'Hesher' Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt Raves About Producer Natalie Portman

'I've always wanted to work with her,' actor says of his co-star and her debut as movie producer.

For those who have followed the acting career of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it has become more and more apparent that he has a knack for choosing unique and diverse projects that, whether intentional or not, have helped him showcase a wide range of acting abilities. Over the last few years, Gordon-Levitt has portrayed a hopeless romantic ("500 Days of Summer"), a supervillain ("G.I. Joe"), a debonair dream master ("Inception") and now a detached drifter in "Hesher."

When MTV News caught up with the character chameleon recently, we asked him what he liked about portraying a seemingly heartless, detached and destructive individual and what new things the role allowed him to explore.

"What new things did Hesher allow me to explore? Well this is a guy who's really detached from any material possessions," Gordon-Levitt explained of the titular character. "Or the future of where he's going or the past of where he comes from, or any stuff like that. He just lives in the here and now," he said. "I think that was pretty illuminating for me to spend time in that kind of headspace."

The film, which premiered at Sundance in 2010, is told through the perspective of a 12-year-old boy named TJ, whose life is suddenly interrupted, in a way, by Hesher. He is a tattooed, stringy-haired nihilist who moves in, unbidden, with TJ and his father (Rainn Wilson), a broken family deep in depression over the sudden death of the mother.

In addition to enjoying the freedom and devil-may-care attitude that came with playing the role, Gordon-Levitt also welcomed the opportunity to work with actress Natalie Portman, who also served as a producer on the film.

"Natalie and I met for the first time on 'Hesher,' " Gordon-Levitt revealed. "I've always admired her work. People like her, beautiful young actresses, I think get pigeonholed so much. And she just shatters that box over and over again because she's a real artist and does such great work. So I've always wanted to work with her," he said.

"Also, she produced Hesher, and it's the first thing her production company has ever produced," Gordon-Levitt explained of Portman's Handsomecharlie Films. "What a cool movie to produce if you're Natalie Portman, not some huge moneymaker, but like, 'No this is a great story, I believe in it, I'm gonna see to it that it gets made.' I admire her for that."

Check out everything we've got on "Hesher."

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