While preparing for his appearance in the upcoming drama movie The Walk, Joseph Gordon-Levitt reportedly learned how to walk the wire in just eight days — from the man himself.
While initially Gordon-Levitt, 34, didn’t believe it could happen, Philippe Petit, the original daring wire walker whose role he is recreating, promised to teach him the art of wire walking in just one week. It turned out to be eight days.
Petit is famous for his daring 1974 wire walk between the then newly-constructed Twin Towers in New York. He completed the amazing feat in around 45 minutes, with thousands holding their breath and watching him from below.
— Sashay (@sass1h) September 12, 2015
Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is recreating that amazing drama in the Robert Zemeckis-directed 3D drama movie The Walk.
Speaking about the French artist to the media at the Summer of Sony event in Cancun, Mexico, Gordon-Levitt says Petit was very insistent that he be the one to teach him the trade, so to speak.
“Philippe actually insisted that he be the one to teach me to walk on the wire. And he and his partner Cathy set up this elaborate workshop. He does everything elaborately. And he found this old unused warehouse face and set up a real steel cable and then some different practice “apparatai” that I learned on.”
“And we just spent eight days straight, all day. And he was insistent that at the end I would be able to walk on the wire, which sounded ambitious to me, but that actually happened. By the end I was able to, by myself, with the pole balance on the wire.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) September 17, 2015
The Walk is yet another feather in Zemeckis’ cap, as the director is well-known for hit movies such as Cast Away, Forrest Gump, What Lies Beneath, Death Becomes Her and the Back to the Future series.
Reportedly he was fascinated by Petit’s amazing wire walking stunt and made up his mind to recreate the event in 3D. Zemeckis said that the film “is a love letter to New York and particularly the Twin Towers that were destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attack.”
According to People Magazine, many of the scenes in the movie take place in a reconstructed version of the famed building’s lobby. Gordon-Levitt explained, “They reconstructed the lobby of the World Trade Center quite thoroughly on this big set, they built it.”
“It was the same as it was.”
The Walk is not the only movie that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has on the go right now, including playing Edward Snowden in the biopic about the NSA whistleblower.
The 3rd Rock from the Sun actor said that the decision as to which acting jobs to take is important to him and that he has always loved Zemeckis’ movies.
“… For me the most important thing in deciding what acting job I want to do and I’m really lucky that I get to have some say in that decision, these days is the director. That’s the most important thing to me.”
“I’ve always loved his movies. Everything from ‘Back to the Future’, all the way up through ‘Flight’, I’ve always loved his movies. And it can be risky to meet someone that you’ve always admired. But Bob really just warmed my heart in how generous and collaborative a person he was to work with.”
The cast of The Walk includes Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale and Charlotte Le Bon and as reported by AOL, the thriller is set for release in theaters across the US on September 30, with a wider release beginning October 9, 2015.
Watch the stomach-dropping trailer of The Walk below.
[Photo: Featured image screengrab from Trailer – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and others by Andrew Goodman / Getty Images Entertainment]