Joseph Gordon-Levitt's videos of the paparazzi who shoot him

in 2006, Joseph Gordon-Levitt whipped out his video camera and confronted some paparazzi who were firing flashbulbs in his face. They were dicks about it. It's pretty fun to watch.

Pictures of Assholes (via MeFi)


    1. Why is your first assumption that he’s looking for sympathy? Hmm…

      He seems amused, not angry. He’s just having  a bit of fun. And it’s not as if the paps are nice people — he wasn’t the one acting like a passive-aggressive jerk.

      I’ve heard Joseph Gordon-Levitts is a pretty nice guy. His brother was something special … google it; it’s pretty sad and may add some humanity to this rich fella.

      1.  Did I assume that?  I don’t think I did.  But clearly the subtext to these things is, ‘Look at the cool cat actor make a doofus out of those scumbag papparazzi,’ and I’m not really willing to buy into that dynamic.  The very same media environment that enables paparazzi to exist is the reason JGL is rich is the very same reason we know who the hell JGL is.  They both make their living in those muddied media waters; they both made a clear decision to do so.  Thus my capacity, as I said, to feel sorry for the rich guy is pretty low, which does not mean (despite witless assumptions) that I feel anything positive about the paparazzo whatsoever.

        1.  Oh my…someone has a bad case of envy breaking out.  You sound like a fourteen year old boy dissing the latest male pop singer, man:  They hate him because they long to be him.

        2.  Seriously? Subtext? You think the subtext on boingboing is going to be “awww, po’ widdle celebrities”?  Trust me when I say you are alone in that. It was entirely Gordon-Levitt’s charm and calm good nature  that made him appear sympathetic, and not any imaginary subtext you alone are trying to insert.  Hell, he even made “asshole” and “asshole jr” appear somewhat humanized at the end, and it was all thanks to him. Dunno if I’ve ever even seen him in a movie, but damned if I don’t REALLY like the guy now.

        3. So what’s it like being a Paparazzi? 

          Also: “The very same media environment that enables paparazzi to exist is the reason JGL is rich is the very same reason we know who the hell JGL is.”

          What a crock of shit. So if cameramen didn’t hound celebrities there would be no movies? Someone needs a history/media lesson.

        4. “The very same media environment that enables paparazzi to exist is the reason JGL is rich is the very same reason we know who the hell JGL is.”

          Oh bullshit. The reason I know who JGL is, is that he starred in “Brick”, which I first saw five or so years ago. I have never, ever seen a single paparazzo-ed photo of the man (or many other actors’ whose work I enjoy, for that matter), because I’m simply not interested in this sort of shit. 
          Paparazzi are not about actors, they’re about this fucking meta aspect of “Glamour” that serves as some sort of reality-tv-esque narrative for, well, very vain and probably stupid people. 

        5. Well, no.  That might apply to the Kardashians…except that they utilized a full-bore media machine to bring their personas to the public.  We know JGL because of his body of work, starting with Third Rock from the Sun back in 1990s all the way to the current day.  He hated the notion of celebrity then and still doesn’t enjoy it.  I would argue that being in Brick, Inception, Looper, Premium Rush, Lincoln and the Dark Knight Rises are why we know his name. Being on TMZ, not so much.

          I mean, being the subject of papparazi hardly guarantees anything.  Lyndsey Lohan is constantly in their focus and is darned near unemployable, while Harrison Ford is virtually undetectable and is still making movies in his 70s.  We don’t know who 

    2. Perhaps you should have read JGL’s little spiel in the YT description before invoking the tired and hollow ‘first world problems’ meme.

      It doesn’t normally happen that paparazzi photographers pay me any attention when I’m not working. In fact, it only ever happened once (thank god) that I can think of. Luckily I had my video camera on me when it did. A friend and I were just walking down the street in Manhattan when we passed these two photographers who were sitting outside the entrance of some hotel, presumably waiting to photograph somebody who was staying there. I didn’t think much of them until, a block or so later, they came running up and started to take my picture. I tried to be nice and politely ask them not to. They were neither nice nor polite. And that’s when I remembered I had my camera in my bag. So that’s where the movie starts. The only other thing I’ll say is (and I had trouble deciding whether or not to be so blunt with my opinion, but here goes) I do believe that the myth of “Celebrity” is not just innocently shallow entertainment, but a powerful and fundamental part of a larger movement revolving around greed, apathy and hierarchy that is currently dragging us down, down, down, lower and scarier, and perhaps weaker than we’ve ever, ever been. Smile!

