KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rodrigo Santoro may have starred in some of Hollywood’s most bankable films but in recent years, the actors have added a permanent role to their resumes ― being a dad.
In fact, Gordon-Levitt, loved by many for playing Tommy in 3rd Rock from the Sun and the geeky teen in 10 Things I Hate About You, took a two-year hiatus from acting to spend time with his two sons, aged five and three.
“Before I was a dad, I would go from movie to movie to movie because I was lucky to get to do it.
“Now I don’t want to do that,” the American actor said during a Zoom interview yesterday.
He was joined by Santoro to promote the upcoming Netflix sci-fi action film Project Power, also starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, newcomer Dominique Fishback and Colson Baker.
Still baby-faced at 39, Gordon-Levitt confessed he’s less inclined to take on a bunch of projects, preferring to choose wisely instead these days.
“Doesn’t mean I’ll be right every time but maybe that’s the difference,” he said.
Santoro, who has a three-year-old daughter named Nina, echoed his co-star’s views.
“Having a kid really changes everything,” the 44-year-old Westworld actor said.
He admitted he has become “more picky but in a good way” when it comes to channeling his time and energy, especially if he’s going to be away from his child.
“So I have to choose wisely but also, it changes you by giving you perspectives on things, it changed me as a person, as an actor so I’m sure when I look at a role or a project now, I have a different understanding,” Santoro said.
“You mature when you become a parent, it’s hard to explain, I don’t want to be that dad who talks about how beautiful it is to have kids, even though it is ― it’s just a huge transformation.”
Project Power is Gordon-Levitt’s second film since returning to acting ― his first job back was 7500, the recently-released Amazon Prime film about a hijacked plane.
He wanted his next movie to be a fun one given 7500’s seriousness.
With both his new films being digital releases, Gordon-Levitt loves the fact that his latest works are more accessible to audiences as going to the cinema is costly these days.
“I love the cinema, I love sitting in a dark room with a crowd full of people and sharing a film together but cinemas can be expensive for a family to pay for all the tickets and buy popcorn and parking and everything else.
“I like the idea that the things I work on get to get out there and be accessible to as many people as possible, not just people that have money.
“Granted not everyone has Netflix but a lot of people do and that’s exciting to me,” the humble actor said.
Santoro fans will be able to catch him as the baddie Biggie in Project Power who markets a controversial pill which gives its taker superhuman abilities for five minutes.
He described his character as a confident visionary on the outside but with plenty of insecurities underneath and how far human beings are willing to go just for power.
“It is a movie that talks about superpowers but superpowers in regular people.
“[Biggie]y goes through a very interesting transformation and I’ve never done that before so I wanted to try it,” he said.
Despite his Latin American good looks, Santoro who has starred in a wide range of films such as Love Actually, The 33 and 300 managed to dodge typecasting in Hollywood thanks to his curiosity about seeing the world through the eyes of his characters.
“I’ve always had an appetite for non-average Joes because what excites me is when I get to research and try things and get to know the world’s different behaviours that I would never be able to know because they’re so far away from my world and my experience so I’m attracted to them,” he added.
Project Power will be released globally on Friday, August 14 on Netflix.