Joseph Gordon Levitt is a man of many talents. The 34-year old actor has proven himself time and time again in films like, 500 Days of Summer, Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar and his directorial debut Don Jon.
In his latest movie, The Walk Levitt plays Phillipe Petit, a real life high-wire artist who in 1974 recruited a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. He may not have balanced on a wire 110 stories in the air, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt still learned how to walk a tightrope for his role as the real-life daredevil.
Petit trained Gordon-Levitt in a “nonstop” workshop, beginning by teaching him how to walk on a rope on the floor. Eight days later, Gordon-Levitt could walk on a wire 10 feet in the air and director Robert Zemeckis ended up using actual footage of Gordon-Levitt on the wire in the film.
Although portraying someone who is real and still alive to see the film was "definitely an additional pressure," it also has its perks – Gordon-Levitt already received a seal of approval from Petit who told him he loved the movie and his performance.
We will next see Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower in Oliver Stone's much anticipated film, Snowden. At the recent New York premiere for The Walk Gordon-Levitt drew comparisons between Petit and Snowden. Gordon-Levitt, who has said that he secretly met with the NSA contractor in Russia, that the two men aren’t all that different, saying, “Both took enormous risks, showed incredible courage, broke the law, and did something they very deeply believed in.”
I spoke with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in New York about his meetings with Phillipe Petit and what he learned from the man aside from walking a tightrope. I also spoke with his co-stars Montreal actor Charlotte LeBon, James Badge Dale and Ben Schwartz (House of Lies) who play Petit’s accomplices in The Walk.
The Walk opens in theatres on September 30th.