Inside The ‘Jersey Shore’ Connection To Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ‘Don Jon’

At Sundance, the actor admits to watching the MTV show and explains why directing sex scenes is "not a sexy enterprise at all."

PARK CITY, Utah — The “Jersey Shore” may have pumped its last fist and mixed its last batch of pregame Ron Ron juice, but the MTV reality show unexpectedly made an appearance in this snowy mountain town during the Sundance Film Festival.

Sort of. See, in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, “Don Jon’s Addiction,” the 31-year-old actor plays a character who seems to have studied at Situation’s School for Abdominal Management. From the gelled-up ‘do to his love of untz-untz-untz club life, JGL appears to be a cinematic incarnation of the love-him-or-hate-him “Shore” personality. According to the writer/director, though, it was only after the connection was pointed out to him that he sat down in front of the boob tube to take in some Seaside Heights crazy.

“I had never seen ‘Jersey Shore’ when I wrote it,” Gordon-Levitt told MTV News. “And when I became aware of the similarities, I did watch it. Sorry, I could only get through one of them.”

No apologies necessary. Whether a purposeful homage or not, “Don Jon” appears to be following in the hit-making high heels of “Jersey Shore.” The Sundance flick has reportedly sold to Relativity Media for an estimated $4 million, plus approximately $25 million in prints and advertising — a massive deal by recent festival standards.

One way that Gordon-Levitt’s character in the comedy differs from the Situation (um, at least as far as we know) is that JGL’s character — nicknamed Don Jon because of his girl-getting talents — is hopelessly addicted to porn. No matter how many babes he nabs (and objectifies), nothing compares to the online smut on which he feasts. All that changes, however, when he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson). For Gordon-Levitt, that meant having to play both director and directed at the same time. It wasn’t glamorous stuff.

“The sex scenes that are in this movie are very, very specific, and each moment tells a very particular thing in the story,” he explained. “So it’s not like we’re going at it, like we’re hanging out all day making out and they’re filming it. We have to accomplish a very specific thing. Most of the time, I’m talking to the camera guys, I’m talking to the lighting guys, I’m talking to all these different people. And then we get together, roll cameras, kiss for five seconds, and then cut.”

“Not to burst anyone’s bubble,” added, “it’s not a sexy enterprise at all.”

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is officially under way, and the MTV Movies team is on the ground reporting on the hottest stars and the movies everyone will be talking about in the year to come. Keep it locked with MTV Movies for everything there is to know about Sundance.