Roman Atwood, Dennis Roady and Vitaly Zdorovetskiy are all big stars on YouTube having racked up million of combined views with their fast and funny prank videos.
Like a kind of online video equivalent of the Avengers, they’ve united for new movie Natural Born Pranksters. After years of delighting fans online, they could soon be about to crack the mainstream – Natural Born Pranksters arrived in cinemas, DVD and download on April 1 and swiftly hit top spot on the digital charts.
Released by Lionsgate, the studio behind The Hunger Games, Natural Born Pranksters came out of the trio’s desire to strike while their online fame was hot. Hollywood backing also gave them the opportunity to produce a lot of new material.
“It’s tough to come up with ideas that legal and budget allow – we came up with 400 pranks and wrote five movies, only 32 of them made the cut,” Roady explains to Loaded. “We had a lot of ideas. We’re ready for Natural Born Pranksters 2.”
The feature film also gave them the opportunity to come up with the greatest prank they’ve ever pulled – one that’s the very definition of ‘the long game’.
The found a woman who made her white husband think she’d given birth to a black baby.
“It took us about a year to make possible,” Roady says. “We had to find a pregnant woman willing to prank her significant other with a baby of a different ethnicity. That was difficult to find! I really had no idea what to expect.”
“We had to find a pregnant woman willing to prank her significant other with a baby of a different ethnicity.”
When the moment happens, the husband’s reaction is one of absolute bafflement. But where they ever worried he might’ve gone nuclear?
“I think in a situation like that, there really is no bad way to go. If he didn’t react that would be bad – but no matter how it went it was probably better for camera,” Atwood says.
Zdorovetskiy might be familiar to some – in 2014 he made waves after gatecrashing the World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina, the words ‘Natural Born Prankster’ scrawled across his chest as he invaded the pitch.
“I was super-proud of Vitaly. There was so much hype about whether he was going to do it or not, we knew he would – there was no doubt in my mind,” Atwood says. “It shook the world, my whole Facebook feed was just pictures of Vitaly. I’m not a sports guy so I didn’t get it at first.”
Roady added: “My Twitter feed started blowing up and all these people were putting up these videos of Vitaly on the field. I posted it to his Facebook and it blew up, he got a million extra followers just based on that. LeBron James even Instagrammed his video and that helped get it out there.”
With the US presidential elections happening this November, are the trio tempted to try and prank a certain Donald Trump?
“I’m going to have to say we don’t,” comments Atwood. “Even if we did have something in the works we’d have to say we don’t. What Vitaly managed with the World Cup, if you even hint that you have an idea people will be watching you.”
For Zdorovetskiy the adrenaline rush is what keeps him attempting bigger and better pranks. But for his two colleagues it’s more about tapping into the “fountain of youth”.
“It helps us to stay young, have fun, laugh and enjoy life,” says Roady.