Words by Benjamin Pinsent
It seems that Hollywood is a fickle mistress; it picks and chooses its stars. Sometimes they are brief careers that end just as they begin, others crash and burn gloriously and become emblazed in infamy on the popular consciousness, and only a lucky few maintain a standing, becoming part of the constellation of cinema. Why wax poetically about the careers of stars? In the hope that one man’s star will burn for many more years to come, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
It seems that now a days you can barely enter a cinema without seeing Gordon-Levitt’s face in something, either the feature or an up and coming blockbuster. If you still haven’t heard of him by now, then get your head out of the sand. But where did he come from and what will he do now that he is the current darling of mainstream film.
Born in 1981 to a Jewish family in California, Gordon-Levitt has been on our screens in some form or another since he was 6 years of age. In 1996 Gordon-Levitt hit the television big time with the part of Tommy in sci-fi sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (a part that would take him to adulthood). After a quick break to attend and drop out of university Levitt quickly established himself as a up and coming talent in heavy hitting roles in films such as Maniac (2001) (his first collaboration with future co-star Zooey Deschannel) and Brick (2005).
Gordon-Levitt broke through to mainstream audiences with his standout performance in (500) Days of Summer (2009) causing some critics to draw comparisons with industry legend Jack Lemmon. From there, the rest is history, starring opposite Leonardo DeCaprio and Ellan Page in Inception (2010) and the last instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Gordon-Levitt gives every role a certain believability, and even when there can be no believability to be extracted from a character he lends them an easy charm that is very reminiscent of John Cusack or Paul Newman. These qualities make a great actor and because of these he has a promising career with three more big films coming out this year. Pulpy Premium Rush, Stephen Speilberg’s historical bio pick Lincoln and starring opposite Bruce Willis in sci-fi actioneer Looper. Hopefully this great screen presence will be entertaining the masses for many more years.