Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Being Bruce Willis in ‘Looper’

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Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-LooperIn order to play a younger version of Bruce Willis‘ character in Looper, Joseph Gordon-Levitt underwent three hours of makeup each day before filming.  While I personally don’t think the changes are that drastic (I mean, it isn’t like he has to look like the Elephant Man to play Bruce Willis), Gordon-Levitt talked to Moviefone about transforming into Willis and what audiences might discover when watching Looper.

In fact, since actors like to “disappear” into their roles, Gordon-Levitt admits that putting on all that makeup helped him separate himself from the character.  He says, “I love it. One of the main ways that I measure my work is if I can’t tell that it’s me. If it’s convincingly somebody else, that means that the transformation of that character is thorough enough that I did a good job. In this movie I got to transform unlike I ever had before.”

Obviously Gordon-Levitt had to do more than just put on makeup — he had to act like Willis too.  So, Gordon-Levitt took a crash course in all things Bruce Willis.  He explains, “I watched a lot of his movies. Even more so I focused on the audio. I was really into his voice. I would rip the audio off of his movies and put him onto the iPod so I could just listen. He also recorded himself doing some of my voiceover monologues and sent me that recording so I could hear how I could say it… The most productive thing was hanging out with him, having dinner, talking, just soaking it in.”

Beyond his transformation, Gordon-Levitt thinks audiences will appreciate Looper for its “smart” take on the sci-fi concept of time travel.  He says, “I think being an audience member is creative –you have to apply your own creativity to the story, because a good movie doesn’t just serve you the point, a good movie kind of provokes some questions and sets a tone. Then it’s up to the audience to bring their own meeting and interpretation to it. Those are my favorite movies. When you’re familiar with a movie and you’re watching it a second time, for me, I think I am more able to bring my creativity to it, to use it however I need to be using it that day. If something is bothering me that day, I can bring that to the movie, and the movie will often kind of give me back things, depending on what I brought. “

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In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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