      +1 JGL. It’s not just about a pack of nosy arseholes pretending their sleazy existence is justified by the mere notion of celebrity. It’s about the fact that certain media organisations have utterly debased the role of gossip. Once upon a time, it was the glue of society, when people would be attending to the lives of folks they actually knew; it had the capacity to be productive.

      Now, it’s just another pointless commodity, employed to push people’s buttons and compel them to buy glossy rags full of trite drivel and devoid of any relevance or import, perhaps not coincidentally distracting them from things that actually matter a damn, say for example the ever-escalating rape of society by said media organisations’ parent companies…

      But who cares, first world problem.

      1. The antiquity of gossip cuts both ways. If the impulse to gossip is as old as civilization – but is now causing increasingly unpalatable results – why would we assume it’s the IMPULSE that changed? It’s just as plausible that the cult of celebrity is innate to our species, even, or at least the inexorable nth-degree of a primal, pre-moral impulse. For a chimpanzee, misapprehension of one’s place in the dominance hierarchy of a community can be a fatal oversight. It’s possible ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is just an artifact of selection for hierarchy-mindful apes. Maybe we cringe at celebrity obsession, not because it’s metaphysically ‘wrong,’ but because it’s ‘beastly’. 

        Consider pornography. The act of self-arousal by porn isn’t malum in se. Rather, we scorn porn because it lays bare the ape in us. A cat looking into a mirror might mistake it for another cat. But an adult human, we reason, should know better. He should be able to distinguish the thing he’s viewing from an actual, in-the-flesh woman (or man) – to the point that the thing he’s viewing is no more erotic than a two-by-four. But that’s not the case. And the cognitive dissonance makes us queasy.  

        Now consider something like Jersey Shore. We know our experience of these schmucks is heavily mediated: that their personas are scripted – or at least affectations, that even their ‘real’ selves are probably easier to feel superior to than most people we will ever meet, that they’re not part of any community we might belong to and have no bearing on our own station therein, and that we’re only seeing the most clownish moments of their days. 

        But as with porn, we can ‘trick’ ourselves into believing they’re present and part of our community. Our hierarchy radar can’t comprehend television. Our sense of relative self-worth is (artificially) inflated, and it’s gratifying. Jersey Shore, I imagine, would be the ‘hardcore’ porn of this analogy. Paparazzi – who intentionally antagonize their subjects, so as to catch them at their worst, play into that same idea: debasement. Softcore would be something like a cooking show or sports. “If I’m close friends with such a pretty, athletic, funny, well-spoken, well-lit person, I must be a pretty important ape.” 

        ‘We’re more evil now’ always seems like a bit of a leap to me. Maybe gossip hasn’t changed. Maybe better and better communications technology/ease/omniscience just rubs our nose more in the uncomfortably un-human nature of that impulse. I mean, there IS something ‘grosser’ about video porn than porn magazines, right?

        1. There was a very interesting four parts series on the BBC, called ‘The Century of the Self’.  I watched it on youtube.

          ‘Along these general themes, The Century of the Self  asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy, commodification and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitudes to fashion and superficiality.’  -Wiki

          Since seeing this series, I’ve become unable to view most tools used to sell us products (including celebrity) as anything but an appeal to our hindbrains.  Either Madison Ave. is trying to sell us something, or collecting data to develope better methods for selling to us in the future.  They’ll use whatever it takes to get some kind of quantifiable response.  The paps serve that purpose; it’s why there is no such thing as ‘bad’ publicity… now more than ever.

          1. Thanks, I’ll check it out. 

            It’s definitely amusing – at the very least – to talk about the Trix rabbit as a byproduct of malaria, or some such. But it has its limits. About fifteen seconds into a conversation about evo psych, someone is invariably going to ask you to reconcile homosexuality, suicide, abstinence, interracial marriage….

            You can see how it can go from ‘cheeky, know-it-all thought experiment’ to ‘the reason you have no friends’ in short order.

          2. My cable modem for the computer died today and I had to go to Time Warner to pick up a new one. The walls were lined with televisions showing fake people doing fake things, and the customers clutching their dead tv boxes all looked like addicts who just discovered that they were out of smack.

        2. Sure, celebrity ain’t new. But before the mass media, gossip didn’t really operate to much extent beyond one’s immediate circle, and that’s what’s changed.

    1. You kind of have to be. You wouldn’t get the pictures if you weren’t aggressive about it. But it’s not as if the blame is solely on them — they make money for a reason: People buy it.

