Joseph Gordon-Levitt flop-sweated his way through the popular YouTube interview show Hot Ones and somehow still managed to share several delightful stories while muscling through a punishing array of hot wings. If you’ve never watched the show, the format is simple: host Sean Evans asks a celebrity guest a series of questions as they sample increasingly spicier chicken wings. But the sauces Evans assembles are so intense that Gordon-Levitt literally has trouble thinking towards the end of the interview. It’s great.
In addition to just being an all-around good sport about it, Gordon-Levitt offers some thoughtful answers and a handful of fun stories about his career. He talks about filming the iconic hallway fight scene in 2010’s Inception, recalls the worst audition he’s ever had (while respectfully declining not to name which director it was for), and tells a truly incredible tale about watching Mickey Rourke eat two entire pans of lasagna while filming a scene for the 2008 film Killshot. He also talks about how he feels the next big breakthrough in storytelling is going to come from video games rather than motion pictures, and I have to say I do not disagree with him.
In addition to discussing his career, Gordon-Levitt gamely tells Evans about the most memorable Dungeons and Dragons character he ever created (a chaotic evil dark elf assassin named Fury) and the most valuable Magic: The Gathering card in his extensive collection. He does all of this while getting increasingly angrier at each bottle of hot sauce – at one point, his publicist beeps in to remind him that his disheveled, sweat-drenched self has to be on James Corden in five minutes. (Gordon-Levitt enthusiastically urges Evans to keep that exchange in the episode, and we are all so very lucky that he did.)
There’s plenty more highlights that I don’t have the space to describe, so if you’re a fan of Hot Ones or JGL (or both!), the episode is well worth a watch. You can check it out below. For more on Gordon-Levitt, check out our review of his new film Project Power, currently streaming on Netflix.