In “Hesher,” opening Friday (May 13), 30-year-old Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays way against type as a cantankerous and somewhat mysterious metal head who attaches himself to a family (headed by “The Office’s” Rainn Wilson) coping with tragedy. Oddly enough, hilarity, vulgarity — and some truly touching moments — ensue.
Zap2it recently spoke with Gordon-Levitt about “Hesher,” his casting in the next “Batman” movie and his views on celebrity.
‘You confessed to being a metal fan in real life. Metallica is a big part of the ‘Hesher’ sountrack. What are your favorite Metallica albums?
JGL: The stuff I grew up listening to is “Master of Puppets,” “Ride the Lightning”, “Kill ’em All.”
The movie has kind of a timeless feel to it — was that deliberate?
JGL: I definitely knew that I didn’t want “Hesher” to be the stereotypical ’80s metal guy. I didn’t want to put my finger on any cultural moment. I was trying to do a character that was more timeless and archetypical.
Would you ever consider a return to TV?
JGL: I wouldn’t be averse to anything — TV — there’s all sorts of great stuff on TV. Most of the movies I make, people see them on TV. I have no prejudice against it as a medium.
When you were younger, you went record as being uncomfortable with celebrity. Has that changed for you? What’s your relationship like with your fans?
JGL: Fans are people who like movies. I love movies. I’m a fan. But people who admire celebrities are not movie fans. And I think it’s kind of gross. It’s like class-ism or royalty or something. I don’t like this notion that certain people are a class above so I don’t want to be categorized that way.
So you didn’t watch the royal wedding?
JGL: I did not. Not my bag.
So is your character in the upcoming “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” more of a Tom (from “500 Days of Summer”) or more of a Hesher?
Hmm. Interesting. I’ll just say this: I am so excited to be working with Christopher Nolan again. For a lot of the same reasons I was excited to work on “Hesher” — it’s coming from his heart. Even though he does it on such a big scale, he manages to maintain that purity of storytelling. That’s a big part of why so many people love his movies, so I can’t wait to work with him.