Looper Interview: Rian Johnson Decodes Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Bruce Willis Impression

By Sean O'Connell 2012-09-28 11:30:43discussion comments
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But I love that. Because by the time you finally do show us the device, itís so secondary Ö
Right, exactly. And itís mysterious. I took a design cue from the gadget at the original Trinity site, where the first atomic bomb had been set off. I wanted it to look like it felt dangerous, but also crude and mysterious. Thereís no indication on the outside of the device as to how it worked. Because that was these charactersí perspective on it. None of the characters in the movie know how it works. They just have to deal with the consequences of this monolithic thing. Itís like the monolith in 2001. Itís basically an alien technology to them, and they just have to deal with what it is presenting them.

Was it always going to be Bruce Willis as ďFuture Joe?Ē
No, but it was always Joe. I wrote the part for Joe. But Bruce I cast when we started the process.

Does Joe have a bag of impressions he could have pulled out if you didnít get Bruce?
[Laughs] Iím sure he can do anything. No, it actually was a problem because they look so dissimilar. And thatís when we had to get into the makeup. His mannerisms sell it, though. And thatís when we realized that Joe had to wrap himself around Bruce, and not the other way around. We know Bruce so well, it just made sense to use that as our constant and have Joe mirror him.

And it seems like you guys captured Bruce before he was, you know, ďBruce.Ē
Thatís actually a great observation. What Joe did was he watched movies from Bruce now. He didnít go back and watch movie from young Bruce, so he wasnít imitating a young Bruce Willis. He was creating a character you could buy as a younger version of todayís Bruce Willis. And that, I think, was an important choice.

Looper is in theaters now.
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