HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --The highly anticipated film about NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden is set to hit theaters on Friday.
"Snowden," which was directed by Oliver Stone and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is based on the true story of the NSA contractor who leaked classified information that showed the reach and power of the agency's surveillance capabilities.
"The audience has to pay attention to this because we're here, we're in this age," Stone explained. "The concept of privacy itself has been violated and it's being violated and it may disappear. And we don't want that, that's what Snowden said."
Snowden, who some view as a civil liberties hero and others see as a traitor, believes he deserves a pardon from President Barack Obama before he leaves office.
MORE: Snowden says he deserves a pardon from Obama
Snowden has been living in Russia as an American fugitive since being charged with espionage.
Gordon-Levitt said he doesn't believe Snowden had other avenues to report the information.
"If the director of intelligence is lying under oath to Congress about these things, how is some employee of the NSA going to go through the proper channels and get anything done? That would have been impossible. Someone had to provide the information to the American public," Gordon-Levitt said.
In the video player above, ABC7's Entertainment Guru George Pennacchio interviews Oliver Stone and Joseph Gordon-Levitt about "Snowden."