WEIRDLAND: Look out, Jake!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Look out, Jake!

"You may not know his name. You may not even know his face. But look out Jake Gyllenhaal – indie prince Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fast becoming one of the hottest properties in Hollywood.

Like so many of his peers, the 27-year-old almost ended up as road-kill. As a teenager, the actor hated being a celebrity. He hated being pimped out as a poster boy during his six-year stretch on suburban-alien sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun. At his best, the adult Gordon-Levitt is a stealthy, cerebral performer – always shining without shouting. Recently, he’s been slotting nimbly into studio films like Memento-style heist thriller The Lookout; and Killshot, in which he plays a psychopathic assassin stalking Diane Lane. Next on our screens, though, is Kimberly (Boys Don’t Cry) Peirce’s eagerly anticipated boys-back-from-Iraq drama Stop-Loss, in which Gordon-Levitt co-stars with Ryan Phillippe. To date, he has kept a tight steer on script choices – no youth romps, no flowery rom-coms. Instead he seeks out troubled, edgy roles that showcase his dark side. -Is it Joseph or Joe?
-It depends who’s talking. And, more importantly, it depends on how they say it. If a pretty French girl wants to call me Josef then I’m down with that. -The new film stuff all happened after a film I did called Manic, which I made in 2001. I played a mentally ill kid. If there was one hurdle then it might have been Manic. -Rian Johnson saw it and cast me in Brick. Gregg Araki also saw it and cast me in Mysterious Skin, which was the first time that anyone had asked me to be sexy.
-What was it like taking Brick and Mysterious Skin to Sundance in the same year?
-It’s a cliché to say it, but that was a dream come true. To go to Sundance had been a promise I’d made to myself since I was a kid working on TV. So ten years later when I was able to go there with two movies that I was really proud of, it meant the world to me.
-Do you lose yourself in your characters?
-The simple answer is no. Some actors stay in character on set. I think that’s impressive but I’ve never done it. But when I went home at night on Stop-Loss I was still very much in the mood of that character. It’s a strange thing to say about yourself, but I change a lot with different roles. I’m a volatile person.
-Do you think you’re attractive?
-[Laughs] That’s not a fair question. How can you answer that without sounding like a tool?
-Is music crucial to you?
-Yeah. We’re all made of music. It’s the most basic thing in the universe.
-Do-Do you Google yourself?
-Yes. It was a triumphant day for me about a year ago when my website came up first on the Google page under my name. I make short films and put them on there. Now I think it’s number four. -What were your favourite films growing up?
-Well, Dumbo still hits me harder than just about any other. Dumbo or Bambi couldn’t happen nowadays. In this business where accountants and lawyers are now in charge of how stories get told, the movies are sucking.
-Are you in the frame to do the live-action Akira with Leonardo DiCaprio?
-That’s just a rumour. They haven’t finished the script yet. I’m waiting to read it.
-Are you worried that doing big movies like G.I. Joe will make your life difficult?
-In what way? In terms of fame. I don’t feel famous. That word gives me the creeps. Personally, I don’t think fame has that much to do with it – it’s about making good movies. When I was younger, if people recognised me, I would lie or hide. I’d rather have just gone to work and then burnt the film. I was a selfish little kid, really. But now I want to do stuff that matters. So when people come up to me and say that a movie I was in made them laugh or cry, it means everything to me".
"Stop-Loss" is in cinemas from April 25.



Gail said...

I think he looks a bit like a younger Heath Ledger.

Kendra said...

yes, Joe's features are a bit as Heath's although in every film he changes his expression completely.

Xenia said...

That's because JGL is a great actor, and he has more of the indie prince than Jake right now.
I think that Jake is aiming to reach the mainstream at the moment and I don't know if I'm always happy about that.
But hey, again, Jake is his own and we can't blame him for wanting to be a 'movie star'! :)

Kendra said...

I think that Jake is aiming to reach the mainstream at the moment and I don't know if I'm always happy about that.

This is the same thought I feel towards Jake lately, he is not indie anymore, his indie days are far away, sigh, sometimes I miss those days, on the other hand it's good to see upcoming indie "princes" like Joe taking Jake's place.