The last time we were “Crushing On” someone, it was Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) from the Harry Potter films. The “Crushing On” series focuses on one relatively unknown or underappreciated actor/actress that may not be popular with mainstream audiences (yet) but that we feel should get some exposure for their work. Today we continue our new semi-regular series “Crushing On” with a name that most people have heard but few people know anything about: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

It’s really a shame that mainstream audiences haven’t had a chance to fully appreciate JGL’s work. He has quite an extensive background in acting and is only 28 years old, but has been acting since he was 7 with his first TV debut, Stranger on My Land. For the next four years he played various roles in a gambit of TV shows: Family Ties, Murder She Wrote, China Beach, Quantum Leap and L.A. Law. Not too shabby of a line up if you ask me.

His first role in a major motion picture came in 1992 when he played the younger version of Craig Sheffer’s Norman Maclean in A River Runs Through It. Nothing too fancy of a part but it he did well in it being only ten years old at the time of filming. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t see another role in a major theatrical release until 1996 in The Juror and followed it up a few years later with a great performance in 10 Things I Hate About You.

The character Gordon-Levitt is probably best known for is the TV role of Tommy Solomon on the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun.  In the five years the show was on the air, you could see him getting better at his craft, even if he was acting opposite of French Stewart. From then on, he soon began choosing more lower budget, indie style films like Brick, The Lookout and Stop-Loss which were all better films because he was involved.

I liked him very much in the latest two films I saw him in: Killshot and Miracle at St. Anna, but the movies themselves were less than okay IMO. I would say that out of all of his performances he has done so far, his role in Brick would be my hands down favorite. If you have never had the pleasure of watching Brick, I would highly recommend you do so. You won’t be disappointed in either Gordon-Levitt or the film.

I don’t know if JGL purposely stays outside the view of mainstream film audiences but he has starring roles in two new summer movies this year that are sure to get his name noticed. First into theaters last month was (500) Days of Summer. We posted the trailer for it a couple of weeks ago and it looks like a great end-of-summer date film. In it, Gordon-Levitt plays Tom Hansen, a nothing-special type of guy who works a nothing-special job but falls in love with a something-special girl.

Second (and this is the BIG role) is his casting as Cobra Commander in the upcoming tent pole blockbuster, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. When the news was first announced that he had been cast in the role of an evil tyrant bent on world domination, the news was accepted by the blog-world with a collective THUD! Not because Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a bad actor, but quite the contrary. He’s such a strong actor that it didn’t make sense to include him in with the likes of Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans. And before people label me as a Marlon hater, I’m just saying that JGL’s name hasn’t been associated with big tent pole summer films much less playing the “bad guy” in movies at all.

The more I read about JGL in the role of the evil Cobra Commander, the more I’m comfortable with it. I think he has taken the role seriously enough to give it some great depth and character. As far as the look goes, I haven’t seen the film but I bet you my best friend’s house that he gets a more “familiar” look in the upcoming sequels.

Good solid performances, great range and the ability to make audiences believe his characters are the reasons why we at Screen Rant are “Crushing On” Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

What do you think of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his acting ability? Do you think he has what it takes to carry the blue hood if G.I. Joe movies forward with sequels?

(500) Days of Summer is currently in limited release nationwide. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opens everywhere August 7th, 2009.