Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Celebrity Is a Myth


Joseph Gordon-Levitt does not believe in celebrities. He believes they are a myth and they should not be making as much money as they do. According to, Levitt says, ”A hundred years ago…they put theaters next to brothels. Actors were poor….It’s not all about the work itself [sic] this myth of celebrity has nothing to do with movies.”

This is a refreshing point of view from a man who has made the leap from child actor to fully bloomed movie star.

Levitt’s acting skills are in the blood apparently. His grandfather, Gordon Levitt was a well-known director in the 1950s with classic movies like Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) and Pillow Talk (1959) on his resume. Gordon lost his directing credentials however, after being blacklisted in the mid-20th century Red Scare.

Despite that, Levitt began his career in a preschool performance of the Wizard of Oz. Although he cut his teeth on commercials, comedy, theater and television, Levitt was born for the movies, and no one who has ever seen him in any production has any doubt of that.

After six years as Tommy Solomon on 3rd Rock From the Sun, Levitt stepped away from acting in 1996 to finish school at Columbia University. Upon his return, Levitt has somehow managed to become successful in both the indie circuit and mainstream film at roughly the same time.  His breakout role was under director Christopher Nolan in the Leonardo DiCaprio mind-bending hit Inception. From there it was nothing but net as Levitt took on roles meant to challenge and separate him from the every-day, mythical celebrity.

Despite his success, Levitt does not relish the fame. He is quoted, ”Fame has always been a downside to acting for me. It gives me the creeps.”

In an interview with XM radio host Howard Stern, Levitt revealed he does have a girlfriend, but neither of them wants the hassle of paparazzi and the microscopic scrutiny celebrity relationships undergo on a daily basis. “She’s not in show business,” he explained when pressed by Stern.

In the same interview Levitt also admitted to drug use, both marijuana and on rare occasion, LSD.  His approach to both is both is as unique as his choice of starring roles. Apparently, marijuana allows Levitt’s “creative juices” to rise.  He admits he was stoned when he came up his latest movie, Don Jon. With LSD, Levitt very seriously cautions potential users to plan their experiment and have a friend with experience around to assist if issues arise.

Far from being a spoiled, pretentious and selfish actor as so many child actors can become, Levitt at 32 has matured into a thoughtful, charming and intelligent man who  approaches his life with a very earthy sensibility. He knows who he is and offers no excuses or apologies for being who he is. Levitt is a myth unto himself, an actor who does not want to be a celebrity, who doesn’t think he deserves the millions he undoubtedly makes with each role. He believes “teachers and astronauts are much more amazing than actors.”


Written by: Brandi Tasby


With Howard Stern

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