Joseph Gordon-Levitt

September 18, 2013

Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Are we RECording? Ask me anything...


My name’s Joe. I’ve been working as an actor in TV and movies since I was six. I’m not Batman, but my mom made me a sweet Halloween costume when I was four. I just wrote/directed my first feature film called DON JON. It’s fucking hilarious, and means a lot to me. I also direct an open collaborative production company called hitRECord. We use the internet to make things together like short films, music, books, and right now we’re making a television show called HITRECORD ON TV. Come work on it with me!

Or, if you’re feeling uncertain, ask me something about it. I’ll be honest :o)


Thanks everyone! That was fun :o) See you next time.. Thanks again <3

How do you feel about r/JGLGiraffes?

If giraffes made a sound I would write it as an onomatopoeia in this reply.

Also how do you feel about this gif?

Clearly this is the future of cinema. I am not kidding.

How do you feel about r/JGLGiraffes?

Why do you wear mismatching socks so often? (See: Sorry if it’s a creepy question bro, but…I gotta know.

My brother always wore mismatched socks. I inherited his collection.

What made you decide to go from acting to writing and directing?

Edit: Thanks for doing (500) Days of Summer, it's been my go-to movie whenever I'm feeling down since I first saw it.

I've been making little short films and videos for a long time. Since I was a kid. Then for my 21st birthday, I got myself my first copy of Final Cut. Love cutting. I've made hundreds of little things over the years. Don Jon didn't feel like a short though. It felt like a traditional feature length movie.

Hi Joseph, I'm a big fan of yours and I've always wondered what kind of role you most enjoy playing in your movies? Do you enjoy the sweet simpler guy like in [500] Days of Summer or the badass rogue like in The Dark Knight Rises more?

I like the variety. Changing all the time. Identity is a creative process.

Was Bane a big guy in real life? I mean, for you.

Tom is pure murder. Seen Bronson?

What's up Joseph! Thanks for doing an AMA!

During Ellen Page's AMA, I asked her "How was it like to kiss Joseph Gordon Levitt in Inception?"

Since she responded with "I don't kiss and tell," I'll be asking you instead and will hopefully get a better answer. How was it like to kiss Ellen Page in Inception?

I don't think I could possibly give a better answer than Ms. Page's.

Why aren't you Batman?

We are all Batman.

Hi Joe! Do you still like The Catcher in the Rye as much as when you were on Jeopardy in 1997?


3rd Rock from the Sun question

In the early seasons, your character seemed to fit in with Earth life the best and often seemed set up as a contrast to the stupidity of the older Solomons and this created humor from you having to deal with the consequences of their bumbling.

In later seasons though, your character's apparent intelligence took a nosedive and you seemed to be just as clueless as the others about things, which to my mind made your character superfluous.

What can you tell us about this apparent shift in tone for your character and your feelings about it then and now?

I suppose the longer anyone spends on earth, the closer we all get to becoming superfluous characters.

Hi Joe! I've always admired your ability to dress and present yourself. If I could make one positive change to my boring, boring wardrobe this weekend, what would you suggest?

A snazzy smile :o)

Hi Joe!

First off, needed to let you know that you're my dad's favorite actor... but he has a thick Korean accent, and he pronounces your name "Joseph Golden Rabbit"

Now that I made you laugh... Top 3 celebrity crushes. Go!

I really wish I could change my username to Joseph Golden Rabbit. He reddit gods, is that possible? I'm not digging the underscore...

Sorry - maybe next time! This account would be the only one highlighted in blue since it created the thread (and that helps make it easier for your fans to find your answers :)

[however, the awesome /u/cahaseler has gone and flaired your username so you get Joseph Golden Rabbit with every comment!]

ha, nice thanks!

Hi, Joseph! In regards to the sexually explicit content in your upcoming movie, Don Jon, were you ever concerned about how your family would feel seeing you in these situations and knowing you had personally written the script?

