Joseph Gordon-Levitt Discusses Braving the New York Traffic for 'Premium Rush'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The 'Inception' actor shares his experience when filming the adrenaline-charged scenes, saying, 'The idea of going to New York City and riding every day and getting in shape really appealed to me.'
Having to dodge traffic and getting hit by cars while filming "Premium Rush" were the experiences that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would never forget. Speaking to MTV News prior to the U.S. release of the thriller, the "Inception" actor opened up that playing a New York City bike messenger in the film was a great thrill for him.

"The first time I read the script for 'Premium Rush', I was in the middle of shooting '50/50', a movie where I was playing a guy battling cancer whose body is giving up on him," he explained. "So to play a guy who's really confident and healthy in his body, the idea of going to New York City and riding every day and getting in shape really appealed to me."

Director/screenwriter David Koepp added that though the physical challenges were so much needed in the film, he was convinced that Gordon-Levitt wouldn't have any problem with that. He said, "The thing I think that struck me the most about Joe when I was thinking of him for the part, he had hosted 'Saturday Night Live' and did that Donald O'Connor number, which was so incredibly physical."

"You could tell it was beating him up, but because it's a musical number, he has to smile, he's chipper, but he's bounding off stuff," Koepp continued. "So I had feeling thay physicality would not be a problem."

Koepp went on dishing on how Gordon-Levitt put his life in real danger when shooting the adrenaline-charged scenes for the movie. "There was a stage in which [scribe John Kamps] and I were writing the script, and I thought, 'I know I want to direct this, but this is really going to be brutal, this is really going to be hard,' but that's kind of the fun," he said.

"You keep going, and I'm sure when you read it [speaking to Gordon-Levitt] you thought, 'This is going to be difficult. Well, I'm going to do it. It's going to be fun,' and then you get out there, and it's so much harder than you anticipated, and it's so much more dangerous. My greatest fear was that someone was going to get killed; thank God nobody did. Sending people into live traffic on bikes at 30 miles per hour: It's [dangerous], but it looks great."

"Premium Rush" follows Gordon-Levitt's Wilee, an agile and aggressive bicycle messenger in the Big Apple. One day, he picks up his last envelope at Columbia University on a premium rush run, before he discovers that the package is different. As a result, he becomes a target of a dirty cop who wants to kill him.

The thriller has just been dropped in the U.S. theaters on Friday, August 24. Aside from Gordon-Levitt, it stars Jamie Chung, Michael Shannon, Aaron Tveit and Lauren Ashley Carter.

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