Joseph Gordon-Levitt Secretly Met With Edward Snowden To Prepare For Biopic Role, Says Whistleblower ‘Was Right’

For a more genuine portrayal, actors usually meet with the people that they play onscreen, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did just that in preparation for playing the role of Edward Snowden in an upcoming biopic.

In an article on The Guardian, Gordon-Levitt revealed that he met up with Snowden in Russia for a secret meeting with the whistleblower. He says that he wanted to meet with Snowden to research more about the character that he was going to play in the biopic. It is the first time that Gordon-Levitt has spoken about the four-hour conversation with Snowden, as he said Snowden’s lawyers did not want to reveal the information.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt also spoke about Edward Snowden’s condition.

“He was in good spirits. Certainly there was that note, that he very much would like to come home. He doesn’t want to live in Russia at all.”

Snowden, 32, was a former CIA employee who leaked classified information from the NSA two years ago. To date, Snowden is still in Russia in an undisclosed location while seeking asylum in another place. Amidst the controversy, views about Snowden’s actions have been mixed. Some call him a hero, while others condemn him for being a traitor. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has his own views on Snowden.

“I left knowing without a doubt that what [Snowden] did, he did because he believed it was the right thing to do, that he believed it would help the country he loves. Now, as he would say, it’s not fair for him to say whether it was right or wrong. That’s really for people to decide on their own, and I would encourage anybody to decide that on their own.”

Gordon-Levitt said that he didn’t want to be someone to push what’s right or wrong into people’s minds, but in his opinion, Edward Snowden did the right thing. He also said that he saw Snowden as “someone warm, kind, thoughtful.”

“That is what I believe — that what he did was right.”

Snowden is based on Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena and The Snowden Files by Luke Hardin. In addition to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, other stars who will appear in the biopic include Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, Melissa Leo as filmmaker Laura Poitras, and Zachary Quinto as journalist Glenn Greenwald. There will also be appearances by Timothy Olyphant, Scott Eastwood, and Nicholas Cage, as Business Insider reports.

Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, was initially scheduled for a December release, but according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, the biopic will be pushed back and will hit theaters sometime in 2016.

[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]