Rian Johnson is easily one of the best emerging filmmakers out there. He’s already proven his worth with his previous works which includes “Brick” and “The Brothers Bloom.” Now he’s about to take on science fiction in his most bold endeavor yet with “Looper.”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, “Looper” centers on a futuristic world where time travel exists but is only obtained through the black market. The mob hires a certain number of people to go ahead and kill those that they send in through the time travel loop, hence why they’re called “loopers.” When they want to get rid of the whole scheme for good, they send back Joe’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) future self in order to be assassinated. Once he discovers who he is, all hell breaks loose.
During the flurry of interviews, panels and what have you at this year’s Comic-Con, we got the chance to speak with a couple of the cast members and respected director Rian Johnson about the exciting new sci-fi movie.
If we could get rid of the bad people in the world would that be a good alternative way to do it? Talk about your own inception of that. Is there a good idea?
Rian Johnson: Well yeah, you’re right. It does. I think that’s part of the thing about the pressure of science fiction and time-travel movies. It always seemed to ask these big moral questions. They’re just very good at making you confront questions like that. I guess my answer to that would be the movie itself. I can’t articulate better to some of those than I did in the movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I guess one answer I could give is I think violence begits violence. I don’t think it solves any sort of conflict with violence because nothing ever ends up solved that way.
Rian Johnson: That’s a big part of the movie, the notion of this thing you see in action movies but that you unfortunately also in real life. The notion to solve a problem by finding the right person and killing them. The very tale of the movie “Looper,” the notion that that kind of thinking creates a self perpetual igloo and what can we do to break that? These are some of the things that we hopefully wrestled with a little bit in the movie.
Are either of you science nerds and did you have any difficulty wrapping your brain around the concepts of this movie?
Emily Blunt: I’m definitely not science nerdy. It’s not my forté. [laughs] But I read about thirteen pages of the script and I was already going to my agent. I was like ‘Get me into this movie!’ because I loved it so much. I read through it a few times so I had a fairly intelligent idea of it conceptually.
To Emily Blunt; what exactly drew you to this role and what’s the attraction with playing a more mysterious character like this one in Looper?
Emily Blunt: To be honest I think you… it’s the same for a lot of actresses. You look for the female roles that aren’t objectified, that aren’t simplified. And this character had such a singular voice. This character had such a singular voice and she had a really rich past in which we delve into. She’s a really tough cookie. Tough nut to crack. And I enjoy the nuances and the complexity of that part. It was a challenge to me and I do look for that. I try to mix it up as much as possible. I’m really looking for roles that have me ask the question ‘Oh my God how am I going to do this?’ That’s what I aspire to do every time I take on a new role.
Did you always have Joseph Gordon-Levitt in mind for the main character?
Rian Johnson: I wrote the part for Joseph. I wrote the script for Joe in mind. We both stayed friends ever since we made Brick and we’ve both been dying to make another film again. Thank God he said yes.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: And also it’s worth adding that’s a real honor and that’s never happened for me before. That someone wrote something for me is really exciting, especially coming from him.
What was the differences between working with Rian (Johnson) between “Brick” and “Looper”?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Well I think everything was just easier and I think… he had quite a confident hand directing Brick. I’ve seen a lot of the shorts that he made preceding “Brick.” I think after “Brick” and after “The Brothers Bloom” and now doing Looper, I was working with a seasoned filmmaker that I’m an enormous fan of his and I think that this movie is the one on which he had the lightest touch. I mean that in a… It wasn’t to say that he wasn’t involved or aloof, I think he didn’t… it’s like judo. You can like… if you know which way the current’s going you can use it to your advantage. That may be obscure but it’s sort of like, this might be a weird comparison. “Jackie Brown” to me is Quentin Tarantino’s movie in which he has the lightest touch and I love “Jackie Brown.” I also love “Kill Bill” where it’s like saturated with Tarantino-ness. But there’s just a difference there and I think “Looper,” you can definitely tell it’s a Rian Johnson movie just like you can tell Jackie Brown is a Quentin Tarantino movie. It feels like he knew how to really let it all blossom as it does.
Rian Johnson: I’m blushing. [laughs]
Be sure to check out “Looper” when it arrives in theaters on September 28th.