Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hump Day Hottie: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

How often does a young sitcom regular make the successful transition to acclaimed dramatic film actor? I can't think of many beyond Leonardo DiCaprio's legendary ascendance post Growing Pains. But Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who first found fame as the youngest embodiment of a space alien team on Third Rock From The Sun has (to date) played his crossover hand well.

Like many young actors he started slowly with moonlighting appearances in a few indie flicks during his television run. In his first truly post-3rd Rock release he played a supporting role as a Mormon missionary in the gay romantic drama Latter Days (brief thoughts on that film). He followed that with a real 180, trading the shirt and tie for jaded hustler attire as the lead object of everyone's attention in the well received Mysterious Skin.

For young non A-listers it's all about raising profile and collective faith in one's own magnetism. There's few things that work quite so well to do that as a one-two punch of successful leads in buzzy films. His minimalist teen-noir star turn in Brick was a superb post-Skin career move, and should set him up well for lots of goodwill casting wise. You can expect he'll get a lot of opportunities to prove himself in the next few years. He recently contributed a memorable bit to Shadowboxer as a philandering careless doctor. 2007 brings him into theaters thrice for The Lookout, Killshot, and as an ensemble member in Kimberly Peirce's (Boy's Don't Cry) Stop Loss.

Other Blogs Talkin' JGL
Do you need more? Check out The Cellar Door names him as one of 2006's best lead actors. As Little As Possible talks about the JGL NY Times article and Jeffrey Wells @ Hollywood Elsewhere airs a dissenting vote on his latest performance. WOW celebrates a homocentric quote from Joseph Gordon Levitt and Savage Cats have something to say about that same soundbite. And finally, IFC interviews the man causing this spring blogging fever.


Jennie said...

I love, love JGL. Ever see Manic? It's not the best movie he's been in (Mysterious Skin and Brick are better) but he still gives a great performance.

Colin said...

They couldn't have looked more different in 10 Things I Hate About You, but that half-naked photo of Levitt in your post looks like it has Heath Ledger's face tacked on. Weird... o.O

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

At last more audience for him. He was one of only seven people who gave lead performances in 2006 that I gave notice to. Really great to know that more people are giving serious attention to him. =)

(just in case you're interested in the others:

Anonymous said...

He blew my mind in Brick. Blew. My. Mind. I think I rented it, then bought it, then watched it twice. Then I loaned it to my ex (who graduated from San Clemente High and got a kick out of seeing his alma mater). My ex watched it with our son and my son and I must have spent an hour discussing it afterwards. Now I'm ready to watch it again.

Based on the Brick performance, I immediately added Mysterious Skin to my Netflix queue.


JS. interesting lists there (and gender nonspecific acting awards! --i can't do that. it'd be all women ;) )

shooting --i haven't seen manic

colin --true. hadn't even occured to me but yes they are similarfaced. perhaps they should be brothers in a movie.

deborah -be forewarned on mysterious skin. very tough stuff. child abuse, etc... i didn't love it as much as most critics but it's worth seeing. especially if you enjoy JGL as an actor.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

"JS. interesting lists there (and gender nonspecific acting awards! --i can't do that. it'd be all women ;) )"

Okay, was trying to write a response but it was getting long. Shucks, I'll just e-mail it. =)

Beau said...

I love you right now.

Man is one of the top young talents in the industry after two WOWING performances in Mysterious Skin and Brick. After these surprising stellar reviews for 'The Lookout', I can't wait. :)

Anonymous said...

Along with Ryan Gosling, JGL is one of the best actors of the younger crop.

daniel said...

You should check his interview in the AV Club:

Unknown said...

one of my most fav actor beside nicole kidman

Glenn Dunks said...

I'm definitely liking where Joseph's career is going. Glad he managed to break out of the box. His perf in Mysterious Skin was amazing (as was the movie, I thought).

While I agree with that SavageCats blog about how silly it is to ask a question like "how scary was it to kiss a dude", I can't agree with him on criticising JGL's reply. He was implying that it's silly to be able to play a murderous soldier (or whatever other actors have played) and then get grossed out at the thought of kissing Topher Grace.