Joseph Gordon-Levitt loves movies. He’s been making them most of his life, and he just screened his first short film, Sparks, at Sundance. But he can’t stand the coming attractions. “When a trailer is playing for a movie I really want to see, I always avert my eyes and plug my ears,” he explains. “They give too much away, and they really can eat into your experience of watching a movie.”
Well, not to give too much away, but Gordon-Levitt, who’s transitioned seamlessly from a hard-working child actor to the go-to actor for risky, inventive indie films, has a pair of movies coming out this summer that show some new sides to the 28-year-old veteran.
First up is (500) Days of Summer, an inventive, lyrical look at a relationship from the guy’s perspective. The film re-teams him with Zooey Deschanel, who last appeared with Gordon-Levitt in 2001’s psychodrama Manic.
After mining dramatic depths in films like Brick and Mysterious Skin, he effortlessly steps into the role of the romantic lead.
Next month, Gordon-Levitt is in a whole different ballpark, playing Cobra Commander in the live-action update of G.I. Joe.
But while publicity for the action flick has started carpeting the globe, there’s been nary a mention of his mysterious mega-villain. And he’d like to keep it that way.
“There are certain things about it that I want people to see in the movie.” There’s that thing he has about previews, after all.
And it only gets more mysterious after that, as he’s now filming Christopher Nolan’s Inception, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard. Aside from the cast, almost nothing is known about the project.
“He wants to present it to the world the way he wants to present it, instead of letting me tell you about it or letting conjecture colour people’s perceptions of it,” Gordon-Levitt says Nolan. “But I can tell you that it’s really cool.”
And as much acclaim as he received as an actor, Gordon-Levitt has aspirations behind the camera as well, which he’s been fostering for years with his website, www.HitRecord.org.
“I get a really big kick out of it because I get to work with whoever has something cool to contribute,” he says of the collaborative nature of the site, the ethos of which is, let’s all do this together and see what we can make.
“It puts the focus back where it should be, which is on the creativity as opposed to some of the politics and fashion that can get in the way of creativity in the more old-fashioned way of making movies,” he says.
And advances in technology have only made it easier.
“This generation of filmmakers, we have such incredible technology on our hands,” he explains. “We could make a movie with this camera that I have in my pocket and cut it on the computer you have in your backpack and put it out online and let the whole world see it without leaving the room.”
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