In ‘Mr. Corman,’ Joseph Gordon-Levitt Looks Inward and Asks, ‘What If?’
Acting eventually won his heart: From 2007 to 2016, he was part of at least one well-rated film every year, including stage flight performances as Leonardo DiCaprio’s right-hand man in “Inception. “by Christopher Nolan and as a young hit man. in Rian Johnson’s 2012 time travel epic, “Looper”.
His collaborators are among the biggest heavyweights in Hollywood: Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Robert Zemeckis. He added Aaron Sorkin to the roster last year playing the conflicting young prosecutor in “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
Zemeckis, who directed Gordon-Levitt as French artist Philippe Petit in “The Walk” in 2015, said Gordon-Levitt had a singular commitment to immersion. Before filming began, Gordon-Levitt trained for eight straight days with Petit in a warehouse – and walked away learning to walk a wire.
Zemeckis was flabbergasted.
“When I walked in, I had it all planned out,” said Zemeckis, describing his designs for the staging of Petit’s promenade between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. “We would have stuntmen, twins of thread. iron, CGI effects, and platforms where the artist actually stepped on a big, thick blue screen board that we then removed and put the thread under his feet.
“But it was so much more magnificent when he could do it 12 feet tall!”
Gordon-Levitt was also learning behind the camera. He made his first feature film in 2013, the romantic comedy “Don Jon”, in which he plays a porn addict who can’t stand the living, breathing women who end up in his bed. The film was a critical and commercial success – and left him with a taste for more.
But he knew he had more to master.
“Since then, I have become more collaborative,” he said. “One thing I noticed that great directors have in common is the ability to balance their own vision with the contribution of others.”
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