Joe Gordon-Levitt on His 'Face' Eventually Being in G.I. Joe

June 25, 2009
Source: NY Mag

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Over the last few weeks I haven't had too many good things to say about the upcoming G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. But that changes today, as I am actually excited to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the movie as Cobra Commander himself. While we've seen a few trailers and some TV spots, Gordon-Levitt has been noticeably absent from all of the footage so far, and there's an obvious reason for that. As hardcore G.I. Joe fans know, Cobra Commander wears an ominous hood because his face is disfigured. Fans have been waiting and wondering if we'll ever even get to see this "face" at all, but Gordon-Levitt promises we will.

Here's an excerpt from an interview Gordon-Levitt did with NY Mag talking about Cobra Commander:

"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."

As I said, I'm just excited to at least see what Gordon-Levitt looks like as Cobra Commander, maybe as the saving grace of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Okay, he probably won't look that great (considering they did put bio-suits in this movie), but I expect his performance to at least kick some ass. I hate to say it, but right now it's probably the only part of G.I. Joe that I'm looking forward to. And even if it turns out pretty bad in the end, at least we'll know that Gordon-Levitt put in his best performance and did the absolutely best he could. Now if only he would open up about Christopher Nolan's Inception as well, that would be fantastic.

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions



I think he'll be good! he has skills!

Ray on Jun 25, 2009


He'll be the only part of the movie worth watching. Dude has some major chops! ... anything to save us from the stale twins: Channing and Quaid.

Antioch on Jun 25, 2009


Agreeing with #2. C.G.I. Joe looks cheesy, but this kid has got some talent.

KenDoll on Jun 25, 2009


looks just like Heath in that photo 🙁

teyhtr on Jun 25, 2009


He's the only reason I'll even go see G.I. Joe.

xerxex on Jun 25, 2009


One of the only reasons im looking forward to this movie

Curtis on Jun 25, 2009


Yea same here. I wont be caught dead seeing it in theaters, but i might check it once it comes out jsut to see what he does with cobra

Dan W on Jun 25, 2009


#4 - so many people are saying HE looks like heath, but I think it's the other way around. Joe might be younger but was acting before Heath ever was. I mean, - heaths big break was 10 things I hate about you, right? (Which also had Joe in it, anyway.) But, I mean, before 10 things, joe had already acted in 26 other productions! So. Yes they look alike. But he doesn't look like Heath. Heath looks like Joe. 😉 and ontopic: yeah. I'll probably scope out this movie when it hits DVD, just for Joe's performance. And thanks for this insight, I was wondering why Levitt picked this role.

crumb on Jun 25, 2009


only reason to see this movie? really? o, u mean besides the 2 hot girls in leather. ya.

lego on Jun 25, 2009


He'll probably be the most convincing out of everyone in this. I can see(as well as everyone else) GI Joe bombing, JGL doing particularly well and have a second one made(that will actually do justice - no pun intended) and have it more centralized around cobra commander. Take a look at the 500 days of summer trailer, where he says, "I don't want to get over it, I want her back" - You can tell what kind of voice training he's gonna bring to the table with Cobra Commander. If you've seen him in Brick, you can tell he can embrace that personal darkness. I'm intrigued to see what he can do, plus I'm glad he's not all over the GI Joe advertising radar. They should keep him under wraps.

Nick Sears on Jun 25, 2009


It's the same as the animated movie, Cobra Commander is the only interesting aspect of the entire franchise. Everything else was created with a cookie cutter.

Mark on Jun 25, 2009


#8, I completely agree with you.

Shawnee on Jun 25, 2009


Who'd really cared to see Cobra Commander's face? Where do you come up with this stuff? Hollywood just ruining more childhood fantasies.

w00t!!! on Jun 25, 2009


I think that in order to enjoy even a moment of this movie, we are all going to have to take a step back, forget everything we know to be G.I. Joe, and give them a chance to re-introduce the characters to us. It's going to be a more fantasy-based story than a true G.I. Joe fan would want, but that's to be expected. I for one, would love to see the Marvel comics version of Snake-Eyes origins, but that would never happen in a PG-13 movie. I can get past the sillyness of the accelerator suits, and even the casting of Marlon Wayans. What doesn't make much sense to me is the choices of characters. I can see using Duke, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, Destro, Baroness, Storm Shadow, and Cobra Commander. Those are characters you can't do a G.I. Joe movie without. Heavy Duty? Really? Wasn't he Roadblock's cousin? Why not just use Roadblock, who is more well-known? Why make Ripcord an African American, when he wasn't even that good of a character anyway? If you're doing an origin story for G.I. Joe, then I would think that Marlon Wayans would have fit the part of Stalker better than Ripcord. It just seems like needless changes. With an endless supply of cool characters, it's almost certain that there will be more G.I. Joe movies to follow. It will make a boatload of money opening weekend whether it sucks or not. I will say this though; Levitt raises the bar as far as the acting is concerned. I really look for him to be huge soon. He has the ability, and just needs the break-out role. Recently I caught him in "The Lookout", and "Killshot". Two very different characters, with extremely different acting styles. Neither movie was spectacular, but his performances make them worth a look.

TCox on Jun 25, 2009


Wait wait, hes in a Nolan movie now? My god the similarities between him and ledger, career and lookwise are kinda scary.

Cody on Jun 25, 2009


I agree, he's pretty much the only reason I have any interest in this movie. Now Inception is something I can't wait to hear more about!

Lacey on Jun 26, 2009


Why is he such a shitty movie?

captain subtext on Jun 26, 2009


#8, Shut up.

Frame on Jun 26, 2009


After seeing Transformers 2 I can't willingly go see shit on film. I haven't seen or read anything that would leave me to believe that this could actually be good. Pass.

Johnny Neat on Jun 26, 2009


I think this is a really, really nice, diplomatic way of saying: "As an actor I had so much makeup caked on me that I had no idea how to get my character across. Don't blame it on me. Blame it on the makeup."

Django on Jun 26, 2009


If i ever see this movie, it will be because of this guy, really.

geep44 on Jun 26, 2009


yay im even more excited 2 c this i always thought it was gunna good movie i just it is i would be very dissapointed if it sucks but i would like 2 no wat the plot is about

quez on Jun 26, 2009


Whether is sucks or not, it will still gross 200 Million + over the summer...this just makes me want to see it now.

GI Jokes on Jun 29, 2009


Levitt is a good actor, I hope that he does Cobra Commander justice. I am not going to compare this role to the Joker but, he can really make or break this movie. If the rest of movie sucks atleast we can say Cobra Commander was good! I've seen the Lookout and he definitely can hold it down. If Transformers was a let down I don't see this being any different, with that being said I will go see it anyway.

JussHaten on Jul 7, 2009

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