So far, Paramount has issued posters for every actor in this summer's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra — except for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His appearance in the movie, as Cobra Commander, is still something of a secret. So, when we spoke with the actor for a feature in this week's magazine, we asked him to explain a little — and he did! His characteristically intense answer is after the jump.
"Yeah. My face is in it. There's this crazy kind of getup that I wear. It's got makeup and it's got all this other stuff, and it's a mask, basically. You can hardly tell it's me. And that, to me, is the best. That's why I love Daniel Day-Lewis or Gary Oldman. Actors like that, where they're so different as each character, the actor disappears. Doing G.I. Joe made it real easy to disappear because of all the elaborate stuff on my face. And it demands a totally different kind of acting style. You sort of check your realism at the door.
I was thinking of Slava's Snowshow the whole time [Gordon-Levitt is a producer for the avant-garde Russian clown show]. In Snowshow, they put on makeup; it's old-fashioned makeup, totally different, of course, than what we did in G.I. Joe, but they put stuff on their face to create a character. Now, the guy who put stuff on my face, Kazuhiro Tsuji is his name, the protégé of Rick Baker — he's an artist, man! He's such an admirable artist, and to watch him do this work and have it be all on my face, it's just so fun. And then I get to play with that and create a performance out of that, instead of my own face. It's so much fun for someone like me who gets off on different acting styles, playing with the craft. That's what G.I. Joe is about for me."
Related: The Fierce Sensitivity of Joseph Gordon-Levitt [NYM]