Joseph Gordon Levitt: ‘Pr0n’s fine. I’m aware it can be hateful toward women’

Joseph Gordon Levitt

Joseph Gordon Levitt covers the October issue of Men’s Health. I should be very excited about this occasion, right? Instead I am wondering why my precious JGL has been photoshopped into a cartoon figure. He looks very unlike his usual adorable self here. Almost like a make-up free Joker. This seems rather ironic since a lot of people thought JGL was set up to be the next Batman (but Ben Affleck got the role instead). Oh well. The shots inside the magazine are much better.

JGL is doing the rounds to promote his upcoming directorial debut, Don Jon. He wrote the movie — a romantic comedy about a girl who loves romantic comedies and a guy who loves pr0n — and is starring in it alongside Scarlett Johansson. Don Jon was a surprise hit at Sundance. JGL was so excited that his movie found a distributor right out the gate. Not too shabby for a former child star who started a production company in his own bedroom, right? The movie’s trailer looks so surprisingly sweet too. In these excerpts, JGL talks about how he got Scarlett to play his gum-smacking, Joisey-girl love interest. Oh and he talks about pr0n too:

Joseph Gordon Levitt

ScarJo is the whole package: “Look, Scarlett is a gorgeous, gorgeous woman, but if you just compare purely physical features, plenty of girls are just as gorgeous. But she creates this extra something. It’s in her walk, her eye contact. The total package is just off the charts.”

On casting Scarlett: “I didn’t know Scarlett, but I spent more than a year with the image of her in my head playing this character. She couldn’t not do this.”

Does JGL love pr0n? “Pr0n’s fine. I’m aware that it can be hateful toward women. It can be addictive. It can get ugly. But it’s only damaging if you allow it to be.”

[From Men's Health]

I think it’s sweet that Joe wrote this project with Scarlett in mind. He’s right to say that she couldn’t say no because she obviously didn’t. JGL also seems to have a healthy, comical attitude towards pr0n. His main character seems to be poking fun at guys who expect women to behave like the women in pr0n movies. To me, that’s the most annoying part of pr0n. You know, the unrealistic expectation that women are supposed to start moaning as soon as the pizza delivery guy drops his pants.

Just for fun, here’s the Don Jon trailer again. I usually don’t watch romantic comedies in theaters but will make an exception for this film.

Joseph Gordon Levitt

Photos courtesy of Men’s Health

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89 Responses to “Joseph Gordon Levitt: ‘Pr0n’s fine. I’m aware it can be hateful toward women’”

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  1. Erinn says:

    Love love love him. I hate that cover though. He doesn’t NEED that level of photoshopping!

  2. Marty says:

    I love JGL, but the film looks kind of dumb to me.

  3. Mo says:

    It seems so good, but I just cannot with her.

    • Max says:

      Scarlet is the only reason I would come within ten feet of that mess.

    • Nessa says:

      I actually think she looks to be good in this movie… And I’m usually not a fan.

    • Nessa says:

      I actually think she looks to be good in this movie… And I’m usually not a fan.

    • MaiGirl says:

      I’m with you, Mo. Her acting is hit-or-miss, and I’m not awed by her beauty in any way. There are so many more interesting actresses out there that I would rather see in roles she keeps getting.

  4. The Original Original says:

    Is there a reason its pr0n instead of porn? Just wondering.

    • j.eyre says:

      Thank you for asking – I have wondered this for some time but just assumed I had missed the joke/reference because I usually miss the joke/reference.

      • Anon33 says:

        If I’m not mistaken I think some comment filtering processes select the correctly spelled version as a “bad” word and won’t post the comment. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, anyone…

    • blue marie says:

      if you spell it that way then it flies under the radar at work (at least for me) if it were spelled correctly then the article/whatever would be flagged and I might be talking to someone in HR..

      • Evelyn says:

        I’ve written the normal spelling in a comment, and when it posted it was switched, I think it’s to make it SFW for everyone?

  5. It'sJustBlanche says:

    Looks cute. I might see it despite ScarJos pretentious past of Seab Penn snorgling.

  6. aloe says:

    Pr0n is hateful and propagates violance. It’s produced by men for men. Women are all passive or fullfil the cliche domina role.
    This is the guy who also said he thought beautiful women couldn’t be funny.

    • SG says:

      Exactly. I understand that he’s cute, but I don’t get all the love for him. He seems like one of those “good guys” who act like they’re all enlightened, but are unknowingly more chauvinistic than the average person.

