By Bennett Marcus, Vanity Fair
At the premiere of Premium Rush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's starring vehicle, everyone looked for comparisons to his other big movie of the summer, The Dark Knight Rises. So Gordon-Levitt set us straight. "This movie is really different from The Dark Knight Rises," he said. "The Dark Knight Rises is a beautiful movie; it's a superhero movie that's also a dignified, substantial drama. Premium Rush is not a heavy drama in the slightest. It's just a fun time at a summer popcorn chase flick," the actor explained at the New York premiere on Wednesday.
We've heard about the injuries Gordon-Levitt suffered while playing the bicycle messenger -- 30 stitches, in one case -- but by the time they were shooting, he was already in shape. The initial training for the role was more painful, overall. "I would get up in the morning and go ride for a couple hours, and every day I would wake up really sore, especially in the lower body," he told VF Daily.
"But, you know, that's part of the job, and it's fun. And then slowly but surely you get into shape, and then you can do it all day." And that was the goal. "I had to be able to do it all day, every day. I didn't want the film crew waiting for me to catch my breath."
And Gordon-Levitt is adamant about giving credit to the stunt men. "Let's be clear: I didn't do my own stunts in this movie. I don't like it when actors say that they did their own stunts. I rode the bike all day, every day, but there's me and four other guys who all had different specialties on the bike," he said. "One of them is a real bike messenger, one of them is a Hollywood stunt man, one's good at tricks on a trials bike, and one's good at tricks on a fixed-gear track bike. And they're all in the movie, and they're all brilliant," he said. "And you know, the thrills in Premium Rush don't come from big C.G. sequences. They come from watching these really talented, skilled athletes do crazy things on two wheels."
The shoot, two years ago, took place on the sweltering streets of New York City. "I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to the citizens of New York, and thank them for their cooperation, even though it was unwilling," director David Koepp told us. And yes, he says this was the smelliest group of actors he's worked with.
Gordon-Levitt was philosophical. "Well, it's set in the summertime, so I was supposed to be sweating," he said, laughing.
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