His film "Don Jon" told a story of a man with a skewed perspective on women. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt talked to Ellen about it, and why he thought it was an important story to tell.
He told Ellen how his mother has influenced his thinking. "That was something that my mom would always point out to my brother and me, that our culture does often portray women especially… like objects. For example, we would always watch Lakers games as a family, but my mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders come on, 'Okay, so look, here's the story that gets told: The men get to be the heroic skilled athletes and the women just get to be pretty.' She didn't mean any offense to any individual woman who was working as a cheerleader, but she wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies, and on magazines all the time. And if you don't stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality."
"I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely!" Joseph explained. "It's worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don't have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be."