Joseph Gordon-Levitt shares the first image as Edward Snowden

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has “leaked” the first image of himself as Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic about the controversial NSA whistleblower. Clad in the soldier’s uniform of an army recruit, the photo shows Joseph as a young Edward, before he became a computer professional at the CIA – and, later, the National Security Agency.

In a Facebook post, the Don Jon star said he was surprised to learn that the 31-year-old whistleblower had enlisted in the US army in 2004, but broke both of his legs during basic training.

Though the actor doesn’t exactly say how he feels about Mr. Snowden, he nonetheless expresses admiration for his resilience, writing, “he was still determined to serve his country ( love him or hate him, you gotta [sic] admit the guy’s strong-willed) and so he ended up getting a job at the CIA, which is where his career in Intelligence began.”

With a star-studded cast that includes Shailene Woodley, Nicholas Cage and Zachary Quinto, Snowden is already generating Oscar buzz. Meanwhile, the real-life Snowden is reportedly working with American and German lawyers to come back home after being granted political asylum in Russia.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR THE GALLERY

Edward Snowden became a household name after he leaked classified information from the NSA to the mainstream media in 2013. He remains a deeply divisive figure, heralded as both a hero and a traitor, and is currently facing charges of espionage and theft of government documents in the United States.

Things are going decidedly better for his big-screen counterpart, Joseph, who married Tasha McCauley on Dec. 20, 2014.

The film is currently in production and is slated to hit theatres on Dec. 25.

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