      • Tessa says:

        He was so bizarre to me when he presented that award to JT at the VMA’s. Shouting in a British accent… what?

        I think he’s an odd duck.

      • Jen says:

        I feel the exact opposite way: the more I watch/read his interviews, the more I feel like he’s a genuinely thoughtful guy, and actually a feminist. I approve.

      • Yelly says:

        @tessa, I was thinking the same. I sat through that VMA debacle just to see him and he comes out sounding like the guy on Legends of the Hidden Temple. Oh well I’d still hit it all night long.

    • ClaireB says:

      He said he thought most beautiful girls weren’t funny. Ok, ok, fine line. But still, different.

      And i think it was sarcasm, having seen a few interviews of him.

      • Sardinia says:

        He said whaaatt?!!

        Effing sexist d^ck.

      • Mel says:

        Sexist d*ck with weird sloping shoulders and a girraffe neck. We can play the Looks Game too, JGL.

      • Jen says:

        Yes, he was being tongue-in-cheek and directing his ire at the chauvinism in our society, but some people in our attention-deficit world would rather jump the gun and call him names than take a moment to think about what he said, think about the context, and read between the lines. The art of critical thinking is just lost on some people.

    • carol says:

      can you elaborate? some of my girlfriends like p0rn and I just can’t get into it but I can’t articulate WHY. It just isn’t aimed at women. Maybe my friends are watching non-mainstream p0rn? Do you have a problem with the idea of p0rn inherently, or the way it’s currently done? Can it be done in a sex-positive way? Do you think that p0rn stars enjoy their work?

    • Jen says:

      What he said was taken out of context, he was being blunt and honest about his own real-life observations as an actor in an industry where successful actresses are “groomed” or “selected” to be extremely beautiful but not funny, or funny but not beautiful, rarely both. It’s not that different in our society in general, either. Many women and girls are “raised” to be beautiful first, then smart and strong, and funny last. Just look at our media, magazines, etc. We’re most expected to be beautiful, not funny.

      JGL simply made the observation that it’s not often that you find gorgeous actresses that are also funny, and it’s 100% true. He never said women CAN’T be that way, and I think it’s clear that he thinks it’s awesome and refreshing that Emily Blunt breaks the stereotype of the “unfunny beautiful woman.” If you’ve read enough of his interviews you’d see that he’s often critical of our society’s chauvinism and feels it’s detrimental to the way young women are raised.

      Finally, in JGL we have a thoughtful honest guy who tells it like it is. People who want to jump on his case should take a moment to figure out what they’re really mad about: him or the truth that he just called out? If you’re a real feminist, go after the root social causes of this phenomenon instead of trying to shoot the messenger.

  7. Cari says:

    I never saw the appeal of Scarlett until this movie! Wow, she is a gorgeous girl!!!

  8. Lulu86 says:

    he reminds me of Keanu Reeves

  9. Annie says:

    I don’t get how pr0n doesn’t affect guys more in the sense that they are never going to be that big or last that long, or make girls do all the things they do in movies. That’d make me insecure, disappointed. It’s like James Deen said, most normal guys can’t have sex that way or have that equipment yet they still expect their sex lives to be that way and that’s not the point of pr0n. It’s just entertainment, don’t try this at home. That guy is very rational when it comes to that stuff.

    Also, I think that after a certain age, if a guy is still too into porn I find that a little offputting and weird. I do think it affects the way men act and treat women. Bad habits/ideas.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I was just talking to a guy friend of mine who told me he finally quit pr0n after reading an article by a male journalist who did the same.

      Apparently, the point was that pr0n creates such a huge emphasis on the visual, that men forget to focus on the actual tactile, sensual feeling of having sex. Supposedly this can be pretty damaging in an insidious way. Of course, this says nothing about how damaging pr0n can be to the female psyche and damaging to women on a larger, societal scale, but I just thought that it was interesting to think of how it can unhealthy for men as well.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I tried to watch porn….maybe because it was the free stuff, but I got bored within ten minutes and turned it off.

        But yeah, porn after early twenties (my personal cut off point would be, if I’m dating you and I catch you watching porn, we’re gonna have issues) is kind of pathetic. Unless it’s homemade with the current partner. Then I can see how it can be kinda kinky.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I college, my roommate worked at a female-specific sex shop (amazing place) and as a result, we had a lot of “woman-specific” pr0n in our house like Shane’s World etc. It was pretty fun/funny to watch and at times, I did find it sexy but that sh*t gets old fast-very repetitive and yawn.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I watched it a few times. Then someone told me it wasn’t supposed to be funny. Oops.

