Roundtable Interview With Joseph Gordon-Levitt On Looper

Touching down in theatres this weekend with a boatload of anticipation is Rian Johnson‘s Looper, the sci-fi thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. After premiering at TIFF to overly positive reviews and tons of praise, Looper has finally made its way to theatres and I think I can safely say that audiences are in for a real treat.

Taking place in a futuristic world where time travel has been invented but is illegal, Gordon-Levitt plays a looper named Joe. Loopers are hired guns used by the mob when they want to get rid of someone. What they do is send their target 30 years into the past where a looper will be waiting to take care of the hit.

One day Joe goes to take out his current target only to discover that the mob has decided to “close the loop.” They’ve sent back Joe’s future self for assassination. Of course, this creates certain complications and things take off from there.

Are you still with us? We know, the plot is a bit mind bending and tough to wrap your head around but with Johnson’s crystal clear direction and Gordon-Levitt’s strong central performance, it all flows perfectly.

Recently, at the film’s LA press day, we sat down with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and discussed with him how he prepared for the role, what attracted him to the film, his reaction to the box office failure of Premium Rush and much more.

Check it out below.

WGTC: Can I ask you about the look you had to take on for the film? Your performance was great but just on the whole idea of changing your look for the role, how important was that?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Ya, it was a lot of fun. My favorite thing about acting is transforming and becoming somebody different than myself. Getting to look in the mirror and see a face other than my own is a really bizarre experience.

As much preparation as I had done working on the character before the make-up was all finished, it all really clicked only once we did the final test with all the make-up and the contact lenses and all. I looked in the mirror and said “that’s him, that’s the guy.”

Bruce gave me a bit of a double take as well the first time he saw me. [laughs] And that’s something coming from him, he’s a very understated guy, he’s not one to be surprised by much.

WGTC: What attracted you to the role?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Well first of all, getting to work with Rian who’s a dear friend of mine. We’re very close and have watched countless movies together and we really know how each other thinks. So it makes the job easier and we’re really able to dive in and get into all those nuances.

I’d love to do more films with him. He’s great with words, which is something that I always appreciate. He also has an excellent sense of rhythm and timing. He’s an editor too so he has a real sense of pace and that’s something I respond to.

WGTC: Have you had time to figure out why people didn’t respond to Premium Rush?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: You never really know and it’s honestly not something that I pay that much attention to. Rian said something I really loved the other day though. He said “judging a movie by its box office is like judging a woman by her bra size.” I think that’s pretty true.

WGTC: How was shooting in New Orleans and Shanghai?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I love New Orleans. I had a great time there. It’s truly a unique city with its own individual culture. I loved spending time there. As for Shanghai, we were only there for nine days so I didn’t get a great sense of what it was like there. It was beautiful though and I enjoyed the short time that we spent there.

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