It's only 11am, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page are already feeling the strain. Maybe it was the 20 minutes spent trying to figure out who sat where. "It's all got to do with the fact that I'm tiny," offers Page, the Canadian actress who was Oscar-nominated for 2007's Juno.
"And Joseph isn't, so we just don't want to look like a comedy duo here, and that means finding a balance. And, no, I'm not sitting on a big cushion." What Page and her LA-born co-star are sitting on is one of the year's most highly-anticipated movies, Inception, writer/director Christopher Nolan's long-gestating follow-up to his record-breaking Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.
Leonardo DiCaprio is the dream interloper with a fine line in extracting information from those in the land of nod, with Gordon-Levitt playing his right-hand man and Page the architect whiz with the gift for constructing those honey-trap dream worlds.
Nolan was inspired by the likes of The Matrix and Blade Runner, but the reviews have been mixed -- between ecstatic and baffled.
PAUL BYRNE: When it comes to metaphysical puzzles, there's a fine line between being dazzled with brilliance and baffled by bulls**t. Were you always dazzled? Were you ever baffled?
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: I think sometimes I was intrigued, and I had to work a little bit to figure out what was going on, but I enjoy that kind of challenge.
I was never baffled by bulls**t, because it's not bulls**t. Inception is a story that Christopher Nolan's been working on for literally 10 years, and there aren't any holes in the logic.
You'll get more out of it the second time you see it, but even the first time, I feel the reason that I'm able to just immerse myself in it is because I trust it.
PB: And you, Ellen? Ditto?
ELLEN PAGE: Yeah, he took the words right out of my mouth.
PB: Did Chris give you homework to look over, movies to watch?
EP: I don't know, I didn't feel the necessity to go to other sources. Here's this incredibly original artist who makes these huge-scale movies, that could maybe be typically one-note, into these absolutely honest, sincere, immersive, multi-dimensional cinematic experiences.
PB: With a movie like this, get it right, and you've got The Matrix. Get it wrong, and you've got a Matrix sequel. Was there a point when you felt, okay, this all fits together?
JGL: I think we knew going in that it all fitted together, because the script was just so meticulous, so detailed. All the numbers added up, the plot leaps, the enigmatic lines, the clues, they all made sense once you followed them right down the line.
EP: But then, you're dealing with Christopher Nolan, and he's proven -- with the likes of Memento and The Dark Knight -- that he's well capable of taking very complex ideas and presenting them in a coherent and fascinating way. He doesn't under-estimate the audience.
PB: Both of you are young, jet-setting superstars, and yet neither of you has made it to Ireland! What gives?
JGL: Well, I've been avoiding you, dude. It's kinda awkward that you've asked.
PB: This ain't over, Levitt. This is going to go on.
JGL: Well, if you feel like experiencing some pain, we can take this outside.
PB: Ellen, you got any plans to come over?
EP: I was going to go over this spring, to visit a friend who lives outside of Dublin, but it didn't work out. So, hopefully, soon. Every Irish person I meet is just so lovely.
PB: Except for me, right, Levitt?
Inception hits Irish cinemas on Friday