Joseph Gordon-Levitt

American actor and filmmaker (born 1981)

Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt (born February 17, 1981, in Los Angeles, California) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and editor.

"Success is not important to me, nor are power or money. If the script feels good, then I'm in. It's that simple." —Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Quotes edit

  • It's fascinating to watch a show develop from a script to a 22-minute comedy. I try to learn as much, and ask as many questions, as I can without being annoying.
    • The Hollywood Reporter November 7, 1995.
  • Actors didn't use to be celebrities. A hundred years ago, they put the theaters next to the brothels. Actors were poor. Celebrities used to be kings and queens. Then the United States abolished monarchy, and now there's this coming together of show business and celebrity. I don't think it's healthy. I don't want to sound self-important, but all these celebrity shows and magazines—it comes from us, from Hollywood, from our country. We're the ones creating it. And I think it works in close step with a lot of other bad things that are happening in the world. It promotes greed, it promotes being selfish and it promotes this ladder, where you're a better person if you have more money. It's not at all about the work itself. Don't get me wrong. I love movies. But this myth of celebrity has nothing to do with movies.
    • Newsweek, March 31, 2006
  • Most scripts are bad. I read a lot of them. Brick was a good script just to read. It was like, “Oh my God, these words feel so good in my mouth.” A lot of movies try to set up a world with cool sets, costumes, camera work. In Brick, the world is born from the words.
    • Newsweek, March 31, 2006
  • 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. In Mysterious Skin, none of the sex scenes are like that. They all are about the process that this character is going through—and he grows from each of those scenes. You couldn't have told the story any other way. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. I would be embarrassed if I was like, "Shit, everybody wants to look at my ass."
    • Newsweek, March 31, 2006
  • Traditionally there's this barrier between the people who make movies and the people who watch them, and I think it sucks. Making Hollywood this castle on a hill and crowning actors the "Stars" might have been exciting and even brought people together last century, but now it's grown kind of disgusting in its excesses and it's no longer bringing people together—it's keeping people apart. It always turns my stomach a little when, because I'm in movies and on TV, people sometimes treat me as if I'm somehow different from, even above, a normal person. But the emails, posts, and comments I've been trading recently with people through those aforementioned sites cause me no nausea; they inspire me. There's no nasty status predicated on "Fame" or "Fortune." There's just that beautiful thing, the point of all art in the first place: a connection between one individual and another.
  • Supermarket tabloids and celebrity gossip shows are not just innocently shallow entertainment, but a fundamental part of a much larger movement that involves apathy, greed and hierarchy. Celebrity doesn’t have anything to do with art or craft. It’s about being rich and thinking that you’re better than everybody else.
    • The New York Times, March 25, 2007.
  • My dad never blew anything up, but he probably had friends who did. He and my mom have always preached that the pen is mightier than a Molotov cocktail.
    • The New York Times, March 25, 2007.
  • I didn’t really like doing commercials. You had to behave like you were on angel dust or something.
    • The New York Times, March 25, 2007.
  • There's this barrier that goes up between the people who make the movies and the people who watch the movies. But the point of art is to have a connection between people. I think it's going to become much more of a dialogue, where everybody will watch everybody's stuff, as opposed to how it is now, where the huge corporations produce everything. I'm looking forward to seeing that.
    • New York Post, March 25, 2007
  • [ is my] alternative outlet of where I get to be a little less professional and just freak out a little bit.
    • Salon, March 28, 2007.
  • The Lookout was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. Partially because both Brick and Mysterious Skin were four to five week shoots, and The Lookout was nine or 10. So there's the marathon aspect, as well as the fact that Chris Pratt is having a harder go of it than either of the other two characters ever did. You know, waking up in the morning is difficult for him. Putting a sentence together is difficult for him. Getting dressed properly, driving a car, all these things. He can do them fine, but it's just much harder than it is for a normal person, so I had to try to make it hard for myself somehow. So it was challenging.
    • AV Club, March 28, 2007.
  • I think the whole thing's changing a lot. The traditions of Hollywood are grand and great and are going to survive forever, in a way. But they're not going to be the only way for much longer. The technology is such now that you don't have to have millions of dollars to make a movie. You can make one with a computer. Like the Ze Frank show. I don't know if you know who that guy is, but at, he makes a couple-minute show every day. What he does is fucking great, and he does it all by himself. I think those lines between "behind the camera" and "in front of the camera," the lines between actor, writer, director, the lines between audience and performer… all those lines are kind of dissolving. And I'm real curious where it's going to lead.
    • AV Club, March 28, 2007
  • [It's a] really smart, faithful adaptation of the book. The book is such a tight page-turner… The character I play is an extreme guy… He's a killer. He wants to be Jesse James. He grew up watching cowboy and Indian movies and wants to be that. Then he meets Mickey Rourke's character, who's named The Black Bird and he wants to partner up with him and be a criminal and kill people. He's a psychotic and very bad guy… The thing about him is, he's not the bad killer, the kind of guy that sits and stews and then has these rageful outbursts. He is this extreme extrovert who never shuts up and tells you ridiculously tall tales about himself and mythologizes everything… Hyperactive, hyper, hyper guy wearing cowboy boots.
    • IGN, March 30, 2006 - about his role in Killshot
  • I don't blame the people for the fact that so many movies are bad. I think there's a corrupt, perverted, lazy and sloppy attitude that's pervasive in the movie business. The whole entertainment business is kind of crumbling around us.
    • Cinematcal, April 4, 2007.
  • The cool thing about my character was that it’s not that digital. I get to put hours of prosthetic makeup on and see a different creature altogether. I’ve seen how he looks and it’s really cool.
  • Sundance means a lot to me. This is my third one. People that come here who love movies. Everyone has the attitude that movies aren't just disposable entertainment - they can really mean something. I love that, because that's the way I feel about films.
    • Salon, November 2009
  • I guess I have an eclectic taste [about (500) Days of Summer, G.I. Joe, and Uncertainty all in one year], I don't just like one thing. Contrast is key. What do they say? Variety is the spice of life. My favorite actors are the chameleons, guys like Daniel Day-Lewis, Billy Bob Thornton, Meryl Streep, people who are always different.
    • Salon, November 2009
  • The most valiant thing you can do as an artist is inspire someone else to be creative.
    • Details, 2010
  • I just want to say thank you again to all you crazy motherfuckers who came out for hitRECord on Halloween - give me your records! I want to see your videos, I want to see your photos, and even more importantly, I love this stuff, remix it!
  • Wrote an adaptation for the Brothers Grimm's Little Red Riding Hood for 2011-10-31.
  • Actually I've thanked you a lot of times so now I'm thanking you again.
    • The Regularity, 2012-04-25, #68
  • [Looper's] sort of a down-to-earth Blade Runner: it feels real. It's that style of sci-fi that could actually exist in 30 years.
  • I suppose the longer anyone spends on earth, the closer we all get to becoming superfluous characters.
  • The cinematographer came up to me and said, 'You have to hit your mark exactly,'
    • The New York Times, September 20, 2013. (Google News)

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