Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt calls on Obama to pardon Edward Snowden

The actor plays the former NSA worker in a new biopic

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has asked Barack Obama's administration to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The actor, who plays Snowden in a new biopic directed by Oliver Stone, met the former NSA worker in Russia before filming began.

Gordon-Levitt he knows Snowden would love to return home to the US and has asked President Obama to intervene before he leaves office next month.

"I would love it if he would get pardoned, I would think that was the right thing to do and I would hope that Barack Obama, as someone who has generally really stood up for what the constitution says, I would hope he would pardon Snowden," he said.

"I know Ed would like to come home, I know his family would like him to come home. I think he cares less about his personal life and his personal comfort than he does about these issues though, he made that clear."

The biopic recounts the story of Snowden's life, including how he began working with the NSA and his meetings with journalists in Hong Kong exposing the surveillance.

The actor added that he hopes the film will open up a conversation about privacy.

"Meeting him really humanised him, which is the idea of this movie. The funny thing is he's always trying to take the attention off himself personally and put the attention on the causes he's fighting for. 

"But I'm an actor playing him in a movie, so I was paying attention to personal details - how does he sit, how does he talk or walk, how does he shake my hand, because ultimately the point of this movie is to be an entertaining drama, to be a fun night at the cinema.