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Joseph Gordon-Levitt sat down — virtually — for an episode of Hot Ones to discuss his YouTube channel, being an American in Paris, and his love for Russian clowning. 

Gordon-Levitt, unbeknownst to many, has performed both on and off Broadway as a clown in Slava’s Snowshow, an existential clowning show created by Russian master clown Slava Polunin. 

“This is a deep passion of mine that I don’t really talk about, and I get to go on stage with these clowns and no one knows it’s me,” Gordon-Levitt said about his years of training as a clown under Polunin. “It’s very, very real. It’s very heartfelt…Because they can dress up as something other than a normal human, it somehow liberates them to just put their deepest, most (at this point, he made a guttural grunt) feelings out.”  

Gordon-Levitt, eating wings from his home in Los Angeles, also spoke about taking a break from acting to study French literature. Paris, known for its bohemian mystique for artists, is losing its charm in the modern era. 

“I don’t know where bohemia is anymore,” Gordon-Levitt said, breaking into a light sweat from the wings. “You might have to just turn off your phone and there it is.” 

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