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OTRC: Joseph Gordon-Levitt defends his awful '50/50' girlfriend

Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks about '50/50' in an interview provided by the studio. (Mandate Pictures / Lionsgate / Summit Entertainment)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "50/50" character has enough to deal with, finding out he has a fifty percent chance at surviving cancer, but his girlfriend, played by Bryce Dallas Howard isn't helping the situation.

"He doesn't really have the balls to assert himself or really change anything about his life or his situation," Gordon-Levitt said of his character, in an interview provided by Summit Entertainment. "He has a girlfriend who, to be honest, is a bit of a selfish person who walks all over him and he just takes it cause she's so hot but Bryce Dallas Howard does a great job of turning her into, yeah she is a selfish girl, but she's also a human being and I think that's the most important thing and one of my favorite parts of this movie -- while it is a comedy and it's hilarious, the people are real human beings. They feel like real people. They don't feel like stereotypical comedic devices."

In "50/50," Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young man with his whole life ahead of him when he's diagnosed with cancer. With the help of his best friend (played by Seth Rogen), he manages to deal with the disease by finding humor in unexpected places. The film also stars Anna Kendrick and Anjelica Houston.

"Rachel, Adam's girlfriend, sure she's selfish but he is at fault in this situation in that he kind of lets her be the way that she is and he continues to sustain the relationship and sort of backs her into being that way and he claims to give her an out, but he doesn't really," Gordon-Levitt continued. "I really like that -- that was one of my favorite things about this, that they didn't turn the protagonist into a saint. Because, again, absolute stereotypes are just sort of boring to me unless it's in some giant superhero movie or something, but in movies like this, stereotypes just kind of get old and might be good for a sketch but for a whole feature film, I need to see someone a bit more human. And Adam has his problems, he has his faults and of course you're rooting for him and you care about him and you want him to pull through this whole thing but he's not just some kind of hero good guy you're rooting for."

The film is based off of screenwriter Will Reiser's experience after being diagnosed with spine cancer. Rogen and producer Evan Goldberg met Reiser while they were working on Sacha Baron Cohen's "Da Ali G Show," around the time that Reiser was getting sick and encouraged him to turn his experiences into a script.

"So Adam ends up comforting the people in his life maybe more than they comfort him," Gordon-Levitt said. "Everyone sort of freaks out and he has to be like, 'Are you okay? I'm sorry that this is happening to you. And I guess when crisis like these come up, you sort of see what's underlying in your relationship and whether it's his relationship with his girlfriend or his relationships with his best friend or with his parents or the people he works with, it kind of brings to the surface whatever was bubbling underneath."

Gordon-Levitt's first roles were in the movies "Beethoven" and "Angels in the Outfield." After his five-year stint on "3rd Rock from the Sun," the actor continued to pursue a film career with roles in "10 Things I Hate About You," "Mysterious Skin," "Brick," "Inception" and "(500) Days of Summer."

He will next appear in "The Dark Knight Rises," the third film in Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, which is slated for release on July 20, 2012.

"50/50" was released in theaters on September 30, watch a trailer below.

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