Arsenal FC players Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain feature in a video mockumentary released today by Europcar, the Official Car and Van Rental partner to the Premier League Club.
Face to Face with the Arsenal Family’ introduces larger-than-life ‘family’ members of each of the players, telling the story of their journey to matchday at The Emirates and illustrating that no matter where you are going or what your family needs, Europcar can always ‘move your way’ to make life easier.
In the film, Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere reluctantly introduces ‘Uncle Kenny Wilshere’. A former schoolboy footballer who now works as a plumber, as well as being a keen poet, Uncle Kenny travels to The Emirates to watch his star nephew in action but secretly harbours desires to play for the world-renowned club himself.
Champion baker, ‘Trudy Mertesacker’ is introduced by her brother, Arsenal vice-captain, Per Mertesacker. Trudy always attends matchdays to watch her famous brother in action but believes that baking is far more challenging than football.
The short film also features ‘Darren Oxlade-Chamberlain’, the plane-spotting cousin of winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain is a confident, outgoing member of his family, Darren is affectionately known as ‘The Shrub’ because he can stand still for long periods of time, key for plane spotting.
Designed to bring fans closer to their heroes, with insightful, fun and easily shareable content, the light-hearted film is on Europcar’s YouTube channel. With the aim of appealing to both Arsenal and football fans, the video raises awareness of Europcar’s partnership with the Club, announced at the start of this season.
As well as ‘starring’ in the mockumentary, which follows the players’ make-believe relatives travelling to The Emirates on matchday, the players had input into the scripts and storyboards. And they not only appeared as themselves but also as their ‘relatives’, through their faces being digitally super-imposed onto the faces of the actors playing those parts. The family ‘resemblance’ is therefore easy to see.
Talking about the acting experience to create the video, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said, “I enjoyed the chance to do a bit of acting in the video. I did drama at school and had to drop acting for football so quite enjoyed the chance to relive my past.” Jack Wilshere added, “I’ve done a bit of acting in the past but it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I need more practice but enjoyed seeing the creation of ‘Uncle Kenny’.”
Joking about which of the three players was the most natural actor, Per Mertesacker responded, “Oh that would be me, for sure. I’ve done a bit of acting before but this video was something different, involved more expression and I felt comfortable and enjoyed the experience.”
When asked who the players would like to play them in movies of their lives, Jack Wilshere opted for Daniel Craig whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suggested Denzel Washington, although “… it would be a bit of a stretch and he would be dropping down a peg or two”. Mertesacker revealed it would require “a big lad, Dirk Nowitzki”, (the NBA champion) to play him.
The relatives’ characters are played by actors Grant Davis – Kenny Wilshere, Lillian Schiffer – Trudy Mertesacker and Ewen MacIntosh – Darren Oxlade-Chamberlain.