Also, I've been waiting for this AMA for a month so thank you for doing this for the fangirls ;)

My mom in particular really loves the movie. She brought up my brother and me with a lot of the ideals of the feminist movement(s) of the 60s and 70s. DON JON is largely a comedic satire of how our culture treats people (especially women) more like things than like people.

hey JGL! was wondering if you have any tips on picking up women, you know, besides being JGL

Put on your listening cap

What was the first movie you remember seeing in your life?


How much training did you have to do for Premium Rush? Did you have any close calls during any of the stunts?

Edit: I watched (and really enjoyed) the movie, but I never saw the end of the credits. I'm sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Golden Rabbit

Edit 2: Thanks Joseph Golden Rabbit, you're a badass. Sadness edited :D

I rode every day for several months. Got thirty-two stitches once, going through the rear windshield of a taxi-cab. It's at the end of the credits, wait dude, did you see the movie?

How much training did you have to do for Premium Rush? Did you have any close calls during any of the stunts?

Edit: I watched (and really enjoyed) the movie, but I never saw the end of the credits. I'm sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Golden Rabbit

Edit 2: Thanks Joseph Golden Rabbit, you're a badass. Sadness edited :D

haha, I was just joking dude, edit the sad face :o)

What's the most embarrassing song you'll cop to having on your playlist?

The Sign. ACE OF BASE.

Can you walk well in high heels?

Not well, no.

Explain to me why I should go see Don Jon in a Haiku

fap fap fap fap fap / fap fap fap fap fap fap fap / fap fap fap fap fap // No just kidding um... hm... that's a hard one. no, that didn't come out right. shit

I know you're going to get this a lot but...will you marry me???

My boyfriend also told me to ask you whether or not you would agree to taking part in any future Batman-related movies. He thinks you'd be an awesome Nightwing.

Yes. I'll marry you. It will be in the spring. In Italy. I'll wear Paul Smith. You, Chanel. We will ride off together on two white horses, and have a thousand orgasms as the sun sets over the golden horizon.

What is the most memorable class you have ever taken?

In highschool? AP US History. Mr. Bechtel.

What every woman is wondering - what do you look for in a woman? Are you single?

I do my very best to not have any rigid expectations. I think the best, juiciest, mind blowing love comes as a surprise. If you're already looking for the items on your wish list, you're doomed. This is exactly what DON JON is about. Both my character and Scarlett's character are blinded by unrealistic expectations they've learned from pornography and Hollywood movies.

Also see: 500 Days of Summer


What does the fox say?

Wait, I like this one, but I don't know the answer. What's the answer?

Hi Joe! Would you ever do a musical or act on stage in a play? Is the Guys and Dolls film just a rumor or is that really happening?

Chan and I definitely want to do a musical together. Guys and Dolls is one idea we're playing around with. Not sure if it'll happen, we'll see. But whatever it ends up being, it's gonna be frickin rad.

What was your inspiration behind Don Jon? Where did the story line of porn come from?

I've always paid a lot of attention to the way media affects how we see the world. Probably because I've worked as an actor since I was a kid. I often find it funny (and occasionally horrifying) the way we are all influenced by the images we see on screens. Especially when it comes to love and sex and relationships. So I thought the story of a boyfriend and a girlfriend, where he watches too much pornography and she watches too many romantic Hollywood movies would be a funny way at talking about these sorts of things..

Why did you choose not to return for GI Joe: Retaliation?

Edit: Changed chose to choose. Because I suck at proofreading.

I was shooting TDKR

I am absolutely looking forward to seeing Don Jon. What kind of films are you interested in making? And if down the line, would you have more collaborative involvement from hitrecord for your films?

At some point, I definitely want to make a full length feature film with our open collaborative process on hitRECord. I thought before trying that, it was important for me to direct a movie the old fashioned way. Don Jon.

Hey man, would you consider singing a Barney song and uploading it to youtube?

Hate to be a hater, but I never liked Barney. One time I sang a sesame street song called I DON'T WANT TO LIVE ON THE MOON. Hold on, lemme find it.

Your work with hitRECord is absolutely inspiring. The fact that you give up and comers an opportunity to collaborate like that is amazing. Do you have any future plans to create a mainstream project such as a movie with artists from hitRECord?

