by Hiko Mitsuzuka
Joseph Gordon-Levitt enjoyed an unexpected reunion on the set of this month's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
During one bone-crackling moment in the film that will surely get fanboys (and hardcore Disney fans) super psyched, Gordon-Levitt's character, Johnny, gets some nasty wounds tended to by a junkie doctor played by...Christopher Lloyd, his costar from 1994's Angels in the Outfield.
"I love getting to see Christopher Lloyd do something dark," Gordon-Levitt says during the film's press conference in Beverly Hills. "And you couldn't really ask for a movie that was more diametrically opposed than Angels in the Outfield." The 20-year reunion was, as he puts it, "perfect." And he savored every moment with the actor. "It's like, 'Wow, this is Doc Brown,'" he says, referring to Lloyd's indelible role in the Back to the Future trilogy. "We should be talking about 1.2 gigawatts, but it's really cool because he's actually a really strong actor. He can do a lot of different things. Applying that energy he brings to a character...and putting it in this really dark flavor of a Frank Miller world is really entertaining."
Nine years after making a bloody splash on the big screen, Frank Miller and co-director Robert Rodiguez are inviting audiences to return to the crime-ridden streets of the titular metropolis for more tales of betrayal, bloodshed, and good old-fashioned revenge. With a cast that includes Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba (a returning alum), Josh Brolin, Ava Green (in one hell of a role), Powers Booth, and Rosario Dawson, the sequel to the graphic novel adaptation is packing a bigger wallop this time around. Four distinct "chapters" explore the dark paths on which Sin City's iconic denizens travel.
Gordon-Levitt's chapter, entitled "A Long, Bad Night," centers on Johnny, a new Sin City character Miller wrote specifically for the film. "The character of Johnny was written in the script but there weren't any drawings," says Gordon-Levitt, "so it didn't have as much specificity. It's an actor's dream to be working with filmmakers who are so collaborative, so open an eager to incorporate my creative contributions into the movie."
Arriving in a vintage Corvette and dressed to the nines, Johnny, a fearless gambler, enters a dangerous world when he hits the jackpot and maneuvers his way into a deadly poker game opposite a corrupt senator (played by Booth). Gordon-Levitt couldn't have been happier to be a part of the stylish adaptation.
"I love that it embraces the fact that this is not reality," he says. "This is a heightened and stylized comic, almost a portrayal of a world that came out of the mind of Frank Miller. As an actor, that really frees you up because you are not just tethered to Would this happen in reality?"
What drew him to the script? Simple: "The thing that I liked most on the page about my character was on the very cover of the script where it said Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. I remember when the first one came out, going to the movie theater, and saying to myself, I've never seen anything like this. It's somewhere between a cartoon and a live-action movie."
"Joseph, like the best actors, teaches the director and writer a lot with the performance and interpretation they they give events," Miller says of the actor. "Because of what he brought, I was able to write dialogue I thought was much more focused, stronger and more emotional."
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is now playing in theaters.
- Hiko Mitsuzuka (@TheFirstEcho)