Page last updated at 08:17 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 09:17 UK

Talking Shop: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

(500) Days of Summer
(500) Days of Summer is released in cinemas on 2 September

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is best known for starring in US comedy Third Rock from the Sun and 1999 teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

Shaking off his past as a child actor, in recent years he has earned accolades for his roles as a gay hustler in 2004's Mysterious Skin and teenage loner Brendan in detective drama Brick.

His latest film, (500) Days of Summer, is an off-beat romantic comedy about a woman - played by Zooey Deschanel - who doesn't believe true love exists.

This is not a typical love story is it?

I think it's true that most of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood that's supposed to be a love story makes you roll your eyes, because you know your going to be sold a false bill of goods.

You know it's going to be two people riding off into the sunset, but that's not reality and not how love really feels or really is.

I think this is more romantic than that stuff because that's the car salesman version of romance, it's not the real lovers' version.

You strongly identify with your character as it's based on personal experience to a certain extent isn't it?

Well I have been broken-hearted before. We didn't want to sell that short - a lot of comedies when it comes to the time for the character to be emotional, it's made fun of and goofy.

I actually have recently been doing more drama stuff than comedy and I wanted it to be honest. The laughs don't come from the gags or someone showing their hairy balls - people laugh at this movie because people say, 'I've been there before, I know what that's like'.

(500) Days of Summer
Zooey Deschanel stars in the film opposite Levitt

This movie has a lot of cynicism about it, is that going to fly in America?

I'm pleased to report and represent my country and culture and say that I think, especially us young 'uns, are changing a bit, and a little less ready to buy into the excessive dribble that you can fairly characterise the last decade of our culture with.

You're best known for Third Rock from the Sun. Is making the jump back into films tricky?

That's the thing about acting, if you do one role then people will think that's you and the challenge is to always do something different.

My favourite actors are chameleons - people like Gary Oldman or Daniel Day-Lewis. You don't see the actor when you watch them, you see the character.

You're in GI Joe as well.

That was really fun to do - I have a full prosthetic on my entire head and do an entirely other kind of acting as an arch villain.

That was really fun and totally different from this and that type of diversity is what really turns me on.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was speaking on BBC Breakfast. (500) Days of Summer is released in cinemas on 2 September.

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