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Hollywood celebrity and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL) has quickly risen to the top of acting’s A-list. As a child/teen he was most notoriously recognizable for his roles on Roseanne, 3rd Rock From The Sun and even as the little boy who waved his arms in belief in the 90’s classic ‘Angels In The Outfield.’ In recent years JGL has established himself as a capable and captivating actor who has played prominent roles in popular films such as: Inception, 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Lincoln and my all-time favorite movie 500 Days of Summer.

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In 2013, JGL also made his major directorial debut with the racy, yet thought provoking film ‘Don Jon’ which comically – yet effectively -brings to our attention the programming effects that pornography can have on the male psyche. In a recent interview with comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneras, JGL shed some light on this exact message as well as on the male and female roles that pop culture and the mainstream media push upon us. Here is the interview:

“It’s worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us, and to realize that we don’t have to fit into those roles, we can be anybody we want to be.” – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

It’s this exact quote that really stood out, especially coming from someone that is fully entrenched within the industry and could potentially receive a lot of flack internally for speaking out against it. As a fan of JGL, both as a person and an actor, I was very happy to see him share his story about the impact that his mother has had on his life and how he looks at women. Most of us are aware of the programming that pop culture regularly thrusts upon us, but how many of us actually prevent it from impacting us?

This is a major challenge that I personally have been working to overcome as of late, as I no longer want to hold myself or others to the roles or standards that the mainstream media has co-painted with my mind. Be sure to share this interview with your networks, it certainly is a lot more refreshing than most talk show interviews, which have a tendency to either further promote these roles or mindlessly talk about an upcoming project.

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