Exclusive! Joseph Gordon-Levitt Talks Being Naked On Screen

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Celebrity Sex: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Talks Being Naked On Screen
"I don't find screen nudity awkward."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a private young actor ... who is happy to get personal these days. Why the change of heart? It's not that he wears his heart on his sleeve during interviews.

Credit Don Jon, a new film about a guy from New Jersey who can't figure out relationships. Gordon-Levitt wrote and directed the indie hit, which is the story of a young guy named Don who lives alone and is trying to figure out that four little word: love. Enter Scarlett Johansson — just proclaimed "The Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire — as the supposed perfect love interest. She loves everything about Don, but wants to change everything about him. "When I sat down to write this film, I wanted to tell a story of how people treat each other more like things than people," says Gordon-Levitt. He also dished on his sexier scenes and being in the buff on screen in this exclusive with YourTango!

YourTango: Why do people treat each other more like things?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: It happens to everyone. Let's say you're talking with someone new. The potential is there. Then you see it in the other persons eyes. They're not really listening to you.  They're putting you in a box — rich, poor, good prospect, bad one. It's all about what box do you fit in for the other person. You're a thing.

YT: Don watches too much porn. What is your take on internet "love" wrecking real love?
J GL: This is much more than a story about a young guy who watches too much porn.
To me, the truth is porn isn't all that much different from the stuff everyone sees in the mainstream media. Women are reduced to sex objects in porn or in Carl's Jr. ads during the Superbowl. They're really the same. And it's messing up our idea of what is the ideal male or female.

YT: What is the end result?
J GL: We're exposed to so much titillating imagery that paints such an unrealistic picture of sex and love.

YT: What is your advice here?
J GL: The most important thing, married or single, is that you can't compare your life to overly simplified fantasy figures on TV, in movies or in magazines. Every human being is unique. Every relationship is unique. If you're in it, it's your job to find out what's unique about it. I don't think you should be in a relationship and downgrade it because it doesn't look the same as some Hollywood image.

YT: In the film, you meet Barbara played by Scarlett Johansson. She looks at your Don as a fix-er-upper. Is it ever wise to try to change someone in a relationship to fit your perfect ideal?
J GL: It was important to me that Scarlett doesn't become the villain in the film. It's pretty common in comedies to reduce the female characters to either perfect angels or horrendous bitches. No one is one thing.

YT: Is she the perfect girlfriend?
J GL: The Barbara character is the seemingly perfect girlfriend, but there are conditions. She will love you if you want to change for her. Is it worth it to lose yourself to be with that perfect person? Does that make her perfect or just controlling?

YT: What was it like to work with the gorgeous ScarJo?
J GL: I always pictured her playing the part. We talked a lot about how the media paints men and women, love and sex. She was keen to do this movie because Scarlett is a good example of someone who is a really smart person and a talented artist, but a lot of people just talk about her looks.

YT: You also cast Julianne Moore as a potential love interest.
J GL: Julianne is one of the greatest actresses around. I was just so honored that she would do my movie.  She plays someone so different from Don. He's someone who can't connect. She is someone who can't avoid connecting. She's that open.

YT: You do a lot of sexy scenes in the movie. We always hear actresses say that's tough. What's it like for the guy?
J GL: I reminded myself that the thing about sexy scenes is when you put them all together in editing then they look sexy. When you're shooting them, it's like any other scene. I don't find screen nudity awkward. The important thing is that you're telling a story. This is just a different way to see this human being that you're creating on the big screen.

YT: Do you want to direct again?
J GL: I would love to direct again. It's a career goal of mine. I love that you take a project from start to finish. It really is about molding a film, which is exciting.

YT: Why did you want to become an actor?
J GL: I always just loved acting. I don't know if anyone can really explain why they love what they love — whether it's a person they fall in love with or falling in love with a calling. It's just something that happens. If you're lucky.

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