Why Joseph Gordon-Levitt refuses to talk about gay rumors

Sep 15, 2013 at 11:43 p.m. ET

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's experience with fame gave him a weird understanding of his character in his new film, Don Jon.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in the public eye since he was a young child, so he has grown up being followed by cameras. He'd finally had enough while out on a walk in New York, so he decided to have some fun with it.

Gordon-Levitt recorded a short movie years ago that he called Pictures of A**holes. It's a sort of unplanned documentary about the paparazzi. In the film, as the actor walks through New York City with a friend, two photographers follow him around. They call Gordon-Levitt names and throw insults at him, and he finally gets them to comment on why they are following him.

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"We saw a young star with another guy, and it's implied that there's something going on," one of the men says. "The whole gay thing — it intrigues people."

The video ends without a fight. Gordon-Levitt doesn't want this video — unlike other celebrity/paparazzi videos — to end with violence.

The actor spoke with Out magazine about why he never refutes the men's gay comments in the film.

"That would be really tacky — they would win if I had to clarify," he explained.

Gordon-Levitt has never liked talking about his personal life. His experience as a young star has given him a perspective that other stars don't have. In the beginning, he hated the fact that fans thought they knew him.

"I've been working as an actor since I was a little kid, and I've always been fascinated, and a little horrified, by the way people relate to images they see on screen," he told Out. "Sometimes I feel I am seen as a thing more than a person, and I don't think that's unique to actors. I think everyone is subject to that kind of pigeonholing."

Gordon-Levitt currently stars in Don Jon with Scarlett Johansson. It's a film about a porn addict who falls in love, and Gordon-Levitt said his experiences as a child actor drew him to the role.

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"I wasn't interested in making a movie about pornography," the actor said. "I was interested in making a movie about how people treat each other like things, and all kinds of media can contribute to that."

Don Jon is in theaters Sept. 27.

Photo credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com