Edward Snowden Beams Into Comic-Con Screening of Oliver Stone's 'Snowden'

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Of all the celebrity appearances at Comic-Con on Thursday, none was more meta than Edward Snowden appearing via Google Hangout from an undisclosed location in Moscow to discuss a screening of Oliver Stone’s biopic Snowden.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars as the fugitive whistleblower, and Shailene Woodley, who plays his long-suffering girlfriend, joined Stone and the disembodied Snowden for a 30-minute Q&A after the Thursday event.

Snowden appears briefly as himself at the end of the film to explain what has transpired in the years since he revealed the illegal data-mining of U.S. citizens by the NSA. The scene took nine takes to perfect, according to Stone, who cheekily added that Donald Trump required the same number of tries for a scene that was ultimate deleted from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

“I’m not an actor,” Snowden said. “It was something that made me really nervous.”

Stone said it was “a gamble” to use the real Snowden after spending the entire film with Gordon-Levitt playing him.

Asked if he thought Gordon-Levitt did a fair impersonation, Snowden paused for a moment then answered: “This is one of the things that’s kind of crazy and surreal about this whole experience,” he said. “I don’t think anybody looks forward to having a movie made about themselves, especially someone who’s a privacy activist.”

“But what I can say is some of my family members have said, ‘He sounds just like you.’ To me, the voice in my head doesn’t sound the same. but if he can pass the family test, he’s doing all right.”

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“It means a lot to have Ed’s endorsement, and it means a lot to have you [Snowden] here tonight,” said Gordon-Levitt, who was sporting an American flag on his T-shirt.

Stone copped to taking liberties with some of the action in film, in particular how Snowden smuggled a thumb drive out of an NSA building. In the film, Snowden uses a Rubik’s Cube. But neither Stone nor Snowden would say exactly how it really happened because there are still charges pending against Snowden. “The FBI actually gets a copy of this talk because we’re going through Google Hangouts, which, unfortunately has built-in surveillance technology,” Snowden noted.

He also gave a little background on why he cooperated with Stone on the biopic. “You don’t get to decide whether or not a movie gets to be made. … You kind of lose control over these kind of things,” he said. “But Oliver thinks for himself, and that’s something I respect very highly. You look at his filmography and you can see that nobody tells Oliver what to do. And that’s not the case with a lot of studios.”

Asked what his life is like now that he’s stuck in Russia without a passport, Snowden responded, “I can confirm that I don’t live in a box. I actually live a surprisingly free life.”

“Every day I’m working on something now that I can be proud of.”

Snowden comes out Sept. 16.

Here’s the film’s new trailer released at Comic-Con:

Read Yahoo Movies’ complete Comic-Con coverage.