You’re about to fall just a little bit more in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
For a special “The Night Before” episode of Lip Sync Battle, Anthony Mackie and Gordon-Levitt went head-to-head as a decked out Seth Rogen watched on from his Elf on a Shelf perch.
Mackie brought his A-game for MC Hammer’s classic “2 Legit 2 Quit” but it was Gordon-Levitt’s complete transformation into Janet Jackson for his “Rhythm Nation” rendition that won our hearts over.
How long do you think it took him to get those dance moves down?
But wait, there’s more! Looks like the hour long Christmas episode had another special moment with Gordon-Levitt’s lip sync to Usher’s “Yeah”:
Heights don’t scare Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which came in handy when the actor was tasked with recreating Frenchman Philippe Petit’s audacious 1974 high-wire walk between the roofs of New York’s Twin Towers in the movie “The Walk.”
The former “3rd Rock from the Sun” child star, now 34, talked with Reuters about training for the movie and the unexpected similarities between walking a wire and acting.
“The Walk” opens across U.S. theaters on Friday. Below are excerpts.
Q: You already spoke some French and had done gymnastics as a kid. In the film, you not only walk a high wire, you also juggle and ride a unicycle. What was the training like?
A: Philippe (Petit) insisted that he be the one to teach me to walk on the wire first. Not every one who is good at doing something is always good at teaching it but he turned out to be an excellent teacher. He convinced me that I was able to do it and once I believed that I could, then I did. The training was several months. I love a challenge. I love trying to do something that is hard, it makes it fulfilling to me.
I found there is quite a bit of overlap between the mental game of walking on the wire and acting. When you are walking on a wire you can’t be thinking ‘Whoa, it’s really quite high, I might fall.’ You have to just fix your eyes on where the wire ends and clear your mind of everything else.
“There is a similarity with acting. When you are shooting a scene and the cameras are rolling, you can’t be thinking of what people will think of the movie. You have to clear your mind of all that stuff and just be present.
Q: The movie also seems like a love letter to New York’s Twin Towers.
A: When any of us see images of the World Trade Center towers, our minds go immediately to the tragedy. I was in New York City on 9/11 and I remember it really well. But with any tragic loss, it’s also good to remember the positive things, the beautiful memories that you have. It’s like grieving over a lost loved one. You don’t want to focus only on the death, you want to celebrate their life and that is what we wanted to do with this movie and the Twin Towers.—Reuters
It’s been a busy week for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and, with three major Hollywood films coming out between now and early next year, it’s going to be an even busier year.
Gordon-Levitt stars in “The Walk,” a 3-D biopic of famed high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s daring 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers that opened the New York Film Festival Saturday to thunderous applause.
The 34-year-old indie darling — who hit big as a teen in the TV sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun” — also stars in a the Seth Rogen bro pic, “The Night Before,” out during the December holidays; and as Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” expected to be released in 2016.
For “The Walk,” Gordon-Levitt reveals that he indeed learned how to walk a tight-rope from Petit, whose walk between the towers, destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, captured world attention.
“Philippe actually insisted that he be the one to teach me to walk on the wire,” Levitt said a recent press event. “By the end I was able to, by myself, with the pole balance on the wire.”
One of the now 66-year-old Petit’s other famous and controversial walks came in 1987 when he crossed between the Arab quarters and the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem over the Ben Hinnom Valley.
At Saturday’s New York Film Festival premiere (“The Walk” opens wide this Wednesday), Gordon-Levitt drew parallels between Petit and Snowden, the former National Security Agency worker who spilled American spying secrets to the world.
“Both took enormous risks, showed incredible courage, broke the law, and did something they very deeply believed in,” Gordon-Levitt told The Associated Press. “Philippe is the quintessential artist who believes in beauty and whimsy. Edward Snowden is the quintessential engineer who believes in logic and facts,” the actor said.
“The Walk” was co-written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, who, like the film’s star is Jewish.
Gordon-Levitt, who grew in Sherman Oaks, Calif., is the grandson of Hollywood director Michael Gordon and the son of a politically-active mom and dad: Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt, founders of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.
He married Tasha McCauley in a secret wedding ceremony last December and the two became parents to a baby boy last month.
Gordon-Levitt has won praise for his serious dramatic roles and his impressive body of independent film work.
But he’s also amazingly funny as shown in both the NSFW trailer to “The Night Before” and his appearance on The Tonight Show Friday when he joined Fallon’s barbershop quartet in singing a neutered version of Rihanna’s racy, “Bitch Better Have My Money.”
And yes, the hottie and self-identified feminist can sing.
John A. Oswald can be found on Twitter @nyc_oz.
Mazel tov Joseph Gordon-Levitt!
The Jewish actor and his wife, Tasha McCauley, welcomed their first child, a baby boy, last weekend.
Gordon-Levitt hasn’t said much about his personal life to the press, and kept his relationship under wraps until after his secret wedding on December 20 2014. The pair had met in 2013 though mutual friends.
The happy parents haven’t yet revealed the name of their baby boy, but we’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new movie, “The Walk,” about Philippe Petit’s attempt to cross the World Trade Center on a tight rope, will hit theaters October 9.
Three Jews walk into a Christmas movie…
This actually isn’t a joke. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen have announced that they are working on an “Untitled Xmas Comedy,” directed by Jonathan Levine.
Very very happy to announce that I’m gonna be working again with @jonathanalevine and @Sethrogen. This one’s gonna be a good one.. ampmdash; Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) February 11, 2014
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the most Jewish of Christmas films will tell the heartwarming tale of three childhood best friends who reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve.
The third lead role has yet to be cast, but fingers crossed for another member of the tribe!
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