Roundtable Interview With Joseph Gordon-Levitt On Premium Rush

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We Got This Covered: Were the bike messenger community skeptical about the way you were going to portray them?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Yeah, and they have a right to be skeptical. Like I said, it’s not a documentary about bike culture. It’s a Hollywood chase movie that does
glorify the hell out of bikes and I think it’ll be a rocking good time for anybody who loves to ride bikes.

We Got This Covered: After you trained here for six weeks, did you notice the difference in the way people treat cyclists out here versus New York?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Yeah, there was a big difference. New York drivers are more used to it, because Manhattan is a city that’s more conducive to riding a bike. You have to be a pretty good cyclist if you’re going to use a bike as your main mode of transportation In L.A. It’s rare, but in New York, you can really do it. I know a lot of people who do. But there’s a real bike culture here in L.A, which is so car-centric, especially on the east side of town. If you go to the west side of town, there’s a thriving bike culture.

We Got This Covered: Tell us about your upcoming directorial debut.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I wrote a movie that I’m directing called Don Jon’s Addiction. I learned so much from working with so many great directors that it allowed me to do it. I’m stoked to talk to you about it once it’s closer. I had a blast. Scarlett Johansson read it and liked it and is starring in it. Julianne Moore is also starring in it. We had a great time.

We Got This Covered: Now that you’ve directed, do you ever go into director’s mode when someone is directing you?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: As an actor, it’s important to try to always understand what the director is after. That’s my job when I’m acting. I like to ask a lot of questions. I like to understand why the director is doing what he’s doing so I can provide him or her with the ingredients that they need to get the scene that they want. You can ask David [Koepp]. I asked a lot of questions, because I want to understand where they’re coming from. It’s not to challenge them in any way. It’s so I can do the best job. I can’t wait to act again and not direct. They’re two very different creative challenges.

We Got This Covered: The pacing of the film left me out of breath. Did the fact that it was made practically in real time change the way you approached the role?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Yes. It’s a pacey film. It’s not a film where you take a long pause. You’ve got to learn your lines real good. You can’t do that BS move where you pretend like you’re thinking of what to say when actually you’re trying to think of the line you didn’t learn well enough. And Dave Koepp writes in a really crisp fashion. He writes great dialogue.

That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Joseph very much for talking with us. Be sure to check out Premium Rush, which is now in theatres.

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