Given how much Joseph Gordon-Levitt has enjoyed stretching himself in various creative ways both cinematically and musically, it was only a matter of time before his career wheel spun towards directing. Now he’s making that move, setting up an untitled comedy that he’s written and will also star in alongside Scarlett Johansson.
Talking to Deadline, the Inception star didn’t want to divulge many plot details, but he did reveal that he’s playing a “selfish dick” modern-day Don Juan-type who decides to try to better himself. “I wrote myself a helluva role, one that people wouldn’t necessarily have thought of me for,” the actor says, admitting that he’s been preparing to watch himself on screen through his short film work. “It takes practice to get used to seeing yourself and not being freaked out and self conscious by the sound of your own voice.”
He’s locked in funding from Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures, and plans to co-produce via his hitRecord Films company. “I was a child actor for years and quit at 19, went to school awhile, and a big part of why I came back was that I ultimately wanted to make movies,” Gordon-Levitt explains. “I spent a year working with Chris Nolan, Rian Johnson, Steven Spielberg, and I did my best to pay attention. I’ve also been making short films for a long time now, I’ve directed a ton of them, and that is a huge part of why I feel comfortable and confident in this.”
We’ll see the fruits of those directors’ labours this year, as Gordon-Levitt will be seen in Premium Rush, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper and Lincoln. But his filmmaking ambitions might keep him from sticking to his small part in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. “It will be tricky schedule-wise, but I was honest with Quentin upfront,” Gordon-Levitt says. “He was so cool and encouraging. He said, ‘You strike me as the kind of guy who would want to direct,’ and I took that as high praise.”