Snowden star Joseph Gordon-Levitt previously discussed meeting the former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked National Security Agency secrets, but director Oliver Stone claims that Edward Snowden invited him to Russia, too.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which moderated a Q&A at the Sun Valley Film Festival in Idaho, Stone told the audience that he met with Snowden in Moscow “many times” over the course of a year, most recently in the last week or two to show him the finished film.
“He’s a night owl, and he’s always in touch [with the outside world], and he’s working on some kind of constitution for the Internet with other people,” Stone said. “So he’s very busy. And he stays in that 70-percent-computer world. He’s on another planet that way. His sense of humor has gotten bigger, his tolerance. He’s not really in Russia in his mind — he’s in some planetary position up there.”
Stone added that he chose to shoot Snowden overseas because he struggled to find American financing and was afraid that the NSA would interfere with the production.
“We moved to Germany, because we did not feel comfortable in the U.S.,” Stone said. “We felt like we were at risk here. We didn’t know what the NSA might do, so we ended up in Munich, which was a beautiful experience.”
Snowden has had a long path to theaters. Originally slated to be released in 2015, the film was first pushed to May 13 and then to Sept. 16, 2016. Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, and Tom Wilkinson star alongside Gordon-Levitt.