Joseph Gordon-Levitt Originally uploaded by Doctor Noe My interview with this talented lad is here . Remember him from 3rd Rock? The former child star is having a great Summer. July 16, 2009 By: Noe Gold Fandango Film Commentator Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in (500) days of Summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been pulling on heartstrings ever since he sprang upon the scene as a child actor looking for approval from Danny Glover in the baseball movie Angels in the Outfield and as a kid looking up to Robert Redford and Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It.. He made his bones as a young TV actor as a “3rd Rock from the Sun” regular, moving on to more serious fare opposite Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You. By the time he worked with director Kimberly Peirce in the war drama Stop-Loss, Gordon-Levitt assumed the mantle of a serious contender. Now he’s got the big-budget G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra later this summer and three movies coming in 2010. But first, in (500) Days of Summer, it is Gordon-Levitt who has his heartstrings pulled when he falls for a quirky girl (Zooey Deschanel) who doesn’t believe in love. We talked with the young actor about making this indie romance that’s alternative programming for those not into Harry Potter this weekend, and whistling – and dancing – while you work as the film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Fandango: Your last few films have been very serious. What was it like playing for euphoria with a director like first-timer Mark Webb? Gordon-Levitt: I loved the script when I read it. It wasn’t until I met Mark Webb that I knew this was going to be awesome. Because he comes from music videos, he uses music really well. The movie has this real whimsy to it. He plays music on the set all the time. A lot of the scenes that we shoot actually he’s playing music while we’re doing it. Fandango: What differentiates this film from your other movies? Gordon-Levitt: Normally, it’s difficult for me to watch a movie that I’m in. This one was an anomaly in that the first time I watched it I enjoyed it and started smiling. I was able to not be so critical about my performance. (500) Days of Summer is a really welcome change for me. I don’t have to be in pain all day, every day at work. I can go to work and feel sweet, loving feelings. I don’t have to cultivate anger and suffering like I did in some of these past movies I’ve been doing. That’s really nice. Fandango: You had some real Singin’ in the Rain moments in this film, such as the fantasy sequence where you dance up a storm celebrating the night before with Summer. Gordon-Levitt: It was such a fun day filming that dance number. In the script that scene is titled “The Best Morning Ever.” It kind of was. There is a pretty good argument that that was the best day of my life so far. I grew up like the rest of us watching Michael Jackson videos — ahh that’s the coolest thing, to be dancing in front of a bunch of people! Fandango: What was the goal of this movie? It seems like an almost documentary take on the characters’ emotional lives. Gordon-Levitt: It feels real because the movie’s about how real life feels rather than how life objectively is. I was like, how should we do this? Should we kind of try to snap it up and pace it like an older screwball comedy? and Zooey insisted it be realistic and grounded. She was so right. We are going to do that screwball comedy down the road, we definitely will. We’re going to make more movies together – we’re going to be the next Hepburn and Tracy. Fandango: The story of this movie is told so out-of-sequence. How did you deal with it as an actor? Your moods have to be in sync with that. Gordon-Levitt: You always see a movie out of sequence. That’s part of the challenge, anachronistically telling a linear story. The process of making this movie is not so different from making any other movie. The difference is that the story is also told out of sequence. But it was all there in the script, and the director had the actual sequence of events all mapped on a kind of bible. It was set up for us to finish this scene, for instance, on a really happy note because you know the next scene starts on a sad note. Fandango: Would you call (500) Days a drama or a comedy? Gordon-Levitt: It’s not a drama or a comedy. I am proud of (500) Days for presenting a perspective of love that is a little less simplistic than your average Hollywood romantic movie. I like that this one plays with a lot of the genre clichés. Finding that balance – what to follow and what to rebel against – is what makes it individual and interesting. Noë Gold was formerly Features Editor at the Hollywood Reporter and a contributor to Variety before becoming a staff writer at Paramount Pictures. He has been editor-in-chief of Movies USA, bikini and Guitar World and a columnist for the Village Voice and the New York Daily News. He has served as the Managing Editor of VH1 and a writer-producer for Turner Broadcasting. His entertainment news column, The Daily Fix, was a regular feature of the AOL Entertainment Channel. Noë Gold blogs at Doctor Noe’s Smooth Gadget .
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