Seriously, thank you for giving so many a chance at their dreams.

THANKS! We're making a television show right now. Like it's gonna be on actual television. On a new cable network called Pivot that just started in august. Come to the site and contribute to it, we're doing it right now..

Realistically speaking, Don Jon won't be commercially released in a number of countries. How do you feel about your fans pirating the movie just to be able to watch it?

It's gonna be released most places, and then it'll come out on video. But you know, what the RIAA calls piracy is tricky. I can't be too mad at it. When something can be duplicated infinitely at virtually no cost, it's hard to apply traditional economic rules to it. I think/hope in the future, we'll all be able to watch whatever movie we want to whenever we want to.

Dear overlord JGL What is your stance on Breaking Bad?

I've only seen the first three episodes. They were awesome. Guess I'm a bit behind.

How do you feel about Ben Affleck taking the role is Batman?

I bet he'll be great.

Inquiring minds need to know: What's your favorite Pokemon?

Magic: The Gathering FTW

Well, what's your favorite magic card then?

Time Walk. never had it.

Hi Regular Joe :)

I saw Don Jon at Berlin Film Festival 2013 and I loved it. Whoever did the sound design and editing shall receive several cold beers from me, as well as yourself. Has any of the film changed since it was shown in Berlin?

Gary Rizzo did the sound mixing. He's brilliant. Does Nolan's movies. Works at Skywalker Sound. I was very fortunate to get him.

Have you ever seen an actual angel in an outfield?


Hello Joseph!

(Huge fan!) 1)Where do you think most child actors falter in the social scene (Miley, etc.) and what do you think prevented you from doing that?

2)If you weren't in the movie/showbiz industry, where else do you see yourself? AKA have you ever re-assessed your life or ever thought that this industry wasn't for you?

This industry is definitely not for me. But I love making movies. Story telling never used to be wrapped up in a bunch of glitz and glamour. And soon enough, it won't be again.

Can you still speak French?


Why did you choose Scarlett Johansson for her role in Don Jon?

Edit: OK everyone else. Enough jokes about her looks. We have a great answer from The Golden Rabbit himself.

First of all because she's hilarious. See her on SNL? And she balances comedy and sincerity with a delicacy few actors can. Besides that, I thought she'd be a powerful presence in the movie because she's an acute example of what the movie's about. Scarlett is an extremely smart person, and a very talented artist. And yet most of what gets talked about is her looks. This part of our culture is what DON JON is poking fun at.

I really liked your interview with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist. I thought you were really funny and it was really touching to hear stories about your brother.

Are there any funny or interesting stories from Burning Man you haven't shared before?

Something involving a sun rise, bloody maries, and a pirate ship built out of a school bus..

Hey joe, you have worked with some incredible directors. What important takeaways were useful for your own directorial debut? What is it like working with nolan?

I was shooting TDKR when I first finished a draft of DON JON. I told Chris I was planning on directing a movie, and he was super supportive. In his characteristically understated way. He never blows smoke with a bunch of compliments. He just started asking me a bunch of questions. What budget was I thinking? How many days would we need to shoot it? Could we do it all in one city? He's a very detail-oriented director, and having him asking me those questions implied a confidence in me that I found warmly encouraging.

Hello! MY name is Dallas! I have more of a request than a questions so i'd love to be heard out, if not still love you as an actor! :p But anyways, to make a long story short, my current girlfriend and i have been dating for slightly over a year, and the movie i had asked her out at was Premium Rush, we saw it in theaters last year on 9-9-12. We both really enjoyed the movie and kind of make it a habit of watching it every once in a while or after a fight to remind us of our first date. And then our first kiss was after seeing Looper, so you're kind of a big deal to us. Plus we both love you as an actor! But what my request is, is this. My girlfriends birthday is coming up, (September 25th) and in addition to her presents that i already have gotten her, i thought it would mean the world if she could have a picture of you just holding a piece of paper that says something along the lines of "Happy Birthday Kailey!" you can add in your own flair if you'd like! Thanks man! You're great!

EDIT: Huge socially awkward lady fan here. Dammit.

