Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “(500) Days of Summer”

He was a childhood actor, born in 1981 in Los Angeles, who found himself on TV on things like “Family Ties” before making his feature film debut in the 1992 dog comedy, “Beethoven,” and part of the Robert Redford drama “A River Runs Through It.” But for a particular audience, it was the 1994 Disney movie, “Angels in the Outfield,” that marked Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s talents on the moviegoing public. And yet television provided an ample outlet for those talents, with the NBC sitcom “3rd Rock of the Sun” providing Joseph a home from 1996 until 2001. Studies sidetracked Gordon-Levitt for a time while he pursued an education at Columbia, but when he returned to acting, it was in consciously chosen roles in a series of indies: “Manic,” “Brick,” “The Lookout,” and the Iraq war drama, “Stop-Loss.”

In 2009, Joseph Gordon-Levitt found himself at a turning point. “(500) Days of Summer” marked yet another foray into the liberal indie pop movement typical of modern artsy American filmmaking, and yet just a few weeks after that release came “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” No doubt he will be returning in the spawned sequels of the toy-film franchise down the road, but whether Gordon-Levitt continues to hone a mild-mannered acting career focusing on quality work and good performances in lieu of red carpets and popcorn franchises remains to be seen.

Joseph on the Screen

Joe started in television with roles on “Family Ties,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Quantum Leap” and “L.A. Law” before big screen appearances in 1992’s “Beethoven” and “A River Runs Through It.” He followed that up with a six-year run on the NBC sitcom “3rd Rock on the Sun” before moving back to the big screen with “10 Things I Hate About You” and more adult roles in “Mysterious Skin,” “Brick” and “Shadowboxer.” After appearing in more indies like “The Lookout,” and “(500) Days of Summer,” Joe has successfully transitioned to the A-list with roles in “Inception,” “50/50,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Looper” and Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”

Joseph Says

On scripts:
“Most scripts are bad. I read a lot of them.”

On sex scenes:
“To me, a sex scene in a movie generally means a gratuitous scene that doesn’t serve the story but gives a kind of excuse – we’ve got these two actors, we want to see them naked, so let’s bring in the music and the soft light.”

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