Self/Less, the new Tarsem Singh film starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley, has a lot of stuff we've seen before in thrillers: high-speed car chases, heart-wrenching confrontations, repeated use of flamethrowers (which, admittedly, is pretty entertaining), but there's something unique in the film which is easy to miss. This detail, which is also in the trailer, is the use of an actual phone number on a card held by Ben Kingsley's character Damian. Typically in narrative film, we are shown either fictitious 555 phone numbers or numbers that have a valid beginning sequence but are at least partially obscured. The number in Self/Less, however, is both shown in its entirety and has a real area code of 225, signifying a phone line from Baton Rouge. The full number was obviously shown for a reason; to allow viewers to call it. So what happens when you call the Self/Less phone number?
In a scene from the movie, the number is clandestinely slipped to Damian on a blank business card along with the handwritten words "They can help you." Damian, whose health is quickly deteriorating, is desperate for any assistance he can get, and so he calls the number.
I'm not sick, but I am nosey, and so I also called the number. It turns out that (225) 330-7040 leads to a voice recording which informs you that you have reached Phoenix Biogenic, "where humanity's very brightest minds are given more time to fulfill their potential." This is the fictitious company in Self/Less which, for a hefty price, allows an individual to access immortality by transferring their consciousness from their own body to a healthier corporeal form. The message flaunts the company's services, and then invites the caller to stay on the line if they are interested in getting the "shedding" procedure. If you stay on, the voice on the other line then prompts you to subscribe for text message updates about the film.
The number is one part of a bigger Self/Less marketing campaign, which was launched several months ago in anticipation of the film's Jun 10 release. In another aspect of the promotion, a group of film reviewers and other influencers were mailed smartphones in a box from "Phoenix Biogenic." The smartphones included teaser photos from the film and hints about the "consciousness transfer" procedure. They also received texts leading the recipients to the film's trailer.
Even if you weren't able to get one of those, though, calling the phone number should be more than enough to satisfy your curiosity and make you appreciate the movie even more. Give the Self/less number a call to see for yourself!
Images: Focus Features