Joseph Gordon-Levitt has admitted he was “embarrassed” for a long time about his work in the 1990s teen romcom 10 Things I Hate About You.
The star told Vanity Fair he resisted calls from his agents to take on the role, which was different to the “serious movies” he wanted to work on at that stage in his career.
“I was going to arthouse cinemas and watching movies coming from Sundance and watching Sling Blade and Reservoir Dogs and Soderbergh and Tarantino. That's what I wanted to do,” he said.
Gordon-Levitt revealed he auditioned for two roles — both that of lovesick teenager Cameron and best friend Michael, who was ultimately portrayed by David Krumholtz.
He said: “I know this sounds weird to say or it sounds like I'm not grateful, but I was always a little embarrassed I think.”
Gordon-Levitt said he looked back less than fondly at 10 Things I Hate About You when he began working on the type of indies he had always hoped for, including Rian Johnson’s Brick and coming-of-age drama Mysterious Skin.
“I was mostly embarrassed of 10 Things I Hate About You, to be honest,” he said.
“When I got to do these Sundance movies, I felt like I was doing what I wanted to do. It felt like a reflection of me and the art that I liked.
“When I look back now, I’m kind of equally proud of all those things, but subjectively at that time [Brick] was really meaningful to me.”
Gordon-Levitt added he is now “so glad” he made 10 Things I Hate About You and that he treasures the experience of making it.
He said: “Mostly, I think I was wrong and being too serious about the whole thing. All of us had so much fun.”
The star is currently promoting his work as a New Orleans cop in the Netflix thriller Project Power, in which he’s on the trail of the suppliers of a drug that briefly gives super-powers to those who take it.
The movie has attracted mixed reviews from critics, with a current approval score of 60% on Rotten Tomatoes.