Reel Love Notes: An Open Love Letter to Joseph Gordon-Levitt
This is a first entry in our new column "Reel Love Notes," where we write open love letters to actors and actresses that we find endearing, funny, thought provoking, and the likes.
There was a time when I wanted nothing more than to punch Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the face.
I was never a violent kid but there was something about his long hair on 3rd Rock from the Sun that just made my blood boil.
Its rich silkiness somehow didn't match his oversized, hence, ill-fitted wardrobe. I now realize that his character's poor style choice was most likely an unfortunate side effect of 90s post-grunge. Hey man, I too dressed like a Sears catalog reject, Power Rangers t-shirt and all.
However, that hair annoyed me to no end. I must admit that I felt great satisfaction in seeing that Michael Myers had smashed an ice skate through his skull in Halloween H20. He had it coming.
But even after his visit to Supercuts and 3rd Rock departure, I couldn't disassociate the actor from his child-star, sitcom persona despite a string of impressive performances in darker fare like Brick and Mysterious Skin.
I could tell that he was strategically carving out a career of substance for himself no different than what Michelle Williams did after Dawson's Creek, but for some unreasonable reason I couldn't get on his side.
That is until Hall & Oates came into the picture. That's right. My jaded self joined in the collective JGL swoon after (500) Days of Summer.
Call me deluded or call me a romantic. I call it perfect timing, because for the first time I could see shades of myself in a contemporary movie character.
Maybe it was the vests. Maybe it was the tote. Maybe it was my impending first heartbreak. Whatever it was, I suddenly found myself on JGL's corner along with everyone else.
With the release of his satisfying directorial debut, Don Jon, JGL has turned into the most endearing of leading men, an unlikely action star and overall Hollywood powerhouse.
In one movie he beats cancer (50/50) and in another he morphs into Bruce Willis and possibly bangs his mom while time traveling (Looper).
I too wait for my turn to cross the street even if there's no car in sight just likes his character in the former! I get it! I really do!
Whether it's porn addiction, dead presidents or Robin, no one is currently as adept in balancing blockbuster entertainment for the masses and heartfelt indie slices of life for the selective.
It's safe to say that JGL has shed his former precocious self and left it light years and galaxies far, far away. I have no need for punching gloves.