Josh Duhamel Premieres Trailer for His Directorial Debut Buddy Games: It's Been 'the Most Rewarding' JourneyOctober 6, 2020
Josh Duhamel sits in the director's chair for the first time with his latest film, Buddy Games.
In a PEOPLE exclusive first look at the Transformers star's directorial debut, Duhamel says the challenge of directing is one he's waited to take on since the start of his career.
"This journey has truly been the most difficult and challenging thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also, by far, the most rewarding," Duhamel, 47, tells PEOPLE. "Buddy Games is definitely something people haven’t seen from me before."
The film follows six friends who reunite after five years following a falling out. Duhamel's character, Bob, reunites his friends for the Buddy Games, an insane competition of absurd mental and physical challenges that offers the winner a $150,000 jackpot.
Duhamel brought on board several of his friends for the film, including Dax Shepard, Kevin Dillon, James Roday, Dan Bakkedahl, Nick Swardson and Olivia Munn.
The actor-director tells PEOPLE he "wasn't afraid to ask" for Shepard's advice on directing "when I needed it."
"I knew that the only way I would find the perfect project to direct was if I wrote it myself, and what made this project even better was the fact that Buddy Games wasn’t a new concept for me," says Duhamel. "For many years, my friends and I have had an annual weekend of games and debauchery — everything from classic ping pong competitions to naked paintball."
He, Jude Weng and Bob Schwartz went to work on writing a script "based on the shenanigans that my buddies and I have done for over 20 years," says Duhamel.
"I wanted it to be shocking, I wanted it to make people curl over with laughter and I wanted people to think, 'I can’t believe they actually went there,'" he says. "But I also wanted the humor to be grounded in reality, and the reality is that this story is both inspired by and about real lifelong friendships."
He adds cheekily, "I’m excited, yet slightly nervous to give people a glimpse inside my twisted mind."
Buddy Games is available On Demand, digital and DVD on Nov. 24.
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