As a younger child, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was used to competing with his older brother.
"Being the second child, at first, at least to me, seemed really difficult because my brother, Dan, was six and a half years older than I was ... and that meant he was always better at everything, whether it was a sport or a video game, anything," Gordon-Levitt said in a video posted to his HitRECord YouTube channel Thursday, June 5. "He could do it better than I could. That was really hard for me because I was competitive, but, then again, maybe it drove me in a way to try harder."
The actor looked up to his brother when it came to life's milestones, because Dan, he said, did everything first.
"He also died first," Gordon-Levitt said. "So, I have that as an example, in a way. And, frankly, it makes it less scary in a way, too, knowing that he's done it. 'Cause all the big things that I ever had to do, he did 'em first. So, that's what it's like being second."
Dan, otherwise known as "Burning Dan" because of his work as a fire-spinning artist, died in 2010.
In January, Gordon-Levitt paid tribute to his late brother during a Q&A session after a screening of "HitRECord on TV" at the Sundance Film Festival. The Gordon-Levitt siblings co-founded HitRECord, an Internet production company.
"What Dan was all about was getting people to try something that they didn’t think they could do," he said, per Entertainment Weekly. Holding back tears, he added: "And when he could get people … to do that, that was his … I’m sorry … that was his favorite. And it didn’t matter to him so much how it turned out."