Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a brief chat with Rian Johnson, the writer and director on “Looper,” the new sci-fi action film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. I’m a big fan of Johnson’s films, so this was an interview I was looking forward to very much. (FYI: If you haven’t seen “Brick” yet, you’re missing out. It’s fantastic.)
My full review of “Looper” will go up shortly (Spoiler: I loved it), but here’s an excerpt from our conversation that addresses one of the elements everyone I know has been talking about after seeing the trailers:
IFC: My first question for you is the one that everybody seems to be asking: How did you make Joseph Gordon-Levitt look so much like Bruce Willis?
RIAN JOHNSON: We had a really talented makeup designer, Kazuhiro Tsuji, who’s just a brilliant guy. But when we first showed him Joe and Bruce next to each other and told him what the challenge was, he basically said, “You can’t do it. It’s impossible.” He refused to do it. I had to pester him for a few months to get him to agree to do it. Because Joe and Bruce, they look so dissimilar. He showed me their faces and diagramed them out and said, “This is why they look different: their head shapes are different, their eyes are spaced differently…” Eventually, the way I won him over was I told him, “Look, we’re not going to try to make Joe look like Bruce in ‘Moonlighting.’ We’re just going to pick a couple of key features and nudge them a little closer to Bruce.”
You can read the rest of the interview at IFC.com.