You can do it, I believe in you.

Hey Joe, you're probably not going to see this, but I'd really like to thank you for this. It was one of the best and most surreal moments of my life. I still can't believe that you were so game to, excuse me, back dat ass up on me, a mere mortal, like that. My mom/friends/boyfriend brag about it all the time. Thanks, Joe!

Ha, nice!! And people ask what we do at hitRECord shows! Y'all are missing out..

since you mentioned in an interview last year that you make your own costumes for Halloween every year, I was wondering what costume did you make this year?

Halloween 2011:

Hello Mr. Gordon-Levitt! Thanks for doing this ama.

Since freshman year in high school, people have constantly compared my looks to yours. Friends, family, and even complete strangers have gone out of their way to compare me to you. I have since embraced this, even shaving my head for the 50/50 premiere when I worked for my local theater. This has been a running joke and reference for most of my youth, and is the most memorable quality of my high school from both my perspective and of almost all who know me.

I have always wanted to meet you in person and ask this, but until that day, this will have to suffice. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, do I look like you?

You are a huge inspiration! Thank you for your time

You shaved your head for 50/50?? That's fuckin sweet!

I've seen you at my job a couple times and we lovingly refer to you as JoGoLev. Quick story though, my Dad passed from cancer about 2 weeks before 50/50 premiered and I cried like a real man during that film. You captured the brutal honesty of that struggle and I thank you for your performance. It helped.

Edit: much obliged for the golden gift

That honestly means a lot to me dude thanks. Sorry to hear about your dad.

Thanks for doing this ama. My question is: if someone has never seen anything from hitRECord, where would you suggest they start? Any particular work you'd point to as a good introduction?

Also, my girlfriend loves you.

If you want to watch, see The Man With a Turnip For a Head: If you want to contribute (come on in, the water's fine!) see our announcement video for Hitrecord on TV:

Did you really use part of your marketing budget for DON JON to advertise on popular porn video sites?

(Referencing this submission from yesterday: )

Definitely. We're also advertising on "chick flick" stuff and on the NFL. All of which are media that is featured in DON JON. It's a movie about media culture, it should be in the media!

Reddits #1 Ladyboner is definitely about to shut down Reddit!!

OMG OMG OMG, im really #1????

Hi Joe!

Thanks for doing this AMA (finally!) :P Aside from being awesome on movies, I really admire you for your work with hitRECord! [1] Any chance you'll be open to collaboration from people anywhere around the globe?

[2] What is your favorite dessert and book/comic book? :)

[3] If you would be an inanimate object for a day, what would you be?

[4] And lastly, what words can impart to people in pursuing their art/craft/passion?

Thanks so much and cheers from the other side of the world!

PS. I honestly have a big crush on you.

  1. see
  2. chocolate and Green Eggs & Ham
  3. a sharpie
  4. don't wait. just get started.

According to Google, you're 5' 10"? Is that true?

The internet got something right!

Did you like being Cobra Commander?

Yes. That's when I met Kazu, who later did the makeup for Looper. And I got to be Cobra fucking Commander!

Hey Joe! I'm in high school, starting a film club, and you're a HUGE inspiration to me! I want to get into filmmaking(directing,Acting,Producing,Writing,Ect) and I was wondering if you had any tips. Thanks!

Start with something short. See if you can tell a story in 60 seconds. Then make a 2-minute thing. Then a 5-minute thing. Then another one. And then like ten more of those. Then make a twenty minute thing. And then maybe start thinking about making a feature. Don't worry if the stuff you make isn't perfect. Just keep going. And most importantly, have fun.

What was it like to work with Zooey Deschanel? By the way, my friend and I are currently in front of both our laptops and phones, eager to see your answer. We love you!

Zooey's a dear dear friend, and I think a brilliant artist. Have you guys seen MANIC? That's where we first met.

Who's your favorite Disney Princess?

You should be Ariel for Halloween, yes?

I don't think I have the boobies for it.

don't sell yourself short, joe. you have wonderful boobies.

Thanks, PlacentaSandwich. That means a lot coming from you.