      1. Then the people that consume this crap are dicks, too. Just because morons lap up these photos and the vacuous non-stories that go with them doesn’t make the paparazzi any less human parasites. Celebrity culture needs to die.

        1. I’m not sure you’re acting as if I didn’t imply that in my original comment.

          Celebrity culture is a never ending cycle and we all contribute to it.

          1.  not all…i don’t know the first thing about most celebrities, nor do i buy tabloids, nor do i watch stories about the lives of famous people.

          2. Er.  Dude.  You’re contributing RIGHT NOW.

             nor do i watch stories about the lives of famous people.WTF do you think this is? 

            You and the five people who liked your comment are … wow. The internet: Full of stupids.

          3. Me neither.  The other responses trying to point out the supposed irony of your commenting in this thread seem to think that the very act of disclosing that one is repelled by celebrity culture contributes to celebrity culture.  If I accidentally ran a celebrity over with my car, they’d probably say I’m idolizing that celebrity.  

          4.  just to point out, im commenting on a video about paparazzi, i didn’t know who joseph gordon-levitt was until the comments of this video.

        2.  Celebrity culture has always been around, only today’s celebrities are both much farther away than they used to be, and less important. There was a time that what the royals did actually mattered because they literally ruled a country. And there was a time when the celebrated people were intellectuals, scientists and artists within your community. To some extent this world still exists, only it is mixed with the world of vacuous thoughtless celebrities. Its like North America has become just a giant suburb split between New York and Los Angeles. We need to focus and celebrate the greatness in our own communities. Instead we turn humans into symbols of beauty, wealth and power, and are shocked when they still act like humans. Someone else summed it up better: “Leave Britney alone!”

      2. I have always assumed that to be true (that people buy it), and I spose I still do because otherwise it doesn’t make sense for the magazines to be produced… BUT… at the very-well-thriving supermarket I shop at, I have made it a point to watch at the checkout stands for people picking up the magazines, and I have never (literally) seen a single person buy one, and I’ve been watching for years.  Doesn’t mean nobody ever buys one, but I’d think I’d happen to see at least a few.  It is the strangest thing.  

    2. Agreed.  It takes a certain personality type to go out and upset other people just for a paycheck.  I know we all have to make a buck, but I was raised to be polite so it’s hard to put myself in their shoes.

  1. A much less hostile celebrity’s POV video: Jim Carrey.

    Edit: I meant the crowd was less hostile than the paparazzi, not that the celebrity was less hostile.

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jim Carrey a lot, but I’d be a lot less hostile towards a crowd that was really happy to see me than a couple of jackasses who wouldn’t leave me alone too.

    2. He’s only hostile to families who want to protect their children (and anyone who comes in contact with them) from dying.

      (Yeah, I had to go there.  If you use your celebrity to promote dangerous lies, you’re going to get called on it.)

      1. I had no idea before now that he was involved in the anti-vaccine stuff. I just lost a lot of respect for him.

          1. Didn’t know that either. If it was almost any other subject than celebrity marriages, I would feel like an idiot.

      2.  He wouldn’t have been the first person to sign up for a significant other’s pet cause without giving it much thought beforehand, or to dump it once they’d broken up. I put a lot more blame for Jenny McCarthy’s lunacy and inflated sense of self-importance on Oprah, who at the very least should have turned her bullshit-sense up a notch or two after the James Frey mess.

        1. You make good points.

          Though I have to say, regarding the Frey mess….why do we have this weird notion that a memoir must be “just the facts, ma’am” but news programs can be filled with un-researched opinions? Memoirs used to be understood as sitting in between novels and legitimate biographies.

          1. I don’t think that anyone (at least, anyone with a reasonably good grasp on human behavior) is under the illusion that memoirs constitute some sort of transcription of the memoirist’s eidetic memory. I do think that in Frey’s case, he passed some vague line in presenting as truth an account in which many things were simply made up or exaggerated beyond the point of credulity. It further not only insulted the numerous people who have honestly struggled with their recovery (there’s no real evidence that Frey ever had to do this), but possibly hurt people who took Frey’s story as some sort of guide for their own recovery. 

          2. According to his own account, he literally tried to sell it as a novel, couldn’t get it published, and then tried to sell it as a memoir and did get it published.

            If I was him I would have looked Oprah right in the eyes and been like, “You’re telling me you’ve never taken a dishonest action or told a lie to get where you are?” 

            I probably would have done the same thing.  Yeah, dishonest, but if I put in the effort to write a novel and could only get it published if I lied and called it a “memoir” I’d be pretty tempted.

