Joseph Gordon-Levitt on 'Project Power,' Playing a Cop in New Orleans - Rolling Stone
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‘The Breakdown’ With Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The actor discusses working with director duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman on Project Power and what it means playing a police officer and “serving the city that he loves,” while also “breaking the rules”

Screenwriter ​Mattson Tomlin’s latest movie, Project Power, is about a new street drug called Power that can make those who swallow it a superhero — at a price. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Foxx, and Dominique Fishback (Darlene on HBO’s The Deuce) and is now streaming on Netflix.

In our latest edition of “The Breakdown” series, Gordon-Levitt (who also stars in the recently released movie 7500) explains why, after taking time off from acting for a while, he decided to work with directing duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman on this high-budget sci-fi film. “After doing something so serious and challenging [with 7500], I just wanted to do something fun,” Gordon-Levitt explains. “I read the script for Project Power and said, ‘This is gonna be fun!’ It’s Jamie Foxx, and we’re gonna get to go to New Orleans.… This is definitely going to be fun. And it was.”

The actor also touches on what it means playing the role of a police officer who is willing to “bend the rules” to protect his beloved New Orleans in the movie and “who has power in this world and why.”

“I played a police officer before, in The Dark Knight Rises, and for one thing: New Orleans is very different from Gotham,” he explains, referring to the fictional Batman locale. “The cop I played in The Dark Knight Rises is more adherent to the rules.… The cop I play in Project Power, his heart is in the right place, and he wants to serve the city that he loves — and he truly loves New Orleans, he wears a Saints jersey the entire time — but he’s willing to break the rules.… He’s not supposed to take this pill.

Gordon-Levitt also shares why he enjoyed working with directing duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and how much fun they had crafting the movie. For instance, in one particularly jaw-dropping (and disturbing) scene in which he’s shot in the head — that involved more than special effects. “They figured out an incredible way to shoot me in the face,” he explains, with a chuckle. “Where they really wanted to show that impact of that bullet.… they didn’t just want a fake, CGI bullet. And so they used this powerful airgun and shot this sharp blast of air at my face, and then shot it in super slow-motion. It really looks impactful! And none of the crazy ways my face is moving in that shot — none of that is fake!”

Find more episodes of “The Breakdown” and more videos on Rolling Stone‘s YouTube page.

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