WEIRDLAND: Happy 33rd birthday, Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy 33rd birthday, Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

Happy 33rd birthday, Joseph Gordon-Levitt!!

You starred in and directed Don Jon – what is it about?

How the media leads us to form unrealistic expectations about love, sex and relationships. Real life is richer and more beautiful; real people are way more complicated and sexy. If you’re too busy comparing your life to media images then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Don Jon is poking fun at this.

You play Jon, a porn-obsessed, chauvinistic ladies’ man. Presumably you’re not like that in your own life?

No. I wouldn’t want to see my girlfriend as a possession. But I do use the language convention ‘my girlfriend’. It’s like saying, ‘my body, my arms, my legs’. But such things do have an impact on how we form our perspectives of ourselves.

I imagine you’re a perfect boyfriend.

Absolutely. Of course I am! [laughs]

Why did you cast Scarlett Johansson as your romantic-comedy-fixated love interest Barbara in Don Jon?

Because she’s a really smart person and a talented artist, yet most of what gets talked about is her looks and her sex appeal.

You’ve been acting since childhood – how come fame hasn’t gone to your head?

My parents were smart in how they raised us. My dad instilled a work ethic. I remember once playing a computer game while waiting to go on set. I was called to work and I said, ‘I just want to save my game.’ My dad closed the computer, but I didn’t save the game and I felt really upset. Dad said, ‘You are working. You have to go.’ When I think back, I see he was teaching me a valuable lesson.

I hear you are a big fan of London…

I love the fact that it’s more acceptable in the UK to be into the arts. In the US it’s considered snobby to care. And there’s nothing like the British Film Institute that’s government funded.

You seem very private. How do you deal with celebrity?

It is a double-edged sword. I’d compare this kind of fame to royalty. In the US, overthrowing royalty was the foundation of our nation. So we’ve invented a new kind of royalty – celebrity.

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