        1. Nope. “With.”

              For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
              Hoist with his own petar; and ‘t shall go hard
              But I will delve one yard below their mines
              And blow them at the moon.
              (Hamlet III.iv.206-209)

  2. Wow!  They were total dicks.  They immediately turned on him in a really passive aggressive way. . . “You’re not really worth shooting, we just happened to see you”. . .

    I suppose they were trying to piss him off because that would make better pictures, but even so, they displayed very little sense of humor about their work.  There was no hint that they at least appreciated the irony of the situation.


    1. Did you watch it right to the end?? Did you hear Asshole Jr say the Real reason they were following him? It really turns the entire situation on it’s head and then punts it to left field, where it takes on some humanity

  3. Man, those guys have no respect…. they really shouldn’t be allowed to follow celebrities around and stalk them for photos. From a respectable distance, I’d get it, but these guys get way too aggressive and then ass seen above are total jerks about it.

  4. carbuncles on the foot of humanity…. but then they are like trolls, people keep feeding them by buying theiir pointless pictures so…

    1.  I’m glad I watched the video right to the end to see that bit, it really makes everything different. Asshole Sr doing all the talking, then near the end saying that Jr didn’t have to say the real reason they followed him.

  5. William Gibson@GreatDismalTheory of celebrity (1 of 4): There is the celebrity, and there is the live human around whom the celebrity has manifested.

    William Gibson@GreatDismalTheory of celebrity (2 of 4): The celebrity may die within the lifespan of the live human (tends to be sad, but not always)…

    William Gibson@GreatDismalTheory of celebrity (3 of 4): …or may (Elvis) long survive the death of the live human. Awkwardness ensues (1) when we confuse…

    William Gibson@GreatDismalTheory of celebrity (4 0f 4): …the live human with the celebrity, or (2) when celebrity’s live human identifies exclusively *as* celebrity.

    William Gibson@GreatDismalThe greater a live human’s celebrity, the more painful the oscillation between our very different apprehensions of the two entities.

    William Gibson@GreatDismalA homeopathic dose of celebrity of one’s own makes this easier to observe in self/others, yet confers little immunity to that oscillation.

  6. How ironic that Matt and Henry, after laughing at the idea that introducing themselves and asking to take photos might result in a better outcome than simply being aggressive, come off looking a lot more human because they take the time to talk to JGL…as opposed to Asshole and Asshole Junior.

    Way to prove his point, assholes.

    (edited for typo)

  7. “when people are determined on a mode of conduct which they know to be wrong, they feel injured by the expectation of anything better from them.”

    I learned that Jane Austen quote a while back, and I have found it widely applicable. I keep hearing it when I read breathless fears about the government taking away assault weapons, and it seems to capture the paparazzi’s attempts to justify their own behavior.

    1. I’ve been waiting for people to click on this. Though in the US (and Down Under, if not the UK) he was still reasonably well known thanks to Third Rock from the Sun, and thus potential fodder for ‘former child star goes off the rails….’

        1. Yep, that one, the old man stuck in the body of a teenager. Luckily for him, the long hair that he had for most of the seasons means that he isn’t as recognisable. 

  8. It’s pretty remarkable to watch the cognitive dissonance at work w/ the photographers: it can’t be that *we’re* assholes, so we justify our behavior by calling Gordon-Levitt an asshole (which he wasn’t being, as far as one can tell from the video).

    Having a profession that requires that you constantly be a total dick has got to take its toll in some deep way.

      1. Ah yes, gratuitous off-topic cop-hating. I don’t really think that’s a particularly apt comparison.

        1. I dunno, seems like a simple analogy to me, I’m fairly sure we’ve all seen where someone doing something unkind gets all protective about their duty. I’ve encountered some seriously chill officers though, so it certainly can’t be said of everyone. Namaste.

          1. If all the paparazzi stopped working, not so much a problem.  If all the cops stopped working, problematic.  

          2.  Yes, analogies, metaphors, and all other types of comparison break down at some point.  By definition.  The only exception would be if you compared something to itself which seems kind of pointless frankly.

