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NYTimes: ‘From Alien Boy to Growing Star’

NYTimes: 'From Alien Boy to Growing Star'

In Sunday’s New York Times, Franz Lidz profiles acclaimed actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the eve of the national release of his new film, The Lookout (which opened SXSW 2007 two weeks ago). I’m a fan of just about every member of The Lookout team, and there is something really refreshing and startling about Gordon-Levitt’s career path. He’s an actor who went from NBC’s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun to smallish roles in teen pics like 10 Things I Hate About You to suddenly takig huge risks in pitch-black fare like Brick and Mysterious Skin. And there’s no stopping him now, with upcoming roles in Kimberly Peirce’s Stop Loss and John Madden’s Killshot. As a result, he’s quickly emerged as an actor to watch. From Lidz’s article:

Mr. Gordon-Levitt escaped during “3rd Rock’s” final season. He asked out of his contract, he said, and the show’s producers obliged. “Acting was still fun, but a spark was missing,” he said. “I wanted a new challenge.” He found it at Columbia, the only place he applied to. “I realized it doesn’t matter what classes you’re taking. It only matters who the teachers are.”

Those who mattered most to him taught French poetry, French history and French literature. “They made me see I wasn’t just alive to have fun,” he said. “I started to care about the world, and I wanted to somehow connect with it.”

His French connection stems not from chewing over snails but drooling at the New Wave film actresses of the late ’50s and early ’60s: Anna Karina in “A Woman Is a Woman,” Brigitte Bardot in “And God Created Woman” and Corinne Marchand in “Cleo From 5 to 7.” “For me,” Mr. Gordon-Levitt said, “few things are more erotic than a woman speaking in a French accent.”

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