‘Role Play’ is an action thriller film about a deadly assassin’s double life, balanced between contractual killings and a suburban home with a happy, albeit oblivious family. Emma Brackett, a killer for hire, leads a safe life with her loving kids and husband, Dave, none of whom have an idea about the reality behind her “business trips.” As such, things take a sharp turn when an ill-timed decision to spice up their marriage through role-playing lands Emma and Dave in hot water with some of Emma’s less savory acquaintances. With her regular life unceremoniously crashing down around her, Emma must find a way to keep her family together, but more importantly, alive.
In the film, Gwen Carver, a woman from Emma’s past pretending to be a law enforcement agent on her tail, poses the biggest threat to the covert assassin and her innocent family. As a result, since Gwen’s private security company, Sovereign plays an instrumental role in the plot, viewers must be curious to know if the company has an origin in real life. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Sovereign, a Fictional Addition to the Plot
No, Sovereign, the private security company from ‘Role Play,’ is not based on a real-life company. The film charts a fictional narrative with Sovereign’s addition defining the protagonist, Emma’s past, which remains a central source of conflict. For the same reason, given its fictitious origins, the company has no ties to reality. Any instance of similarity between the Sovereign depicted in ‘Role Play’ and a real-life company in the same industry is purely coincidental, considering the name’s commonality.
Within the film’s action-packed narrative, focusing on a modern-day assassin’s double life, Sovereign’s role remains twofold. The security firm saw its inception at the hands of Emma’s father, a Secret Service Agent, whose career took an unfavorable turn. Therefore, after losing his job, Emma’s father decided to start a business with his unique skillset by setting up a private security service of his own. As a result, Gwen Carver, another combat-skilled individual, came into young Emma’s life.
Furthermore, after Emma’s father passed away— due to unnamed circumstances— Gwen took the young girl in and trained her to be a ruthless killer, perfect for any job. As such, in the film’s narrative, Sovereign, a company started by Emma’s father and later taken over by the manipulative Gwen, provides a backstory for Emma’s skillset while also defining her ultimate predicament.
By employing a singular source for Emma’s backstory and central conflict, the narrative seamlessly allows the character to overcome her past. Consequently, the hero’s journey remains fulfilling, providing the audience with a full-circle experience to root for. Several other films, particularly female-driven action films, have employed a similar plot device to set up a traumatic past for the protagonist. Red Room and Sparrow School occupy a similar narrative space in films like ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Red Sparrow,’ respectively.
However, outside of its thematic resonance and genre convention, Sovereign holds no real significance in terms of real-world authenticity. While plenty of private security agencies exist in real life, with some even retaining a similar name as Sovereign, Gwen’s overtly ambitious company shares little in common with them. Thus, ultimately, the same remains a fictional plot device created in service of the plot.