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Standing well over 6 foot 6 and with shoulders as broad as a Cadillac’s grille, Twitch streamer Dr Disrespect looks more like a professional athlete than a guy who makes his living playing video games in front of strangers.
With more than 4 million followers on the Amazon-owned streaming platform, the Doc — whose real name is Guy Beahm IV — is one of the world’s most popular internet personalities, regularly streaming to more than 24,000 concurrent viewers. As the battle to sign streaming talent to exclusive deals continues to heat up among various platforms (YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming and Microsoft’s Mixer have been poaching and cannibalizing streamers over the past few months), stars like Beahm have taken to announcing their intentions to stay on Twitch.
The new deal, classified as a “major multiyear extension,” was brokered by Beahm’s agency, CAA. Beahm is managed by Boom.TV. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Like fellow Twitch star Imane “Pokimane” Anys, who disclosed last week that she had signed an exclusive multiyear deal to remain at Twitch, Beahm made his announcement to fans directly. In line with his over-the-top online persona, Beahm revealed his deal via an action-packed video spot. The Hollywood Reporter visited the set of the commercial shoot (filmed in mid-January in Los Angeles), featuring wire stunts, miniatures and a handmade plywood cockpit.
“What I wanted to capture was the mood and tone of the Doc,” Beahm — taking a break between shots but still decked out in his character’s signature mullet, mustache and combat vest — tells THR. “All of the previous announcements are very straightforward, and I wanted mine to be super over-the-top action-packed.”
There was plenty of action on shoot day. On a (mostly) empty soundstage, Beahm was suspended from four wires hoisted via pulleys from the ceiling with the help of a scissor lift. A team of stagehands was gathered around, blasting him with an industrial fan as Beahm mimicked slicing through the sky with a snarl.
In the next room, a separate crew was putting together a cockpit made primarily of plywood and various blinking doodads to simulate the interior of a helicopter. The original concept was to have Beahm cut through this cockpit on his descent into a city bathed in purple light, the “landscape of Twitch,” as Beahm describes it. However, mindful of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other passengers on Jan. 26, the concept was reworked.
“We absolutely supported Doc’s interest in finding a creative alternative that would serve his story while respecting the lives lost in this terrible tragedy,” Brielle Villablanca, director of corporate communications at Twitch, says of the change.
While the specifics of the spot have been altered, its core inspiration remains the same: 1987’s Predator.
“I think the appeal can be summed up by one moment in Predator where Carl Weathers’ character gets shot and says, ‘I don’t have time to bleed.’ The Doctor’s whole joke is that he’s too badass,” says director Tim Hendrix. “The whole joke is that he’s impossibly cool, impossibly masculine and just being self-aware of that and still being a bit awe-inspiring despite the humor.”
The new version of the spot eliminated the helicopter, replacing it with a futuristic plane and removing the crash entirely. Dr Disrespect is still descending on the “landscape of Twitch,” which Beahm says is the “spot to be.”
“This is where I belong. This is the Gotham City,” he says.
That allusion to DC Comics mythos is not the only connection Beahm makes in relation to his character. “In an ideal world, how cool would it be when I’m 70 years old, somebody else is playing Dr Disrespect?” he asks, referencing the character of Batman and the many actors who have stepped into the role over the years. “That’s the ultimate dream for this character, to build out his narrative and then see whatever characters may be introduced in this world. The big goal, the big picture is building out this Marvel Universe. How that happens, I don’t know, but that’s the ultimate goal.”
For the present, Beahm is happy to continue working with Twitch, and he doesn’t see the recent departures of other high-profile stars on the platform (such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, who both left Twitch for Mixer last year) as a major concern. “From both parties, there was no real rush to do it,” Beahm says of the new deal with Twitch. “There was really no thought in terms of the timing after Ninja and Mixer and Shroud. That sort of just happened.”
Looking ahead, Beahm, who is stationed in Southern California, has his sights set on Hollywood. “That’s a completely different mind-set and path in comparison to just staying stationary on Twitch and streaming every single day,” he says. “That’s still my baby, and I think I’ve done a good job doing that and proving this is what the Doctor’s really good at, but Hollywood would be something really cool to be a part of, doing high-production stuff and really hitting the tone of what the character can truly be.”
Watch the video spot below.
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