Is there a thread or video better explaining in detail how everything works on HitRECord? I know there’s the intro video, but after a year and a half, I still don’t really know much beyond uploading to my personal page.

Look at the collaborations. Find something you want to contribute to. Just uploading your own stuff won't get you very far on hitRECord. It's more about what we're all making together. Every featured collaboration has at least one video where I give direction about where the piece came from, what we're looking for, etc...

Hey Joe, big fan of yours since watching Brick

How difficult was it getting down the lingo used in Brick?

I worked more hours drilling dialogue on Brick than on any other movie I've worked on. (With the possible exception of Don Jon, if you include the writing process.) Rian Johnson (besides being a dear friend) is a word smith's word smith..

Hello, Mr Gordon-Levitt!
I'll preposition this by saying (500) Days of Summer is my favourite film of all time, I've lost count of how many times I've seen it. Before I ask a question, I wanted to tell you Yvette Nicole Brown did an AMA a few months ago and she described you as "professional and welcoming" and "a good egg". I thought you might like to know the good impression you gave off.
So, my question is if you could sit in as crew or an extra in any scene in film history, which one would you choose?

Thanks! I'd rather not be there on set. I'd prefer to have the scene stay in movie form, rather than "behind the scenes"

Favorite kind of bean? Kidney? Black? Pinto?

Always bet on black.

Hi Joe! I've been a fan since 10 Things I Hate About You. Still one of my favorite movies.

I wrote my thesis on (500) Days of Summer, and concluded that the film's appeal is that pretty much everyone has a coming-of-age tale of woe/love/loss/etc they see reflected in Summer and Tom's relationship. What's yours?

I actually think the thesis of 500 Days of Summer is sorta similar to that of Don Jon. In fact, I think the 500 Days character, Tom, is a lot like Jon. Of course, they have very different styles. But they both start out the story pretty selfish. Tom doesn't really listen to Summer. He's projecting his ideal fantasy onto her. He's treating her more like a thing than like a person. Jon does this same thing to everyone in his life. The women he seduces, his friends, his family, even himself. But by the end, he's begun to break out of his mold and grow up a bit.

Hey Joe, can I make you a sandwich?

You should meet up with /u/placentasandwich

When you head banged so hard you broke Conan's coffee table, I developed an instant [unacquainted and thusly embarrassing] crush on you. What other things have you destroyed in the name of fantastic goofiness?

nothing as expensive as that table

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?

Thunder Cats

who was ur favorite Sesame Street character when u were little??

Oscar the Grouch.

Hey Joseph! I'm so happy to hear Don Jon tackles feminist themes, because I think it hasn't been covered enough and anything that helps to combat misunderstood ideas of feminism is very helpful and welcome.

On to my question: Who do you like to play as in Street Fighter II?

Thanks! Now then. For best victory dance, Dhalsim. If I want to toy with them, Guile. If I need to win, Ryu.

Hi Joe. I'm a high school English teacher that has promoted the hitRECord website and its published books to my students. I've even had classes spend a day reading and discussing the "Shadowplay" story from RECollection: Volume 1. I would like to know if you have always had an ambitious long-term vision for the website that has led to such amazing accomplishments as the published books, live shows, and hitRECordlery, or if a lot of the website's best developments have simply been fortuitous. Lastly, I have wanted the REC Robot T-Shirt for a few years now and it's always listed as sold out on the store page. Please stop taunting me and remove it from the page. Even if you don't, please keep adding new items to the store page. Thanks. Have a good day/night.

THAT'S SO COOL! I love the idea of a teacher teaching hitRECord stories. Did you get any of the students to contribute? As far as ambitious long-term vision, my brother and I always talked about the mission being one and the same with the name. HIT RECORD is an action. Imperative. At first it was just something I'd say to myself, just trying to find motivation to make stuff. And then it grew into a whole community of people encouraging each other. I suppose it's similar to what any GOOD teacher is trying to do. Thanks..

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Joseph Gordon-Levitt conducted on Reddit on 2013-09-18. The Reddit AMA can be found here.