News / Arts & Entertainment

Man Confronts Himself During Time Travel in 'Looper'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce WIllis as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce WIllis as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Alan Silverman
In  the new action-drama Looper, writer-director Rian Johnson blends science fiction with film noir. The movie tells the story of a man confronting his own future. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star as the main character.


"Time travel has not yet been invented. But 30 years from now it will have been."

In the movie, Joe, the narrator, is a killer for hire in a not too distant, dystopian future.



"I am one of many specialized assassins called 'loopers.' So when criminal organizations in the future need someone gone, they zap him back to me and I eliminate the target from the future. The only rule is: never let your target escape …even if your target is you."

In fact, that's the dilemma that Joe confronts when he looks at his last intended victim.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the younger version of Joe. He resists calling Looper a science fiction film.

"The time travel is kept very simple in Looper because it is not really a movie about time travel," he says. "It's a movie that uses time travel as a sort of springboard to get at what is ultimately a very basic, human story and a drama."

Bruce Willis co-stars as the older version of Joe.

"It was a very emotional process," admits Willis, "and a very emotional day-to-day activity of just trying to make it look real and trying to deal with the idea that when I look at Joe [Gordon-Levitt] it's really me and trying to make that be honest and believable."

Gordon-Levitt says his performance was helped by makeup that made him look more like Willis.

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
"I think as much preparation as I had done on the character before the makeup was all finished, I remember when we did the final test and I really saw him for the first time, there was something that clicked over [to say] that's the guy," he says.

Writer-director Rian Johnson says the challenge was to come up with both a character and a situation with which audiences could connect.

Writer/ Director Rian Murphy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Writer/ Director Rian Murphy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
"Obviously it is an outlandish thing using time travel to put a man in front of the older version of himself," admits Johnson, "but what that boils down to is just an amplified version of an older man and a younger man [saying to each other] 'I'm not going to turn into you' and 'what are you doing with your life? You're doing it all wrong. Trust me, I know this.' It is a conversation we've all been on one side or the other …or maybe both sides of at various points in our lives."

Looper also features Jeff Daniels as the manipulative crime boss. English actress Emily Blunt and Chinese screen star Summer Qing play important women in Joe's life.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, perform with their quartet at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club in Bethesda, Maryland. They also sit down with "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten to talk about their hometown, New Orleans, and the music on their new recording, “The Last Southern Gentleman.”