    • mayamae says:

      I watched a special that stated that the majority of 13 year old girls have viewed porn online, and have very distorted ideas of what sex is. This inspired a sort of anti-porn website where real couples post candid sex videos. I don’t remember the website of course, but I think it was either free or very cheap.

  10. Elodie says:

    Here’s another odd looking dude imo. Also he can be irritating at times with his Joe company whatever its name is but I get that he worked hard for it and props for the collabs he created on the internet…

    Still, don’t find him attractive, he looks like… like he has two dots on his face!

  11. Mindy says:

    I am not a p0rn viewer myself but tried afew clips with my ex. That was years ago and those horrible images still play over in mind. Initially it was like those images were burned on to the back of my eye lids. I couldnt shut my eyes without seeing that poor girl whoever she was. I gather there is a psycology term for that effect. Just the thought there are people in the office replaying in their heads that stuff they viewed yesterday while we are in a meeting or something is gross and scary.

  12. siobhan says:

    I am a straight female but I love lesbian porn.

    • fingerbinger says:

      I’ve watched dwarf p0rn

    • Sara says:

      Most lesbian pr0n is made for men though. You have these dead eyed girls with 4 inch fake nails sticking them in places where they can do real damage. And the fake moaning, as if a fellow woman cant tell when a moaner is acting.

      There are afew production houses that taylor for a lesbian audience but most so-called lez porn is really just offensive to me as a lesbian.

      • siobhan says:

        There is a huge variety of lesbian porn. There is a huge variety of straight porn as well. But if it offensive to you than you should probably just stay away from porn in general. Porn is clearly not meant for the easily offended.

      • Mindy says:

        @Siobhan Sara is making a very valid point about how pornography is created for the male gaze. And how exploitative the girl-on-girl fetish is as a result. I dont get your point.

    • Judysee says:

      True, don’t watch p0rn if you ‘re easily offended. Or, find the kind you like. I love amateur pr0n, lots of couples post their bedroom antics. I think I watch it more than my husband. He likes MILF pr0n, which makes me happy.

      • greenraygirl says:

        I’ve always believed prOn appeals to people who are rather sexually inhibited.

      • siobhan says:

        My point is millions of women watch porn. It’s not strictly made for men. There is a massive variety of porn available. Porn created for women is abundant.

      • Sara says:

        And I clearly state that there are “afew production houses” that make genuine lesbian porn as opposed to straight women reanacting straight male fantasies. I dont get your point either.

        @Mindy
        Thanks!

    • Kim1 says:

      Well I am a straight female who only watches Gay male porn, double the dongs

      • Mindy says:

        Gay male porn is made for male audiences though so it doesnt have the exploitation baggage that lesbian porn has.

      • Ace says:

        True. The sheer variety of gay male porn availble compared to the one note lesbian stuff is telling. The girls must be young and super femme. God forbid a butch woman appear. Its made for very pathetic males, is why. Gay male porn covers the whole gamault of butch and femme.

      • siobhan says:

        There is lesbian porn with older women. There is also tons of lesbian porn with women who are not at all feminine.

  13. Tig says:

    Wish he would just do “Guys and Dolls” with Channing Tatum and stop with this. Sorry, the trailer on TV looks and sounds like Jersey Shore 2.0. Finally saw Looper- he looked nothing like he does here. Thought he was good in it.

  14. T.fanty says:

    I adore JGL, but I always think he should have been born into an era where he could be a plucky wannabe reporter named Skip.

    • Pastyousayyouneverknew says:

      LOL! Yes! You put into words what I’ve been thinking ever since I saw him in 500 days of summer :)

  15. T.fanty says:

    I adore JGL, but I always think he should have been born into an era where he could be a plucky wannabe reporter named Skip. He carries a notebook and a whole lotta heart.

  16. Bodhi says:

    Love him, love her, & am excited to see this!

  17. Gretchen says:

    “It can be addictive. It can get ugly. But it’s only damaging if you allow it to be.” He’s not really getting the bigger picture here… by “only damaging if you allow it to be”, I think he’s just referring to not allowing fantasy pr0n time to crossover into everyday life, expectations and relationships…

    which is a pretty male centred way to look at potential damage. What about making sure that the pr0n you are watching is from a reputable distributer that ensures the women are not trafficked, not coerced, above the legal age of consent, not on drugs or alcohol, and provided with regular checkups and STD testing? How’s that for not letting it be damaging, douche?

