Interview: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Talks ‘Don Jon’ and Comparing Real Life To Pornographic Fantasies

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson in 'Don Jon' (Relativity Media)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson in ‘Don Jon’ (Relativity Media)

I am terrible at starting conversations with strangers, especially strangers I’ve seen masturbate, but, fortunately, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is very good at interviews.

Don Jon showcases his skills as a triple threat: he wrote, directed, and stars as the titular character, a man who is not as grown up as he thinks he is. The movie is funnier and less sordid than might be expected when the lead character is someone who is obsessed with masturbating to pornography. He’s not the only one with a personal obsession, though, as he discovers when he begins dating Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a strong-willed woman with her own ideas about happiness, and then later becomes friends with Esther (Julianne Moore), a sensible woman dealing with multiple issues.

One night in late August, Gordon-Levitt introduced the film to a packed auditorium in Dallas, and the following day sat down in a large, otherwise empty hotel meeting room for an interview with Twitch. He has a ready, disarming smile, and waits patiently through my extended introductory comments, in which I awkwardly attempted to establish common ground. (We both attended the same Los Angeles-area high school, though obviously many years apart.) Once I asked something vaguely about the movie, however, he picked right up on that thread to correct a mistaken impression I had (that Jon’s family is Italian).

To read the rest of the interview, please visit Twitch.

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