Why Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt Step Away From Hollywood?

Why Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt Step Away From Hollywood?
Why Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt Step Away From Hollywood?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been acting since he was six, and he has been an absolute eye magnet in every role he has chosen since then. He has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest directors like Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg and given us gem after gem – 500 Days of Summer, Inception, Lincoln, Looper, and Snowden, to name a few. For those who don’t know, Gordon-Levitt isn’t just a phenomenal actor but has also proven to be a creative genius behind the camera with his directorial debut, Don Jon, which holds an impressive 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now one may wonder — Gordon-Levitt, with his talents and vibrant portfolio, hasn’t really appeared in new movies lately. That is because, in 2017, he took a two-year break from Hollywood, which helped him slow down and focus on other aspects of his life for a while. And it’s not the first time the Inception actor has taken a break from his acting career — there was a hiatus in his career back in 2001 as well. Why? We’re going to find that out today and the reasons behind his current absence from Hollywood.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Took a Break to Focus on His Family
Why Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt Step Away From Hollywood?

In 2017, right after Snowden, Gordon-Levitt took a well-deserved two-year break from acting because his second child had just been born. Reflecting on this hiatus in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained that the break wasn’t because he wanted to stop acting. He said, “It was because I wanted to spend time with my kids. So, now I’m finding that balance. And whereas I used to go shoot three movies a year, now I’ve shot one a year.”

He continued, “It was a great two-year break, and that was the longest break I’d ever taken from acting in my entire life since I was six years old. It meant a lot to me, and I’m extremely grateful that I get to do it. I hope I get to keep going forever.” Clearly, Gordon-Levitt prioritizes his family over his career (as he should). He also remains concerned about protecting his children from the harmful effects of Hollywood fame, which is why he has consciously steered clear from sharing their pictures on social media.

But now, it looks like he’s back and better than ever. In Trial of the Chicago 7, he was subtle and hilarious. His portrayal of Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick in the 2022 drama Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber was brilliant as well. And while he rightly prioritizes his family and children and is very selective about the projects he takes on, it doesn’t look like Gordon-Levitt is going away from Hollywood anytime soon. The actor is set to star in a number of upcoming projects including Killer Heat, Nobody Nothing Nowhere, and King of Late Night.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Previously Took a Break to Focus On University

Why Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt Step Away From Hollywood?

By 2001, Gordon-Levitt had starred in projects like A River Runs Through ItQuantum Leap, and That ’70s Show. But he realized he needed some time away from acting to see if the limelight was what he really wanted. And so, he took a break from Hollywood and enrolled at Columbia University. However, he soon realized his heart really was in the movies, and he dropped out in 2004 to focus on acting again. When he returned, he considered it a fresh start for himself. In a press junket for Lookout, he mentioned that when he came back to acting, he made a conscious decision to only “be in good movies.” His first film after returning was Mysterious Skin, which was critically acclaimed.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Not Fond of Celebrity Culture Either

Joseph Gordon Levitt in Premium Rush

Gordon-Levitt has also always expressed his disdain for celebrity culture and the excessive attention given to the opinions and images of Hollywood stars. In an interview with GQ, he stated, “I really don’t like this notion that some people are more important than other people. These stories about these elevated people called ‘celebrities’ teach you that what you have to say doesn’t matter. It’s degrading.In various other interviews, he has also admitted he feels very uneasy when random people approach him just because they’ve seen him on TV. He’s even gone as far as to say that he sometimes wishes that the movies he worked on were burned after filming so that they’re never seen, and so people wouldn’t recognize him. And obviously, he’s not wrong. The way we’ve normalized this expectation from Hollywood actors to share every little detail of their lives while looking up to them as some sort of a demi-god can arguably be toxic, problematic, and invasive for the celebrity. Gordon-Levitt knows otherwise, takes breaks when he needs, and only contributes to projects he finds meaningful!

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