          1. “Point being”.  Cops are neccesary.  My experience is likely different than yours, when I think “cop”, I think of a childhood friend who became a cop.  He retired about five years ago after twenty years.  He’s well known, well liked in his town.  Walking around town with him is like walking with a local celebrity, people love to shake his hand and say nice things about him. He viewed a lot of his day job as making sure people were safe, and is one of the kinder people I’ve known.  Aquaintances of mine met him for the first time when they had a bad accident, and they remarked on how comforting he was when they were going through an upsetting crisis.  He would check in on people who hadn’t shown up for work and weren’t reachable by phone, he would be the first responder coming across accident scenes and have to inform the next of kin.  When shots were fired, he’d be the one to show up and try to talk people out of fighting and shooting.  He told me once that the only time he was tempted to hurt a suspect was when he came across a two year old who’d been raped.  He’s still a volunteer fireman.  More humans like him would make the world a better place.  There are certainly good and bad cops, but I can’t imagine a paparazzi helping out the world like a good cop could. 

          2. I’m still struggling to see what this has to do with any correlation in attitude between paparazzi and the police; or how their necessity in any way impacts this observation.

          3. So is your point that cops target citizens to harrass and papparazzi target celebrities to harrass, so they have the same mindset? 

          4. My point was that the comparison was apt, it was a very simple point.

            Let’s try wording it a different way: Jobs that demand you be aggressive, bolshy and arrogant tend to lead to a certain mindset.

            I’d say that also includes people in the military, but I’m a bit worried that you know a bone-marrow-donating sniper that will cause you to lose all objectivity again.

          5. I think that’s being aggressive, bolshy and arrogant are stereotypes of the profession, but not a job requirement, and does not match my experience based on knowing the friend I mentioned and other people I’ve known.  This includes cops interacting with me in their professional duties, not people I know only socially.  Yes, also not true of ex-military people I’ve known.  As I’ve said, I think our experiences likely have differed.  

    1. Not sure you can really call the paparazzi ‘prosfessionals’ seeing as most of them really don’t have a fucking clue about how to take professional pictures. Try talking photography to any of them and watch them collectively go, “Duh??”

      1. To be fair they clearly know how to handle a flash gun. I know a little about photography myself but if I attempted red-carpet photo’s they’d almost definitely look 100% more atrocious.

        And a telephoto lens, of course.

  9. I have no sympathy for anyone in the entire celebrity / paparazzi ecosystem.  Paparazzi are dicks.  They perform a function in society whose value is negative.  The world would be better place if people didn’t piss away billions and of dollars and spare neurons stalking stars.  Masturbation is vastly more productive than reading the celebrity section of a news paper or tabloid.

    That said, I have no sympathy for the celebrities either.  Being a celebrity and bitching about paparazzi is like being a waitress and complaining that you don’t like interacting with people.  Being a celebrity revolves around you getting people to obsess over and like you, perform whatever your trade is (if you even have one), and getting paid a pretty wad of cash in the process.  Celebrities don’t attract the attention of paparazzi unless they are seeking out fame.  Fame and paparazzi come together.  Don’t like paparazzi, don’t seek out fame and the cash and prizes that come with fame.  There are lots of non-fame alternatives for folks who still want to ply their trade.  You won’t get harassed by paparazzi do theater in anything short of Broadway (and even then).  You won’t get chased by paparazzi if you are playing music in anything smaller than a stadium.  You can be a rich ass playboy / playgirl and never attract a camera if you make even the vaguest attempt to be discreet.  Just pick one. Do you want fame, money, people worshiping your feet, and paparazzi chasing you, or do you want something more mundane.  Make the decision and then don’t bitch and moan when you get the easily predictable bad that comes with all the good that fame brings.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are real victims out there.  People hunting down parents of the victims of a school shooting, and stuff like that are real victims and reports that chase down and harass those people are scum.  Entertainment celebrities though?  Fuck’em.  They can bitch about the paparazzi when they are not knee deep in sex, money, and people worshiping their feet.

    1. I’d argue there’s a difference between being a ‘celebrity’ and being an actor or musician. Joseph Gordon Levitt certainly has never courted the press in any way, and has made a point of choosing interesting work rather than blockbuster stuff (we’ll just ignore GI Joe, given the similarly reclusive Christopher Eccleston was in it). 
      Reality show stars, on the other hand….

      1.  christopher eccleston was in GI Joe?
        and joseph gordon levitt?
        the 9th doctor and the information officer from 3rd rock are in a movie together?

        1. Yes, two great actors (and some other not so good ones) slumming it in a pretty mediocre film. Eccleston dons a Scottish accent to be the bad guy, and JGL is … well, I can’t say too much about his role. *spoilers*

        2. read earlier in the thread that you don’t follow the whole celebrity sausage mill, and i can appreciate that, but … you could always use google if you had any questions.

