Metallica's influence on society is real, of course, but like layers of inspiration, some are more obvious to others than not.
Take actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt's portrayal of a troubled heavy metal fan in the new film, "Hesher"; the actor admits he based much of his title character's behavior on late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, who died when the band's tour bus crashed in Sweden in 1986
While the general public likely won't make the Burton/Hesher connection, Gordon-Levitt's performance was a success to some key figures: Metallica.
Joseph said he was stunned when his rock idols recognized the similarities without prompting. "They dug the movie", he said. "And when the band saw it, they were like, 'You know what, he reminds us of Cliff,' and we didn't even tell them that's what we were going for."
The metal icons rarely allow their music to be used for other projects, but Metallica made an exception when they saw Gordon-Levitt in the dark drama.
"They let us use their songs, and I was actually moved because I grew up headbanging to Metallica", said the actor. "It was a real honor."
The star relived his teenage years as a heavy rock fan during an appearance on Conan O'Brien's show on Thursday, when he donned a blond wig and demonstrated his headbanging skills - tossing a glass table and smashing a glass vase in the process.
You can watch the official "Hesher" trailer below: