Joseph Gordon-Levitt Reveals 'The Walk' Training & Why Wire-Walking IRL Gave Him A Rush — VIDEO
In Sony Pictures' new Robert Zemeckis-directed biographical drama The Walk , Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as famed high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who is best known, of course, for pulling off a coup so major that it's still talked about to this day: In 1974, Petit (along with a few French and American accomplices) attached steel wires between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center — and then, Petit walked across them. No safety measures, no harness; just Petit, the towers, the wire, and the ground 1350 feet below him. Suffice to say, to see this feat pulled off in a film (and in 3D, no less!) is just as spectacular as it likely felt to Petit.
Though, of course, this is hugely due to the amazing special effects and cinematography in the film, it's also in large part due to the film's stars. Levitt, with a fake French accent that might even fool a native Parisian, and feet so light that, at times, it appears he's dancing across his high-wire, was absolutely crucial in making the film what it is. In fact, as Levitt himself divulged to Bustle, his preparation to play Petit actually included high-wire walking lessons from Petit, the master himself.
"It was hard," Levitt says of his lessons with Petit. "Not everybody that's good at doing something is also good at teaching that thing, but Philippe turned out to be a really good teacher. And I think it's because he's such a positive guy."
It's a good observation: Not only is the quality deeply apparent in Levitt's portrayal of Petit on screen, but it's also unlikely that the real Petit would have been able to pull off the coup he did had he not been a positive person.
The Walk hits theaters nationwide on Oct. 9. Check out Levitt talking about his experiences walking on a wire and getting to know the real Petit below.
Image: Tanya Ghahremani/YouTube