On Working with Ken Watanabe

Leonardo DiCaprio: I’ll just be the first to say, Ken should be a national treasure in Japan. He’s an unbelievably talented actor, and you couldn’t find more of a gentleman. He’s sweet and kind, and he’s extremely thoughtful in the work that he does — and, you know…one of the best actors around. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this guy.

Christopher Nolan: I had worked with Ken on Batman Begins, and I had such a good time on the days we worked together; I really wanted to find something else to do where we could work longer together and give him a bigger thing to do. It’s just been a complete pleasure. He’s just been a wonderful actor to work with, and I think his performance in the film is extraordinary. He really adds immeasurably to what Inception is.

On training for the hallways fight sequences and the zero gravity stunts

Christopher Nolan: Well, I’ll leave Joe to tell you the bad stuff, but really — the thing I’d just like to point out that people might not be aware of watching it is that we had a stunt guy that looked exactly like Joe, made up perfectly, and he stood there on set everyday for three weeks and didn’t do a thing because Joe insisted on doing absolutely everything himself apart from one shot. There is one shot where the stunt guy performed. Everything he did himself, and he did just the most incredible job with these bizarre rigs and bizarre torture devices.

Joseph Gordon Levitt: It was just about the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie set. It’s also probably the most pain I’ve ever been in on a movie set, physically — but you know, pain in a good way like athletes must get when they have to put on their pads and wrap their ankles and they have to get a little beat up throughout the day, but that’s just, you know — part of slamming yourself into walls and jumping around all day. I was really grateful to the whole stunt team. Stunt teams can be a little, uh…exclusionary toward actors, and that wasn’t the case here.

Tom Hardy on his action scenes

Tom Hardy: There wasn’t a lot of action, actually. I’d just come off a cage fighting film, and I had been pretty badly beaten up on that. I was a bit broken; I had broken toes, ribs, a wrist and uh — it was nice to wear nice suits, and have a tan, and do slippers and cardigans. It wasn’t until the end of the shoot when we went to Calgary that they wrote in a couple of extra  Skidoo (snowmobile) scenes, and introduced me to a pair of skis for the first time in my life, tied me to the back of a skidoo and in desperation to get the shot as quickly as possible, sent me to the top of the mountain and down it a few times. They gave me some claymores and hand grenades, and a rifle and I went back to business, which I enjoy — thoroughly.

Stay tuned for the second part of the Inception press junket Thursday.

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