Joseph Gordon-Levitt may have pulled off his most daring feat yet in Robert Zemeckis’ "The Walk."
"There were a lot of challenges in this movie," Gordon-Levitt tells Fox News Magazine. "I dare say it was one of the most, if not the most challenging job I’ve ever done. But I like a challenge," he grins.
The challenges he's speaking of? For starters, he literally learned to walk a high-wire for the new film. Inspired by the true story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, "The Walk" chronicles the tale of how Petit did the unthinkable and walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.
"There was the physical part of learning to walk on the wire,” Gordon-Levitt explains. "It was Philippe himself who actually taught me how to do it. Then there was the language part, of speaking the French accent, and speaking in some French dialogue. I really love the French language and I always have, and this was a great chance to really work on it.”
But even though Gordon-Levitt has acquired a new talent, he doesn’t quite believe he could compete with the professionals. "Relative to a real professional wire walker, I would give myself a C, or maybe a C-minus,” he chuckles. "Relative to myself before I learned how to do it, I’d give myself an A."
The “Inception” actor also claims that he never fell during his intensive training with Petit, even though he was equipped with a safety harness at all times. He practiced walking about seven feet in the air, keeping in mind Petit’s inspirational story of reaching for his dreams and accomplishing what seems impossible.
"Playing this guy, who, on the one hand, is so intense and kind of brilliant, but on the other hand is insane and losing his mind — that complexity is draining to play … but it’s also inspiring, and those, I think, make the best movie characters. The ones that are sort of complicated."
Gordon-Levitt also tells Fox News Magazine that he still has his ticket stub from his visit to the World Trade Center in July 2001, and that shooting this movie hit very close to home.
“I was in New York on 9/11. I was going to school at Columbia and I remember it well. And, of course, when any of us see those two towers, our minds will immediately go to the tragedy, whether you were in New York or anywhere else. And I think it’s appropriate to remember that tragedy. But I also think with any tragic loss it’s good to remember the positive things and the beautiful memories that you have of whatever it is that you lost. It’s like when you grieve for a lost loved one, you don’t want to just focus on their death, you want to celebrate their life. And that’s what we wanted to do with this movie."