Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks back at shooting Inception's mind-boggling hallway fight sequence with "just such enormous fondness" as director Christopher Nolan's trippy sci-fi thriller readies for a theatrical re-release celebrating its 10th anniversary. The zero-gravity fight sequence — taking place in a dreamed up hallway where Gordon-Levitt's Arthur grapples with enemies on the walls, on the floor, and atop the ceiling while his sleeping body goes limp inside a tumbling van elsewhere — was filmed practically with the use of a large rotating device that required the actor to train for two weeks before stepping into the mind-bending dream world of Inception.
"It's an honor. Carrying on in the grand tradition of Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling. I love that movie," Gordon-Levitt told The Hollywood Reporter while in conversation about new movie 7500. "I think back on shooting that sequence with just such enormous fondness. We had such a blast. Chris, his entire crew, everyone was just having such a good time."
"I think everyone kind of knew that, as we were doing it, like, 'Holy sh-t, this is incredible,'" he added with a laugh. "Even though it was really, really hard work. So yeah, I don't have much to add, but I'm grateful."
Filmed on a rotating set that twisted and turned, the sequence was brought to life through the use of multiple hallway settings, including a horizontal platform capable of rotating a full 360 degrees.
"We run the fight scene for as long as the actors can pull it off," Nolan's director of photography Wally Pfister told MTV News in 2010. "We begin with a camera that's not fixed to the set and shows a bit of the rotation, and then you quickly jump to where you're rotating with the set. It creates this bizarre, strange movement. It's an exhausting process for the actors. Having rotated on that set myself, it's really quite challenging and a very strange thing to get used to. If you jump at the wrong time, you could be falling 12 feet through the air.
It proved so challenging the crew "kept coming back to it," he added. "We'd shoot out a part of a sequence and then the riggers would have to adjust something. We'd duck out and shoot something else and come back a few hours later and shoot more. The whole thing was spread out over about three weeks. You've never seen anything like this before."0comments
The Inception re-release, previously scheduled for July 17, is now planned for release on July 31 after Warner Bros. delayed Nolan's latest — the John David Washington and Robert Pattinson starring Tenet — to August 12. The espionage thriller about time manipulation was previously set for July 17 and July 31 but shifted back amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
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