Joseph Gordon-Levitt Talks Apple TV+'s 'Mr. Corman,' Fatherhood, & HITRECORD [The Fourth Wall Podcast]

Few performers manage to maintain a high profile in the public eye and are as coveted by filmmakers as Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Having started as a child actor in hit films like “A River Runs Through It” and “Angels in the Outfield,” Gordon-Levitt came into adulthood while starring in the iconic sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun” and the fan-favorite rom-com “10 Things I Hate About You.” It was in the 2000s where his star rose into the stratosphere, turning in widely acclaimed work in films such as “Mysterious Skin,” “Inception,” and his frequent collaborations with Rian Johnson, including the lead roles in “Brick” and “Looper.” This is all without mentioning his Golden Globe-nominated performances in “(500) Days of Summer” and “50/50,” or his directorial debut firestorm, “Don Jon,” which Gordon-Levitt also wrote and starred in, or the fact that Gordon-Levitt is as talented a musician and singer as he is a performer and filmmaker.

READ MORE: 11 TV Shows To Watch In August: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers,’ ‘Reservation Dogs,’ ‘What If?’ & More

With a huge resume of beloved films under his belt, Gordon-Levitt has been somewhat absent from our screens recently, with his biggest acting credits in the past few years being “Snowden,” “Project Power,” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The actor also began to shift more of his efforts towards ramping up operations on HITRECORD, a collaborative media platform owned by Gordon-Levitt that fosters collaboration between its users as well as Gordon-Levitt himself. For example, one user might create a short animation, which can then be “remixed” by another user who adds original music, a third user who does voiceover narration, and so on, until the original submission has turned into a collaborative, complete project. HITRECORD now boasts a user base of over 80,000 people and pulls in about 1,000 pieces of original, user-created media every day. However, HITRECORD isn’t the sole reason for Gordon-Levitt’s absence from the silver screen, and it just so happens to serve as the genesis for his latest venture, “Mr. Corman:” parenthood.

‘Mr. Corman’ Trailer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Channels Millennial Anxiety in Upcoming Apple TV+ Series

Writing, starring in, and even directing eight episodes of the 10-part miniseries which streams on Apple TV+ this summer, Gordon-Levitt, now 40, reflects on his life and the new perspective that comes with fatherhood through the lens of an alternate reality (read our review here). He plays Josh Corman, a middle school teacher in San Fernando who struggles with a crisis of conscience when considering what might have been if he had pursued a musical career instead of becoming a teacher. “It’s very much a collaboration, this is not [my] one-man show in the slightest,” said Gordon-Levitt, when asked how HITRECORD informed the creative process behind the “Mr. Corman.” “The actors brought so much, everybody was contributing so much, and that principle of collaboration is [also] essential to HITRECORD. Our community has taught me to value bringing in more input from other people, and not just doing it yourself.”

READ MORE: ‘Pinocchio’: Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & More Join Tom Hanks In Disney’s Live-Action Remake

The central narrative of a man pondering the life not lived, a life which would have been defined largely by artistic endeavor, is in some ways at odds with Gordon-Levitt’s real life, which has been defined by considerable creative success and acclaim. This is not lost on him. “I was writing down a whole lot of things I was grateful for in life,” said Gordon-Levitt. “I got pretty lucky. A lot of [my career] was beyond my control. So that led me to think, what if some of those things had been a bit different? And I arrived at this character, Josh Corman: it sounds sort of like ‘Joseph-Gordon.’”

READ MORE: ‘7500’: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Shines In A Tense, Claustrophobic Thriller That Proves Less Is More [Review]

You can hear all about “Mr. Corman,” including why it was essential to bring additional writers on board, how the arrival of COVID-19 affected the show’s scripts while it was already in production, and how becoming a real-life father directly influenced the inception of the show, in our chat with Joseph Gordon-Levitt down below!

The first two episodes of “Mr. Corman” are available now on Apple TV+, and the remaining episodes will debut on the platform weekly, beginning this Friday, August 13th.

As always, The Fourth Wall is part of The Playlist Podcast Network—which includes The Playlist PodcastThe DiscourseBe Reel, and more –and can be heard on iTunesAnchorFM, SoundcloudStitcher, and now on Spotify. To listen on this page, you can stream the podcast via the AnchorFM embed below or up top. Follow us on iTunes, and you’ll get this podcast as well as our other shows regularly. Be sure to subscribe and drop us a comment or a rating, as we do appreciate it.