Recently, Robert Carlyle did a commercial for Johnnie Walker titled “The Man Who Walked Around the World” where he does a little bit of walking — no pun intended.
The commercial, which kind of features the drinking of Johnnie Walker (of course), is pretty cool with all its old-timey camera tricks and transitions. The first few seconds are nothing special though, as Carlyle strolls around an office building before taking a trip on an elevator and then walking down a normal hallway, like any other old-timey businessman.
In the next scene, Carlyle walks into an old-fashioned subway cart where he meets his future self (the older version of him we see in the commercial), and they decide to go exploring from there. As they walk out of the subway, we see that a few seconds have passed and the old-timey Carlyle from before has changed his clothes into a nice suit and is now standing on top of the train car.
Behold! The first time traveling montage has begun, with Carlyle tasked with getting his future self to drink those magical little bottles of scotch. While the “future” Carlyle is just standing there in the middle of the road, Carlyle runs up to him and starts literally shoving his bottle into his face.
How the Commercial Went Down
From the standpoint of how the commercial was made, Carlyle stated to The Daily Record back in July that it wasn’t a huge production. The commercial was shot over two or three days. It’s very simple – all done on location and very little dressing up of locations.”
Lucky for them; no elaborate sets were needed — they just used any kind of normal office as one would expect from these kinds of commercials. “It was near Hampstead Heath,” he goes on to say, referring to the popular park located in London. “We were by a canal so we didn’t have to dress up much.”
Basically, this Johnnie Walker commercial is anything but special effects-driven as far as most go, and instead relies on the simplicity of its plot and old camera tricks with some cool transitions.
A Small Twist
And while the plot of “The Man Who Walked Around” may not be anything special, it does have a really cool twist at the end. And when I say cool, I mean cold:
Carlyle was used to being in front of the camera as an actor but had never been behind it before – so director David Kerr took him under his wing and taught Carlyle to use a clapperboard to mark shots.
That actually makes sense…what doesn’t make sense though is why they would allow Carlyle, whose character is drinking Johnnie Walker(who else?), to hold the bottle with his right hand!?!?
Robert Carlyle’s character is supposed to be left-handed. The script was probably flipped around though, so I’ll let it slide.
In any case, the commercial, which was only released a few weeks back, is one of the more interesting ones. It’s very old-school camera tricks with its film effect and transitions — as well as its plot (walking around to explore).
The Premise of Johnnie Walker’s “The Man Who Walked Around The World”
As previously mentioned in this article, the premise behind this short film is pretty cool and simple: Robert Carlyle plays an older version of himself who has just come out of retirement — which makes sense because he IS RETIRED from acting after doing his most recent performance as Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow.
He drinks Johnnie Walker Black Label at the beginning of the video but then when we see him again, we see he’s drinking the special edition Johnnie Walker Platinum Label Reserve in honor of his journey completed.
A simple commercial about an older Robert Carlyle who takes a walk on Johnnie Walker (who else?) and suddenly time-travels back to himself when he was younger. The “twist” comes in where you realize that this isn’t just one world that Robert Carlyle is traversing — but many worlds.
Basically, the commercial seems to be a nod to Robert Carlyle’s past and present roles as an actor.
While cool, interesting, and all that jazz, this is just another product placement ad from Johnnie Walker. However, it also pays tribute to Robert Carlyle and his role in popular movies like Trainspotting, 28 Weeks Later, and even Arrow.
It’s truly an eye-catching video that anyone can appreciate because of its simplicity — with the coolest transition scene at the end that doesn’t include CGI or any special effects…just good old fashion camera tricks! And who can forget about Johnnie Walker Black Label?!?
At the end of the day, this commercial was an amazing tribute to Robert Carlyle and his roles in movies – because he’s truly one of the most versatile actors out there.