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It's Joseph Gordon Levitt Day

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 2, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 2, 2011 |

Word came yesterday that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, cinematic demi-God, master of the three-piece suit, and all around good guy, would be taking a role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. No word yet on what that role might entail, but who fucking cares: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to be in another Christopher Nolan film. That folks is a magical combination.

And to celebrate the casting of JGL in The Dark Knight Rises, I am officially proclaiming today Joseph Gordon-Levitt Day on Pajiba, where we will celebrate all that is JGL. Like, for instance, I began nursing my man crush for JGL years ago, after “3rd Rock” but before Brick, when he turned the cameras on the paparazzi. This, folks, is when I realized that JGL wasn’t just another pretty face damned fine suit.

My guess is that the above video also served as a genesis for HitRecordJoe, the very cool website that JGL developed not just give people a place to show off their creativity but to compensate them. Check it out.

But it was most certainly Brick that separated JGL from his child-actor identity. I remember reading Dan’s review of the movie and rushing out to the theater to see it. For the first half hour, I thought Dan had gone insane. The gumshoe dialogue was hard to understand, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the Dashiell Hammett in high school shtick. But then it congealed, and Brick became one of our favorite movies of 2006. If you haven’t seen it, give it a try. It’s a slow burn, but it’s more than worth it, and it would also introduce the brilliant Rian Johnson, who would follow Brick up with the wonderful Brothers Bloom.

It was 2009, however, that really catapulted Joseph Gordon-Levitt to minor mainstream success, after his turn in (500) Days of Summer, the movie that every indie romantic comedy has been compared to since. Finally, many began to call his by his name instead of that kid from “3rd Rock.” This, my favorite scene from the movie, never fails to lift a person’s spirits.

That success also allowed JGL a turn at guest-hosting “SNL,” which allowed him to give probably the best opening monologue of the last few years.

And not only can the man dance in ways that threaten Hugh Jackman, but he can sing, too. Kind of.

What’s also remarkable about JGL is that, if you look at the guy’s filmography over the last five years, he’s made a few movies that weren’t what you’d consider great, but with one exception (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), JGL hasn’t taken a single paycheck role. And thanks to Inception, where JGL single-handedly repopularized the three-piece suit, he may be able to take great roles and get paid for it. This was also one of the best action scenes of the last few years, a zero-gravity fight that only Christopher Nolan could pull off. Plus:


Besides his role in The Dark Knight Rises, the future looks fascinating for JGL. He’s starring in what looks like a nifty little action film, Premium Rush, as a bike messenger pursued by a dirty cop. The guy is clearly even doing a few of his own stunts.


Later this year, he’ll also be co-starring with Seth Rogen in Live with It, a cancer comedy from director Jonathon Levine, who directed the spectacular Wackness and the still unreleased All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. And finally, for 2012, he’s currently filming Looper, which reteams JGL will his Brick director, Rian Johnson, in a time-travel noir with Bruce Willis.

And to think, it all started here with this charming commercial for Pop Tarts.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.