Joseph Gordon-Levitt mines the humor in porn for "Don Jon"

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:55pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - After a remarkable run with leading roles in films such as "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Inception," actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt stepped behind the camera to direct "Don Jon's Addiction," a raunchy comedy that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

"Don Jon's Addiction," which Gordon-Levitt also wrote and stars in, leads a slate of films about sex on this year's Sundance roster.

The film follows the story of Jon, a handsome young man who is unable to maintain a relationship, due to his addiction to pornography.

When Jon meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a beautiful but high-maintenance woman obsessed with Hollywood romantic comedies, and Esther (Julianne Moore), an emotionally fragile widow, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

Gordon-Levitt, 31, a former child star who has risen through the ranks of television and independent film to become one of Hollywood's most bankable actors, said he thought it would be "hilarious" to pair a porn addict with a woman addicted to romance films.

"I wanted to tell a love story, and in my observations, what gets in the way of love most the time is how people objectify each other," the actor told Reuters on Saturday.

While the story uses pornography as a device, Gordon-Levitt emphasized it was not meant as a commentary on porn addiction.

"I wasn't really focused on porn or porn addiction. It was really, to me, more of a metaphor," he said. "It is astonishing how prevalent it is in our culture today."   Continued...

Cast members Joseph Gordon-Levitt (L), Julianne Moore (C) and Tony Danza of the film "Don Jon's Addiction" pose during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni