Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt channelled his inner rebel in The Walk, which he believes is riskier than big blockbuster action films.
The 34-year-old star plays French daredevil Philippe Petit in Robert Zemeckis’ new flick, which documents the thrill-seeker’s high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. It’s shot in 3D and has audiences squirming in their seats, especially as it was an illegal act. The unlawful undertones were just one of the reasons why Joseph jumped at the chance to play the part.
“There’s even a line in the movie about how ‘All art is anarchistic to some degree,’ and I think there’s some truth to that,” he explained to Us Weekly magazine. “I’ve never really broken the law much, and I’ve never been arrested, but I think as far as rebelling against convention – even this movie is sort of a rebellious movie. It’s a grand-scale action movie, but there’s no shooting, there’s no killing, there are no explosions. These are typically the hallmarks of big action movies coming out of Hollywood. When you do something different than the norm, it’s risky.”
Throwing himself entirely into the part, Joseph even learned to tightrope with the help of Philippe. Not only was it an enjoyable experience, but the handsome actor also found it helped him get in shape.
Joseph was lucky enough to visit the iconic landmarks just before they were destroyed in 2001 and was completely taken aback by how high they stood.
“I went to the top of the World Trade Center in the summer of 2001,” he recalled. “It was my first summer living in New York after my freshman year at Columbia University, and I remember it distinctly. It felt more like being in the sky than it felt like being in a tall building.”
– Cover Media