Joseph Gordon-Levitt entering his prime

Joseph Gordon-Levitt or “JGL” as many refer to him as, has taken Hollywood by storm lately.

If that comes as a surprise to you, think again and continue reading. At just 31 years of age, Gordon-Levitt has been acting for the majority of his life. It all started at the ripe age of four, when JGL played the Scarecrow in a production of The Wizard of Oz. It wasn’t long until an agent with an eye for talent swooped him up and put JGL in various commercials.

Just two short years later, he was starring in made for TV movies. What were you up to at the age of six? I was critiquing cartoon shows… (that’s just a fancier way of saying I watched cartoons.)

Levitt’s maternal grandfather, Michael Gordon, was a Hollywood director, and it seems like Levitt’s ambition for film may eventually lead to his grandfathers genes.

By 1994 JGL was starring in a major motion picture from Disney called Angels in the Outfield. It was a touching role in which Levitt played an orphan who sees real angels on the baseball field. Levitt was just a 13 year old full faced child, who splashed onto the scene in a memorable way. It was clear at that point that he was naturally comfortable on the big screen.

As he continued to make movie after movie, his career flourished on the small screen when he played a character named “Tommy Solomon” on the two-time Golden Globe winner 3rd Rock from the Sun. He starred in 139 episodes, and then took his next big leap into the film world.

In 1999 he starred in the popular rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You in which he played a very relatable role for so many “nerds” in a teenage society that revolved around looks and popularity. The film resonated tremendously with a generation going through similar scenarios in high school.

With challenging roles in Manic, Brick, The Lookout and a fantastic acting job in (500) Days of Summer, Levitt was clearly ready to enter the blockbuster fray of mainstream movies. He had dabbled in his art-house style films long enough, and showed no serious doubts that his acting abilities wouldn’t translate positively to a larger scale audience. JGL hasn’t “sold out” his creative ways by any means, but at 31 he is surging against his competition.

2010 rolls around and a small movie you might have heard of called Inception bursts onto the scene. Christopher Nolan delivers a massive hit as always, and Gordon-Levitt thrives as “Arthur” a dapper dressed gentleman, who for like so many leaders (in this case DiCaprio) is the man who keeps things calm, cool, and collected. JGL’s performance was widely acclaimed, and the movie netted over $800 million worldwide, making JGL’s prescience known internationally.

JGL followed that performance by showing his versatility in a comedy which featured him as a 27 year old cancer patient. 50/50 turned out to be one of the more substantial comedies made in recent memory. The film received two Golden Globe nominations, as JGL and Seth Rogen teamed up to make a battle that’s faced by millions, a story about life, and its struggle to beat the disease.

It’s safe to assume Christopher Nolan enjoyed working with JGL so much that he cast him as “Blake” (born Robin John Blake) in the highly anticipated Dark Knight Rises. Nolan wisely invested his clues with the “Robin” name drop, realizing that Gordon-Levitt is someone he can work with for years to come. In no way was JGL’s performance a void filler for the late Heath Ledger, but he was a welcomed addition to a well placed cast, and well constructed trilogy. The movie went on to gross over a billion dollars worldwide.

Sensing a trend here?

Gordon-Levitt’s most recent film, Premium Rush looked action packed, but I will be honest…. when I saw  the trailer, I thought to myself: “in this day and age, a bicycle storming through NYC just may not cut it for me.” I was pleasantly surprised, and really wrong in underestimating this actors ability to suck you into a film. It was entertaining, energetic, and filled with Levitt dodging and weaving through NYC traffic. The film hasn’t resonated with audiences, but has earned the praise from reputable critics.

So what now for this young, yet highly experienced actor? September 28th, Looper releases. Now this one is an odd looking sci-fi action film, but critics can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s currently sitting at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes! The film is based in 2072, but a target is sent back 30 years into the past as what they call a “Looper.” JGL is playing the younger Bruce Willis, which should be an interesting tandem. Looper is a highly anticipated film for JGL, and further proves his stamp on the film industry today.

Along with film, JGL is passionate about letting the “Regular Joe” have his/her chance at fame. On his website he gives everybody a chance to “hitRECord.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a genuine actor that cares about the product he delivers, and that my movie friends is a commendable attribute for an actor to have.

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