Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Looking and Talking Like Bruce Willis in Looper, Plus New Set & Still Images
07.18.12 by BrentJS
During the Sony press conference for Looper held this past weekend during the San Diego Comic-Con, actress Emily Blunt said that when she was first introduced to Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL) on the set of the movie, the makeup and prosthetics he was wearing to look more like Bruce Willis were so convincing that she thought she was talking to a body double and not the actor himself. That has to be comforting news for Rian Johnson (Brick), the writer and director of the time-tripping thriller about hitmen ("loopers") who kill victims sent to the them from the future, but for JGL looking like Willis wasn't enough — he wanted to talk like him, as well.
The thing I focused on most was his voice. Why? The voice is what I look for first and foremost with just about every character I play. I don’t have an answer why. And Bruce was really accommodating and open and collaborative in helping me do that. He recorded himself reading some of my voice-over lines so that I could hear how he would sound saying them, which I thought was really cool. But mostly it was just hanging out with him, getting to know him, having dinner, talking about music or anything else was probably what was the most useful in trying to get a sense in what I was then going to portray.
Many actors complain about the tedious process of having makeup and prosthetics applied (we're talking about you, Ron Perlman), but JGL said that one of the "highlights" of his entire experience was how the makeup allowed him to "rattle" his typically stoic co-star.
That was one of the highlights of the whole thing, was Bruce seeing me for the first time and tripping out a little bit. He’s a sweetheart. He’s…it’s hard to rattle him. He’s seen a lot and he’s an understated man. So to get any reaction out of him, is pretty exciting. I remember him doing that [mimics Bruce staring at his face]. There was one point where we were shooting one of our scenes together and just in between takes, really quiet, he was like, “You sound like me.” I was like, “F*cking right I do!” Quietly. I didn’t let him see me do that.
A a bonus, here is a new photo of JGL and Johnson on the set of Looper, as well as new still images featuring JGL, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo and Jeff Daniels.