    Whenever these conversations come up I always think of the documentary ‘Hardcore’ which just demonstrated how thin the line is between consent and rape (particularly) in pr0n, how often those lines get crossed, and how manipulative the directors and agents can be towards their female performers. This sort of blase attitude just stinks of ignorance of the industry and pisses me off.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Well said. First of all, “it’s only damaging if you allow it to be” is a stupid statement. Only damaging to you, maybe, though I think even that is debatable. And I agree with everything else you said about women being victimized in this slimy industry. If I sound judgmental about it, I am. When you watch these movies, you’re very likely watching a woman having sex because she’s drugged, desperate or being pressured or forced, under aged runaway, or whatever. Not mention the way women are portrayed as objects and/or victims. It’s not harmless.

    • Runs with Scissors says:

      Exactly, thank you

    • monty says:

      agree completely. i dont think people realize how many of the women are actually being coerced into it…there are some porn stars who have come out and talked about it. also he says pr0n is fine and in the next sentence says its hateful towards women..which i guess is fine?

    • Miss Bennett says:

      Perfectly said! When he uses the word “allow” he’s still thinking from a place of power which is how a lot of men think. Women in p0rn don’t often have the power. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. P0rn is by and large destructive for women but no one wants to hear that in this era of female empowerment. Perhaps because many women feel that it would make them seem weak or not one of the boys if they speak out against it. We need to stop thinking that what is female is inherently weak or faulty in some way. It’s time to place the blame for the exploitation and abuse of women where it belongs, with those people who use their power to do evil things to them.

    • M says:

      Late to this discussion, but agree with the above comments so much.

      Pornography, the practice of its production, is systemically degrading, violent and exploitative of women. JGL was really downplaying the negative aspects of it/being ignorant/using porn to play for laughs in his movie, which is um… ignorant and artistically immature and privileged.

      This link came across my social media dash this morning and really hit it home for me how the porn industry really works: https://www.shelleylubben.com/porn-quotes

      I hope this lady will contact JGL and educate him on the truly negative aspects of porn.

  18. Mimilicious says:

    I really don’t care one way or the other for either of them but I LOL’d at his reaction to getting caught singing “good vibrations” iin the trailer! It looks like a funny movie that I’ll see when it lands in redbox

  19. Shannon says:

    He is FINNNNNNNNNNE!!! That’s all.

  20. Amanda Huggenkiss says:

    My daughter was invited to back him at a Troubadour gig in West Hollywood on Saturday night. She found him to be a genuinely nice, down to earth, energetic and talented guy.

  21. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    A hit? I’ve read that it was savaged by critics and after having seen the trailer last week, I can see why. ‘Eh, Youse Guys Featuring the Rhinoplastied Moll’? No thanks.

  22. Janet says:

    First off he apologized for those comments he made, like what over a year ago. He is so cute and adorable, I like his dimples. The movie looks good, the whole entire point is too see how people look at each other as objects.

    • Jen says:

      He apologized because it came out wrong, and being the mellow guy and class-act that he is, didn’t try to clarify himself.

      But he made a valid observation that some people got mad at him for, when we all should be directing our anger at the social forces that drive us to prioritize beauty over character in women, esp. women in our pop culture consciousness.

  23. RobN says:

    This could have been based anywhere, why throw in the fake Jersey accents and make it sound like a bad cartoon?

  24. Miss Grey says:

    He drinks Jarritos? I drink Jarritos too! it’s like we’re soul mates.

  25. MsAubra says:

    I still get the friskies looking at porn. But Alot of it is eeew. I was 13 when I first watched

  26. TherapyCranes says:

    I am a straight female and I watch porn. All types of porn. I watch it about once a month. I don’t see the big deal. My psyche isn’t damaged.

  27. Halicon says:

    men’s health have some of the worst photoshop covers ever. Whoever approved it deserved to be fired.

  28. dahlianoir says:

    Tony Danza. I’m so watching this movie.

  29. Yelly says:

    Oh the things I would do with this man are unspeakable. Is it illegal to masturbate in movie theaters? Because I see myself doing this during this movie…

  30. Lauraq says:

    Since everyone else is sharing…

    I will watch porn (gay, lesbian, and straight) when I’m single. I don’t (well, I try not to) when I’m in a relationship because I think when you’re partnered up you should only see the other person naked (not judging others who disagree, your mileage may vary, etc. Just my personal values for myself). I don’t tell my boyfriend he can’t though, just let him know my feelings about it and that it might hurt my feelings, but that I won’t make that choice for him.

    Strip clubs, on the other hand, I have no problem saying no to.