      2. Looper, Dark Knight Rises, Inception, GI Joe… part of the reward/price of featuring in big budget films is that you get fame. You go out and promote the movie and put your face on it. You get media attention. Not all media attention is going to be the controlled attention that you want. He gets fame and money and the cost is paparazzi. If tomorrow he stuck to theater and avoided banging celebrities and hitting celebrity events, he who would vanish in an instant. Like I said, paparazzi are scum, but I have no sympathy for the plight of the entertainers they chase. He can ditch the fame and money at any moment and they will vanish. I imagine he enjoys the fame and money more than he dislikes the annoyance of occasionally having someone take a few camera shots of his face and speculate on which starlet/model/actress/whatever he is banging.

        I’m not shitting on the guy. I like him as an actor. I also find him playing with the asshole paparazzi funny and totally a-okay. The way he handled the paparazzi was entirely acceptable. I’m just sayin’ that the THINK OF THE CELEBRITIES sentiment that comes out in these threads is ridiculous.

        1. You’re missing an important subgroup… celebrities who did not choose to be famous.  This group includes relatives of celebrities, child stars current and former, and a few unfortunates that the press chooses to obsess about Just Because.  (It includes, say, Kate Windsor as well.  Yes, she knew she’d be famous, but she didn’t want to be; it’s an undesirable side effect of marrying the man she loved.  “Ditch the fame” is a pretty unreasonable demand in her case, since it would require “ditch your husband”.)

          And then there’s the late-teen stars that end up in a twisted symbiotic want-the-fame relationship with the press because they’ve been taught that’s normal.  By the paparazzi sickos.

        2. Actually, one of the very first comments was someone whining about how they don’t sympathize with rich celebrities. Then your tirades followed. Yeesh.

        3. I’m just sayin’ that the THINK OF THE CELEBRITIES sentiment that comes out in these threads is ridiculous.

          I’m not seeing any of that at all.  I’m seeing a lot of “paparazzos are assholes” but not any of what you’re talking about.  Kinda seems more like you wanted to rant about something.

    2. I have no sympathy for the celebrities either. Being a celebrity and bitching about paparazzi is like being a waitress and complaining that you don’t like interacting with people.


      First of all, paparazzi spit at people. They throw things at people. They scream obscenities at people’s children. They chase them in traffic, sometimes literally to death.

      Second, why are you conflating actor with celebrity? Are you saying that anyone who takes up the acting profession is automatically stripped of all rights to privacy? Way to blame the victims.

      1. First of all, paparazzi spit at people. They throw things at people. They scream obscenities at people’s children. They chase them in traffic, sometimes literally to death.

        And when paparazzi scum break the law, you should nail them to the wall.  I’m still unsympathetic.  They can sooth their wounds with sex, money, fame, and worship.

        Second, why are you conflating actor with celebrity? Are you saying that anyone who takes up the acting profession is automatically stripped of all rights to privacy? Way to blame the victims.

        I’m not conflating actors with celebrity.  I know a lot of actors and musicians who are not chased by paparazzi who live perfectly private lives.  If they are ever handed a role large enough to draw the attention of the paparazzi, then they need to weigh how much they value fame and money versus how much they value their privacy.  You can’t score a pile of cash, hit up celebrity big events, bang other hot celebrities, and promote their movie without attracting attention.  Is it worth the fame and money?  If it is, do it.  If not, live in relative obscurity like the vast majority of people in this world.  It is a choice in the same way an accountants accept money at the cost of extra schooling and boring people to death at parties.  Yes Mr.Accountant, your life might be more boring than the dude working at the coffee shop, but salve that disappoint with money or get another job you privileged prick.

        I feel about as badly for them as I do when someone whines that Christians are being oppressed in the US.  I just hear an over privileged person whining to people who have real problems.
        Levitts is a pretty good example of someone who doesn’t get a shred of sympathy from me (not to imply he ask for any).  The guy makes decent bank and I am sure is up to his neck in poon.  He could drop out of the limelight tomorrow by sticking to theater acting and avoiding other celebrities.  Join an acting troop in Boston and see how many paparazzi chase you.  They will be bored and freezing to death in weeks.  Doing what he does means he suffers from the occasional annoyance of paparazzi and a loss of privacy.  It is easily remedied.

        Don’t get me wrong, there are real victims of paparazzi.  Hounding to death children, people who suddenly get accidental fame, etc.  Random actor dude working his way through Hollywood with some mild amount of fame, especially one that can drop off the radar in an instant?  Yeah… no sympathy.

        1. Jesus you have a LOT of feels about it.

          Actors AND celebrities are human beings — some better than others.

