Hollywood star speaks up for paternity leave

Hollywood star of The Dark Knight Rises and 500 Days of Summer said he was ‘so so happy’ to take lots of paternity leave

The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles


Hollywood star Joseph Gordon-Levitt has spoken out for more paternity leave.

The actor, who appeared in The Dark Knight Rises, 500 Days of Summer and Inception has only recently returned to work following the birth of his second son.

He was a guest on James Corden’s US chat show this month. Appearing via video link due to coronavirus he urged all fathers to ‘spend as much time being a dad’ as possible.

And he took a swipe at the US welfare state that lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to parental leave. He said, “Some parts of the world give a lot of paternity leave. I wish we had more of that in this country.”

Gordon-Levitt’s second son was born in 2017. He took two years out from acting to be a more hands on father. And he says he has no regrets about doing so. He said he “felt very lucky” to be able to commit those years to focusing on being a dad and was “so so happy” that he had.

Role models

Normalising extra paternity leave and engaged fatherhood is key to driving take up. When role models such as Gordon-Levitt speak up for fatherhood it encourages other men to consider following their lead.

Gordon-Levitt played Tommy Solomon, the youngest member of John Lithgow’s family of aliens in 3rd Rock From The Sun. He made his Hollywood breakthrough in cult indie hit Brick and went on to appear alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. In The Dark Knight Rises he played Robin to Christian Bale’s Batman.

He told James Corden on The Late Show that he’s three films due out this year. Clearly the acting industry has its own ways but his renewed success shows dads can take time out for childcare and pick up their career. However Joseph Gordon-Levitt insists his return to cinemas should not be described as a ‘comeback’. 

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