Joseph Gordon-Levitt on His ‘Looper’ Bruce Willis Makeup and Directing His First Film

Premium Rush aside, Joseph Gordon-Levitt appears in two of the best-rated action films of 2012, The Dark Knight Rises and Looper, and also stars in the likely Oscar-contending drama Lincoln due out in November. In an interview with New York magazine, Gordon-Levitt talks about the makeup he had to wear to portray a younger version of Bruce Willis in Looper and what inspired him to direct his first film, which is due out next year.

Gordon-Levitt reveals that it was a bit odd between takes when he was still in the makeup that made him look more like Willis, and when asked if he stayed in character or reverted to his usual self he says, “Probably some of both. One of my good friends visited the set and was really disturbed, didn’t want to talk to me. My mom, too. She said, ‘When I stand next to you, you feel like my son, but when I look at you, you’re this different guy.’ She found it a little odd.”

In fact, he explains that there never was a point in which he didn’t feel completely comfortable.  He says, “You’re able to forget it enough that it doesn’t distract you while you’re working, and it doesn’t impede any facial movement, but you never forget it’s there. I mean, there’s glue on your lips. You don’t forget that.”

Next year Gordon-Levitt makes his directorial debut with Don Jon’s Addiction, and he explains that working with directors Rian Johnson, Stephen Spielberg, and Christopher Nolan recently has played a big part in convincing him to give it a shot.  He says, “Working with Rian and Chris and then Steven really did play a big part in encouraging and emboldening me to try it. I’ve always kind of wanted to do it, and I finished the first draft of the script while I was in London shooting The Dark Knight Rises. I told Chris and Emma [Thomas] and Wally [Pfister] and some other people who I’m really close to and I really admire, and they were all so supportive. I do think that made a big difference, because they could have been politely disinterested. And that would have been totally understandable, even! I mean, what do they know about my ability to do that? They wouldn’t know if I could or couldn’t, so just the fact that they took it seriously and said, ‘You’re gonna be good at that,’ it was huge for me. ”

Sounds pretty impressive… but I would be more impressed if Gordon-Levitt directed the film in make-up as young Bruce Willis.  Now that would take talent.

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