          It seems kind of awful to me to say you have “no sympathy” about a large group of people, acting as if they are all one and the same person… It’s a heck of a negative blank statement and you’re coming off as a bit of a dick about it.

          It’s one thing to be apathetic (which, considering how much you’ve clearly thought about it, and the sheer amount you’ve just babbled on, most of which I skimmed…) — well, it’s clear to me you’re not apathetic about this.

          You’re not coming off as particularly sympathetic yourself.  Ironic.

          1. Stop spewing your thinking and discussion at this discussion board, and here are some other ad hominem arguments I have.

            Ah, the famous “you are thinking too hard” argument.  Cool argument bro.  Can’t compete with that.

            You’re not coming off as particularly sympathetic yourself.  Ironic.

            That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

          2. There is having an opinion and caring about something, and there is going off on a tirade no one cares about.  It’s not fun in real life, and it’s not fun on the internet, either.

            And, yes, I know perfectly well what the word means: Don’t you want us to be sympathetic to your point of view? It’s not working.

            Also, it’s somewhat amusing that you’re oh-so-concerned with how people pay attention so much to celebrities, and yet you’ve just spent a lot of time going on and on about celebrities.

            And you’re still not doing yourself any favors.

          3. And, yes, I know perfectly well what the word means: Don’t you want us to be sympathetic to your point of view? It’s not working.

            No, sympathy wasn’t what I was looking for. That word doesn’t mean what you think it means either.

            There is having an opinion and caring about something, and there is going off on a tirade no one cares about. It’s not fun in real life, and it’s not fun on the internet, either.

            The couple dozen replies seem to disagree with argument that no one finds the discussion worth engaging in. Granted, most people don’t agree with me, but it sparked an interesting discussion. You do know that you can just skip threads you don’t care about, right?

            Also, it’s somewhat amusing that you’re oh-so-concerned with how people pay attention so much to celebrities, and yet you’ve just spent a lot of time going on and on about celebrities.

            I bet you would find it “ironic” if someone who isn’t a materialist talked about the ill effects of materialism too. Buddhist are “ironic”. lolz.

            And you’re still not doing yourself any favors.

            Thanks for the heads up man. I really appreciate and value your advice.

          4. Granted, most people don’t agree with me, but it sparked an interesting discussion.

            For incredibly low values of “interesting”.

        2. They can sooth their wounds with sex, money, fame, and worship.

          You might want to take a psychology 101 course.

          1. Yes.  Rich and famous people complaining about easily removed annoyances does in fact make me bitter.  Ditto for bigots who complain about people being intolerant about their bigotry and wax on about how they are the victim.  

            Over privileged people complaining about the minor cost of their privileges does in fact leave me bitter, especially when they can dump those privileges and costs.

          1. Chappelle is a pretty good example of someone who found that the price wasn’t worth it and backed out.  He moved away to Ohio and avoided the lime light.  Granted, because he rose so high it took a little while for the inertia to wear out, but you are not going to find him in the tabloids.  People remember him and people certainly want to talk to him.  If he ever comes does something he will have people interested in what he has to say, but I’m willing to bet that paparazzi are not camped outside of his house in Ohio.  The worst he probably suffers is the occasional report asking for an interview and people asking him to sign crap when he is out and about.

            If someone dumps their fame or gets it unexpectedly, they have my sympathy.  People in Hollywood trying to make a career off their fame complaining about the costs?  It garners as much sympathy from me as I have for Romney having to pay a few million in taxes.

          2. Of course, Chapelle rose to fame and ducked back out of it prior to the appearance of TMZ and it’s ilk.  Now, everyone is potentially a paparazzi, they just need to have no sense of personal boundaries and a decent cell phone.

          3.  Yup.  Chappelle gave up his career because of this bullshit and we are all poorer for it.  How does that support your argument again?

    3. If your talent is acting, or playing music, or writing, and you can make money doing one of those things, why does that automatically mean you should have people flashing cameras in your face when you go out in public?

      I’m amazed that tabloids and paparazzi still exist.  So many celebs have Twitter accounts.  When I wanted to know silly things about, say, the latest Star Trek movie, I started following Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto, and others, on Twitter.  Michael Giacchino (the composer) even posts Trek-related stuff.  I don’t need for these dickweeds to go sneaking around taking pix when the stars do it themselves.  Plus, Pegg is funny.

