Joseph Gordon-Levitt is featured in Playboy magazine. Check out the 20 questions that Joe had to answer! I am sure you guys all know about the Zooey ones I will make a separate post about that. Full interview below:
Q1 PLAYBOY: We’re about to see you play a bike messenger chased by a twisted cop in the big-screen action thriller Premium Rush. Meanwhile, audiences are still arguing about whether The Dark Knight Rises is the best-ever Batman flick, and your profile has kept rising since you did Inception and (500) Days of Summer. Having acted in commercials and TV shows such as 3rd Rock From the Sun since you were six and having made your 1992 movie debut at the age of 11 as Student #1 in Beethoven, do you look back on your childhood as a bit skewed?
GORDON-LEVITT: I wouldn’t say I was a normal kid. I’d say I was a lucky little kid, because unfortunately it’s not normal to have extraordinarily good parents who love and support you. I played baseball, did gymnastics, took piano lessons and started acting as just another one of the things I did. I wasn’t pressured into it. But it was acting I loved. I had a really cool acting teacher who taught us how to become a character, to be realistic and feel those feelings, so I hated being expected to behave like an idiot in TV commercials because they seem to think that’s what sells toys or whatever. I remember on Beethoven we weren’t allowed to pet the dog because it would have distracted him. For a dog lover that was disappointing and weird.
Q2 PLAYBOY: Back then, just as now, you never seemed to get caught up in any of the missteps that have turned many promising young actors into tabloid fodder. How?
GORDON-LEVITT: Being on TV when I was a teenager in high school was way harder than anything I’ve experienced since. It prepared me for what it is to work in pop culture. I’ve learned I have basically two different interactions with people. I love when someone approaches me and tells me they’ve seen me in something that made them feel something and that they connected to it. That’s part of why I do it. The other interaction is with people who really don’t care about the movies or anything like that. They just sort of buy into the fame thing, and that feels icky to me.
Q3 PLAYBOY: Have you followed the political traditions of your grandfather Michael Gordon, a director who survived the 1950s blacklists; your father, who was news director of a politically progressive radio station; and your mother, who in 1970 ran for Congress on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket?
GORDON-LEVITT: My parents are political in that they’re well read and as up on the news as anybody I know. To me that is political activism, choosing to stay informed and not just watching CNN or some bullshit entertainment show. Every time I sit down and watch television news, I think, This is show business. That’s what I do. I say, go on the internet and find news from all over the world through the BBC, the Pacifica stations, newspapers, people’s blogs and tweets. It’s so funny when people say Fox is bad. Sure Fox is bad, but I don’t think CNN and MSNBC are really any better.
Q4 PLAYBOY: You’ve shot a number of short films, including one last year documenting Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park in New York. How closely does the mainstream media’s coverage of that movement relate to what you filmed and experienced?
GORDON-LEVITT: Very little. What I’ve seen on TV focuses on the superficial stuff. It’s a pretty simple notion: People who have lots of money—people in corporations who have tons of money—are malevolently manipulating the system to keep their money. And the rest of the world suffers for it. You could show a trillion examples of how Goldman Sachs, McDonald’s, Walmart and Monsanto are clearly fucking over everybody, but CNN, Fox and MSNBC are owned by Fortune 500 companies, so they never show any of it.
Q5 PLAYBOY: Couldn’t a detractor accuse you, a famous, privileged actor, of being one of the elites?
GORDON-LEVITT: I grew up in the 1990s, when it was considered cool to be excessively rich. That’s what rappers rapped about, and later that’s what Paris Hilton had a TV show about and what MTV Cribs was about. The Occupy movement is a pop culture happening that’s saying money is not what’s cool. What’s cool is doing something worthwhile. If your goal is to make money in the movi (more…)