The CU Independent sat down for a conference call with Rian Johnson, director of “Looper,” and college news outlets across the country.
How has directing “Looper” enhanced your directing ability?
You learn so much with everything you make. You just constantly grow, and you come into that ready to learn and ready to lay down the law.
Producer James D. Stern said that you knew exactly how you wanted the film to look. Did the movie turn out how you saw it?
There was one frame that was a little off… (laughs). That’s very kind of James, but it’s pretty inaccurate. I had it storyboarded out, but then that all changes when you’re on set. If something isn’t working in the scene, you have to be able to roll with the punches. It’s good to have a plan, but it’s more important to be able to talk about what works.
Can you explain how you designed the regulation of time travel?
I based it off of “Terminator.” You don’t have to deal with the time travel itself, just the situation.
What was the process behind casting Bruce Willis?
I wrote the script for Joe [Gordon-Levitt], so it was less that he is an older Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but more that he is a good actor. Then, because they didn’t look alike, Joe picked up mannerisms of Bruce.
What is your relationship like with Joseph Gordon Levitt?
A lot of times we hang out, doing something creative, like making music or writing. We’re people who love making things together. We’ve been good friends since “Brick” [which Johnson directed and starred Gordon-Levitt].
You have different topics in each of your films. Have you been trying to do that in your films?
Naturally. You spend three to four years on that movie, and when you’re done with that, you’re sick of it. You want to do something different.