    4. BB commentors are very intolerant of intolerance in even the smallest form, Rindan, and no, they don’t see this as hypocrisy.  They like to snipe it in the bud, whenever they safely and anonymously can.  FWIW, I don’t have much sympathy for the celebrity industry.  There’s a dark underbelly to go with all that glitz and glamour.  Both the Oscars and the paps are marketing tools.  The celebrities (or wannabes) who sign contracts with PR firms (highly reputable or slightly shady), do so with their eyes wide open and they ALL have PR agents. 

  10. Dear Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I am love with your film makings, please to do more, with extra flashy-flashy and men with nose jobbings.  You have talenting!  And chase peoples.   Fascinating!

  11. My favorite part was when Gordon-Levitte dryly answered “Fellini,” to the younger photographer who was bumbling around, trying to justify his invasive profession by talking film-school smack.
    *blinks* “……Who?”


  12. Of course paparazzis are scumbags… it’s a self-filtering system… Nice, smart, productive people go on to get decent jobs and good lives and continue on their way being caring human beings.  Stupid, good-for-nothing, sociopathic, friendless assholes take up the worst jobs involving “hassling people” that nobody really strives to take up… paparazzi, airport security, justice department politico, Fox newscaster, funeral protestor…

  13. There’s got to be some kind of technical fix to the problem of aggressive flash photography. What about a slave flash unit worn by the subject, that flashes as soon as the light hits them? If it were fast enough it could ruin the picture. Probably talking about substantial capacitors to be able to handle multiple cameras. 

        1. The guy who was in Harry Potter wore the identical outfit for several weeks, so it looked like it was the same picture they took last time, and they couldn’t sell it.  

        2. It’s very effective if you want stories about you writing words on your face to end up in the newspaper.

          It doesn’t really work if you create a story by trying to avoid being a story.

    1.  I was thinking of just wearing a portable videocamera light as a headlamp, something with a wide spread or maybe rig a prism to it.  cut it on when the paps show up, should be enough light to flood out enough of your face, even at an angle.

  14. Love this clip.  The premise that being famous means you should suck it up and accept that level of creepy intrusiveness is false.  Just because things have gotten that way doesn’t mean it’s right.  That’s about as logical as saying a woman who dresses attractively should accept a certain level of sexual assault.  No sir, I think not.

  15. I have no problem with people who like to see pictures of their favorite celebrity.  I don’t have a problem with people who take pictures of celebrities.  I DO have a problem with people  who act like jerks, some of whom certainly fall into the previous two categories.

    Honestly, I’m often surprised by how kind celebrities are to their fans.  This includes actors, musicians, athletes, writers, ANY famous person.  I’ve seen famous writers respond courteously to questions so stupid they made ME want to insult the fan, lol.  It is a good thing I am not famous.

  16. Actually, they called him an asshole in hopes he’d react angrily and they’d get a better shot. Once you realize that, you’ll view the entire interaction through a different lens.

    It’s one thing to argue “He is paid millions of dollars to be in a movie… he can’t expect the same privacy in public as a typical American”. I agree – for that kind of fame, he can expect to have people take his picture.

    But I think it is reasonable for him to be annoyed by someone invading his personal space, repeatedly using bright flashes, and using ad hominem attacks to try and get a photograph of the resultant anger/indignation.

    1. It’s also worth noting that this video was taken in 2006, when JGL’s credits were primarily 3rd Rock (which had ended years earlier) and Brick, which was an indie darling but not a big movie.  He had not achieved his current level of fame, so on the one point, they aren’t being snarky when they say he isn’t really that famous…at that point he wasn’t.  Which of course makes them even douchier to harass him as much as they clearly did.

  17. My takeaway is that Matt, the younger photog, has the hots for JGL (you’re in good company, Matt) and took this as an opportunity to maybe, just maybe, 1-in-a-million-chance, maaaaaybe get a date with Mr. Levitt. He says as much.

  18. So much celebrity envy in the JGL haters. He went about this in the most non-aggressive non-pompous way possible. If only every celebrity would start doing this to professional stalkers, maybe the people who eat all the TMZ junk up will realize what j-as their Us Weekly subscription is bankrolling and stop throwing their money at it.

  19. This is not about us feeling sorry for JGL because, along with his multimillion dollar salary he has to suffer a lack of privacy. 

    I think it’s more about seeing who these privacy violators are, what type of people this job attracts, and what the job does to such people.  They had nothing to lose by simply giving their first names to JGL, but all they can think to do when their privacy is even slightly threatened, is use “Asshole” as their pseudonyms.  They knew, that by their prior acts they were being hostile, so they instinctively could only be hostile to his first overtures. It’s a pretty shitty business.

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