Popularly known for playing Hanna Marin in the hit show “Pretty Little Liars,” Ashley Benson makes the giant leap to the big screen with Columbia Pictures’ new action-adventure “Pixels.”
Benson takes on the role of Lady Lisa, the film’s 1980s videogame icon, star of the fictional game Dojo Quest. “I get to play a videogame hero – I have two swords and I get to be a badass,” Benson explains. “I’d never worked with swords before, so that was cool. Plus, punching and kicking and beating up Josh Gad is always fun.”
In the film, Josh Gad’s character, Ludlow Lamonsoff, is chasing the love of his life, which is a videogame character “It makes him sound insane, but he believes in a world where he can co-exist with Lady Lisa and run away with her,” explains Gad.
“We wanted Ludlow to be in love with a female video game character from his childhood. We thought it was really sweet, but also showed that he’s a little pathetic,” says producer Allen Covert. “There weren’t a lot of game characters that fit that description so we came up with Dojo Quest and Lady Lisa. The best part was that we actually got to make it into a real game that you can play on your phone.”
Costume designer Christine Wada’s great challenge was to create the look for Lady Lisa, the 1980s object of desire for the film’s fictional game, Dojo Quest. “In the end, there were 222 designs of her costume and hair,” Wada recalls. The reason it was such a great challenge was that Lady Lisa had to do so much: “She’s a character from the 80s, so the design has to feel backdated, but also work in a modern context. She had to be iconic, but the character would also have to handle stunts. And the design had to be able to handle visual effects, so there were certain boundaries that we had to work within.”
Wada’s design melds numerous influences: the layered designs of 1980s swimsuits, crossed with Asian inspirations. “It’s a costume Ashley can actually move and fight in, but it’s also one that makes her look like a character that a teenage boy would fall in love with,” she says.
“I love the costume so much,” says Benson. “It would be cool to see girls being Lady Lisa for Halloween.”
In “Pixels,” as kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they’re going to have to do it for real.
When intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults — and now-U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN™, Donkey Kong™, Galaga™, Centipede®, and Space Invaders™. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.
Opening across the Philippines in August 26, “Pixels” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.