call 'cut,' so we were like, 'Don't call cut. Let's just see what happens.'"

This unexpected extension created the circumstances that led to the boulder in Regé-Jean Page's path. As the actor continued his brazen stride and the scene didn't end, he suddenly found himself literally between a rock and a hard place — and he reacted with the calm and cool only too worthy of his character. "We had no idea how Regé would handle [the rock]. And the fact that he hopped over it was so hilarious to us that we knew we had to include it," Daley said.

In a movie that clearly identifies with its planned and purposeful humor, it's still the in-the-moment acting that stands out as particularly entertaining. It just proves, once again, that improvisation, well-executed by a capable actor who is fully in the moment, is one of the greatest forms of comedy in existence.