The prolific artist also explains why he had long hair for "3rd Rock from the Sun," his most frivolous purchases and teases a possible musical in his future.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt was dishing on all the things during his appearance on "Busy Tonight" Monday night, with the actor admitting he never expected the endurance of one of his most iconic roles.
Hot off the heels of a weekend marathon of "10 Things I Hate About You" on the E! network in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Gordon-Levitt admitted he would have never anticipated the film's longevity all those years ago.
When Busy Philipps asked him if it felt like he was making something that would be such a big deal back then, he had to admit vehemently, "No!"
"No, it didn't," he continued. "It's really funny. I would never have guessed back then that 20 years from now E! Entertainment Television is just going to run this for 24 hours back-to-back."
But the actor admitted that he, too, is a huge fan of the film. "I'm very grateful," he told her.
Another iconic role, and perhaps the one that put his career fully on the map, was his six-season run on NBC's late-'90s/early-'00s sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun." Gordon-Levitt joined the show at 13 years old, so he basically grew up in front of America.
And through most of the show's run, his long hair became iconic. So why has he worn it short ever since? Well, it turns out the whole thing was kind of a fluke.
"They wouldn't let me cut my hair, actually," Gordon-Levitt recalled. "Yeah, that's true."
Busy Philipps suggested this might have been because of the "Felicity" fallout when Keri Russell cut her hair and saw her show's ratings tank immediately following.
But for the young teenager, it proved to be a passing phase that he wound up stuck with for years and years. "I had grown my hair out long because I wanted to head bang to Guns 'N Roses," he explained. "And then they liked it and then the show kept going."
He did finally get to change his signature look toward the end of the show's run, and he hasn't looked back since. He's probably also learned that you can head-bang and sing and dance and do everything you want to do with short hair, too.
And if all goes well, the song-and-dance man might be doing just that on a screen in the near future. The actor has never been shy about his love of dancing, so Philipps asked him if there was a musical in his future.
"I would love to do a movie where I get to dance," he said. "One day." When she suggested he maybe just write it himself, Gordon_Levitt got a twinkle in his eye. "Yeah, working on it," he admitted.
Whether it's through his online collaborative initiative HitRecord or as a traditional film, it's hard to imagine the 38-year-old actor not following through with it. He also revealed his dream musical collaborator in Sia, and that sure sounds like a formula for the same kind of longevity "10 Things" enjoys.