The Sci/Fi thriller Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt opens this weekend from Sony Pictures. It revolves around hired killers who basically dispose of criminals from the future. It’s a head scratcher thatÂ Rian Johnson delivers as both director and writer. The cusp of the film is that Willis, as “old Joe,” is sent back in time to be executed by his younger self “Joe,” played by Levitt. As you can imagine, killing a version of yourself is tough. So the execution gets botched and the story revolves around how these actions will affect the future. The motivation for future Joe (Willis) to survive is his love for his wife, played by SummerÂ Qing Xu.
Her name is not familiar to American audiences but in China she is well known and received with her role as China’s first lady in a film called The Founding of a Republic, which won three prestigious awards.
Allie Hanley: Since this is your first American film, what would you like people to know about you?
Summer Qing Xu: I graduated from Beijing Film Academy and have been making movies all over China [her first was in 1991]. This is my first time making a Hollywood film and it was an absolute pleasure working with the American team who were very amazing and creative.
Allie: What are some of the differences in working with a Hollywood productions v.s. a Chinese production?
Summer: Honestly there is not a big difference between Chinese and American productions. Neither is better nor worse because both make good films and bad films. It’s more about if you work with a good team or a bad team. Of course the Hollywood movies have more good movies compared to China. I was pleased to be part of the American team. Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of doing a Hollywood movie and Looper was my dream coming true.
Allie: Bruce Willis is a Hollywood Icon. What was it like meeting him, and then having to get romantic with him? You have a scene where you are in bed together and kissing.
Summer: [Giggling] It felt great! The first day I arrived on set I had an action scene to do with Bruce Willis. We hadn’t met yet. When he first saw me, he came over and pulled me into his arms. Without saying a word he embraced me in a hug that lasted more than a minute… what he did said more than enough. The whole action kicked out the awkwardness Â of two strangers coming together to play a romantic couple. That was the start of the romantic adventure as a couple in the film.
At the Toronto Film Festival, Bruce Willis was asked by the media how he liked working with Summer. He told the media, “I had a really good experience working with Summer, and it felt like we were really in love.”
Allie: Your role is not large in regards to how much time you spend on the screen, but your character is very important to the motivation of Joe, how did you prepare yourself to be able to convey so much emotion from your eyes and to get into character with such a short amount of screen time?
Summer: Love… meaning that I have lots of love in my heart. For an actor it’s extremely important for an actor to have it in your heart so that you can express it. The reason I connected so well with Bruce and Rian is because they have the same kind of love in their heart. They are loving people and they have love in them. This is why they are such great actors and why I was able to convey so much with so little time.
Check out these behind the scenes photos on the Looper set.