Joseph Gordon-Levitt Calls 1 Former Co-Star ‘A Mentor’

TV buffs may remember Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the quirky kid actor on the sitcom, 3rd Rock From the Sun, the show that made him a household name. The actor honed his comedic timing from 1996 to 2001 long before he was a top-billed movie star in features such as The Walk and 7500. It turns out that during his time on the 3rd Rock From the Sun, Gordon-Levitt learned some vital lessons from a certain seasoned co-star.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Joseph Gordon-Levitt | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

‘3rd Rock From the Sun,’ was a sci-fi comedy done right

“A group of aliens are sent to Earth, disguised as a human family, to experience and report life on the third planet from the sun,” reads the synopsis for 3rd Rock From the Sun. But what the description sells short is the hilarity that ensued week after week in each episode.

The concept in itself is objectively bizarre in the best possible way. But the creative minds behind the show and in front of the camera made the series fun, engaging, and witty.

The individual performances by the actors as aliens masquerading as Earthlings were purposely awkward and masterfully executed. What’s more, the ensemble boasted amazing chemistry that sizzled on screen. And according to Gordon-Levitt, one 3rd Rock From the Sun star set the tone for top-notch camaraderie and professionalism on set.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt calls ‘3rd Rock From the Sun’ co-star, John Lithgow, ‘a mentor’

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Gordon-Levitt recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the roles in his rearview, as well as what’s on the horizon. When pondering how he learned to navigate long-standing professional relationships, he reflected on his experience shooting 3rd Rock From the Sun.

Where my mind goes first is John Lithgow. And everyone in that [3rd Rock from the Sun] cast, actually. Everyone was so good to each other, but he really set the pace. He was such a shining example of a kind and dedicated leader. He was a mentor to all of us. He was always there to help, and he always just brought 110 percent to this TV show. An actor like that could be resting on his laurels and being like, ‘Okay, I’ve proved myself. I’ve done Shakespeare. I’ve done Oscar movies. Now, I’m just going to do this sitcom. It’ll be easy, and I’ll take it easy.’ And he treated it the opposite of that. He worked so hard, was so supportive of everybody else and just had so much fun.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt to The Hollywood Reporter

Fans can catch Gordon-Levitt in three new movies in 2020

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Gordon-Levitt has three feature films premiering in 2020. The thriller, 7500, dropped on Amazon Prime Video on June 18. Next up for the actor is Project Power, opposite Jamie Foxx, which will be released by Netflix on August 14. And in a change of pace, Gordon-Levitt stars with Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the historical drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7, which is slated for a Nov 2020 premiere.

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