Rian Johnson talks about Looper with indywire and gives a fascinating insight into Joe’s approach to acting:
One of the film’s biggest challenges was finding a pair of actors who could plausibly play the younger and older versions of the same character, and Johnson says that, due to the older star’s iconic nature, he felt that it was up to Joseph Gordon-Levitt to match his older counterpart, rather than the other way around. “If I’d put it to Bruce that we wanted to transform him,” Johnson said, “I know he would have been into it, he was really gung-ho about the part, no ego at all, he was ready and up for anything. But I felt people know Bruce Willis really well, so if you try and transform him, they’re gonna see right through it.”
Fortunately, transformation is something that Gordon-Levitt loves, and he rose to the challenge. As the director told us, “Joe really loves transforming himself into the part. Working with him on ‘Brick,’ one of the first things we found was the voice, this really flat accent, listening to a lot of Tom Waits. Joe really finds his foothole into characters by finding these exterior things. The jacket he wore in ‘Brick,’ stuffing his hands into the pockets to create this shell. So doing a physical transformation is, in my experience, part of how he works. And this was the opportunity to do that on a grand scale. But in addition to the mimicry involved, he’s giving a real performance, and creating a real character, who isn’t young Bruce Willis, it’s a character believable as a young Bruce Willis. But it’s completely Joe’s character, and I’m really excited for people to see the movie as a whole.”
Read the full interview here
This is one of the main reasons I’m so excited for the movie.