Monday, August 9, 2010
Actor of the Month: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Why: Typically, actors that start their careers as children hardly ever last. Somewhere through the craziness of their teenage years and young adult life they tend to get caught up and lost in the Hollywood lifestyle. Growing up famous leads to an early introduction to sex, drugs, and alcohol thus interfering with their career. Some are lucky enough to avoid that dark path completely or have the ability to work through it i.e. Drew Barrymore. While Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been smoking weed since his high schools and calls himself a “pothead” its clear that he never had real problem with drugs (Levitt admitted this in this months issue of Details Magazine), growing up in the limelight, and is nowhere near the likes of Danny Bonaduce, the walking train wreck. (Danny if you ever read this I'm sorry don't hunt me down.)
One of Levitt’s earliest roles was in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It (1991). Under the direction of Redford he played the role of the elder brother growing up in early 20th century America with style, grace, and simplicity. Levitt then came to have one of the lead roles in Angels in the Outfield (1994). For any young child actor that is a major accomplishment no matter how well the movie does. As he entered his teenage years he landed a part on the hit TV sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun (1996-2001) co-starring John Lithgow. Working for five straight years along with such an accomplished actor definitely helped Levitt polish his skills. Perhaps it was his time on 3rd Rock, which prevented him from trailing down that tempestuous path that swallows so many. In 1996, he starred in the crime thriller The Juror with Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore. Even though he wasn't the main star his performance always left an impression on me. In 1999, he starred in the cult high school classic 10 Things I Hate About You along side with the late great Heath Ledger as well as Julia Styles. This is definitely my favorite film of his from his youth. The innocence in his face and his willingness to go above and beyond for the girl of his dream all clearly represent a teenage boy in love.
During the majority of the 2000’s Levitt worked somewhat consistently but didn’t star in anything the average movie-goer would have seen. However, in 2009 he re-emerged. Levitt starred in the hit indie flick (500) Days of Summer co-starring Zoe Deschanel, which is a wonderful movie about the love and pain of a relationship. The emotions and obsession he displayed clearly hit home for any guy. Also during that year he starred in the action film G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. The film itself was mediocre but his performance was pretty good as the villain known as Commander. This summer, Levitt starred in the blockbuster sci-fi thriller Inception where he gave audiences another powerful and crisp performance. Working with Leonardo DiCaprio and under the genius mind of writer/director Christopher Nolan solidified him as a quality actor in Hollywood.
Currently, Levitt is being considered for the role of The Riddler in Nolan's Batman 3. His ability to relate to a character and bring the correct emotions and attitude is unbelievable. Levitt is extremely versatile and likes to take on different projects, which help define his career. Hopefully he'll get the part because I know he’ll do a great job. For reasons such as this I name Augusts’ Actor of the Month to Joseph Gordon-Levitt.