Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

That guy playing the drums in the subway is Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joe's Drum Contribution (Screenshot: YouTube)

Pssst. Don’t look now, but that guy over there in the snazzy suit playing the drum solo in the middle of a subway station platform is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Yeah, the one from 3rd Rock From The Sun and Inception. No, really. In addition to a thriving film career, which includes playing NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic Snowden, child actor turned regular actor Gordon-Levitt is also a dancer, musician, and something of an entrepreneur, too. Over a decade ago, the star and his brother, Dan, co-founded a multimedia online production company called HitRecord. Now that company has partnered with LG Electronics on an open-ended project called “Everyday, Spectacular.” Gordon-Levitt himself explains the idea behind this campaign:

I want to challenge musicians, singers, dancers, and performers of any kind to go into an ordinary setting, and make a spectacular moment out of that everyday situation. You can sing, dance, play around, dress up in costumes, do any kind of extraordinary activity. These performances will be recorded from the standpoint of a passerby. So in the end, we’ll have a big, vibrant, beautiful, spectacular, collaborative piece of art.


Okay, talk is one thing, but Gordon-Levitt must know that actions speak louder than words, especially when those actions are unannounced drum solos in public places. So, seeking to lead by example, the actor filmed himself rocking out for the benefit of somewhat bewildered passersby.

Gordon-Levitt’s fame aside, it’s not unusual to see a musician performing in a subway station, which have been attracting buskers for decades now. That might help to explain why this impromptu drum solo does not really seem to interrupt anybody’s daily routine. Throughout the brief but spirited performance, several folks just mosey through the frame as if this kind of thing happens every day. Only at the very end of the video is the drummer’s presence acknowledged by a man standing in the vestibule of a nearby train car. “Whoa,” the spectator exclaims. “You look like Pee-wee Herman a little bit.” True enough.

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