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The Official Career Timeline Of Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of Hollywood's hottest young stars. But how did he arrive on the A-list? It's a wild and strange trip involving breakfast cereal, weird haircuts, and musical comedy.

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3rd Rock from the Sun - The Early Years - 1996

© Carsey-Werner / Everett Collection

At age 15, JGL became a household name with his most visible role to date: undercover alien, and undersized know-it-all, Tommy Solomon on TV's 3rd Rock from the Sun.

10 Things I Hate About You - 1999

© Touchstone Pictures / Everett Collection

JGL took advantage of his growing teen idol status with this high school revamp of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. His co-stars included Julia Stiles and Joker-to-be Heath Ledger.

3rd Rock from the Sun - The Later Years - 2001

© Carsey-Werner / Everett Collection

By season three, JGL had clipped his locks. By season six, he had "gone to college" -- that's TV code for leaving a series to pursue a film career. But in JGL's case it was true: he attended Columbia University and studied French poetry.

Manic - 2001

© IFC Films / Everett Collection

JGL displayed his not-so-comic side as a violent teen in Manic. Look out for an appearance by his future 500 Days of Summer co-star, Zooey Deschanel, even if you probably won't recognize her.

Mysterious Skin - 2004

© Tartan Releasing / Everett Collection

After dropping out of college, JGL returned to acting and earned critical kudos for his nuanced performance as molestation victim and gay prostitute Neil. The edgy drama was directed by Gregg Araki and based on the novel by Scott Heim.

Brick - 2005

© Bergman Lustig Productions / Everett Collection

JGL grew out his hair and expanded his range as Brendan, a shaggy-headed Sam Spade Jr. The So-Cal neo-noir was directed by Rian Johnson who would later re-team with the actor for Looper.

(500) Days of Summer - 2009

© Fox Searchlight / Everett Collection

JGL established his leading man potential in this fractured rom-com, as the guy who just can't hold on to Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel.

Inception - 2010

© Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

JGL continued to fight gravity as Arthur, right-hand-man to Leonardo DiCaprio's cerebral saboteur. He did most of his own stunts in what became the actor's first big-budget blockbuster.

50/50 - 2011

© Summit Entertainment / Everett Collection

JGL tugged heartstrings as a twentysomething diagnosed with cancer. He also added another entry into his repertoire of hairstyles: straight-up bald.

The Dark Knight Rises - 2012

© Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

So begins the Year of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a.k.a. 2012. JGL's role as one of Gotham City's finest left fans speculating about his role in a possible spin-off. Keep dreaming, Bat-fans.

Looper - 2012

© Tri Star Pictures / Everett Collection

JGL perfected his Bruce Willis smirk to play the actor's younger self (with some help from the makeup department) in this high-concept time-travel flick.

The Official Trailer For Looper:

View this video on YouTube