David Ayer’s interview with the New York Times: more about End Of Watch and Jake Gyllenhaal

End Of Watch is hitting the news like crazy since the release of the first trailer, and it’s nice to read a majority of positive comments, both from those who’ve already seen a pre-screening (lucky folks!) and from those who watched the trailer and felt dizzy trying to focus on a single scene or face or car and failing miserably. Talk about fast and furious. And shaky.

In this interview with the New York Times you can read a short recap of David Ayer’s work and more about End of Watch, and obviously something about Jake.

By MICHAEL CIEPLY – Published: May 8, 2012

[…] He put aside his fear of being type-cast as the go-to guy for the Los Angeles police genre to pursue what he now calls “the ultimate cop movie.” It aims to transcend clichés that have piled up over the years, he explained, by portraying a pair of local patrol officers, played by Mr. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Peña, who are not crazed or corrupt. Instead they bring fierce mutual loyalty and an unexpected sweetness to their pursuit of goodness in a bad world.

The shock value in “End of Watch” lies as much in its intimacy as in its insider’s look at Mr. Ayer’s own streets.


Point of view becomes especially important in “End of Watch.” In effect, Mr. Gyllenhaal shot much of the film himself, through a specially constructed camera mounted on his chest. A conceit of the movie has him working on a film project as part of his continuing education.

Other scenes find Mr. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Peña sharing endless banter — funny, sad, trivial, profound — that was shot, in the style of a stage play, in a single day.

Yet Mr. Peña and Mr. Gyllenhaal spent a long five months in training, assisted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, police departments in Los Angeles and Inglewood, and others.

On the first of his many police ride-alongs, Mr. Gyllenhaal said in a telephone interview, the squad car arrived on the scene of a drug dealer’s murder. Later Mr. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Peña endured a controlled burn by fire officials in Orange County, in order to acquire what Mr. Ayer calls “muscle memory” that would help them to play a scene in a flaming house.

“This guy has my life in his hands for real,” Mr. Gyllenhaal recalled thinking. “I realized, I finally knew what we were dealing with.” (Mr. Ayer said the actors were “safe all the time” during the exercise at a training ground in Burbank.)


“I wanted to nail this genre,” Mr. Ayer said as he swung through Vernon, an industrial zone, and across the Los Angeles River, back toward downtown, on a circuit he has ridden since his teens.

“I wanted to nail it.”

I hope you will, Mr. Ayer, I hope you will.

Oh, and this correction at the bottom of the article made me smile cause as incredible as it is to me, there’s still people who’ve got a problem with Jake’s surname:

“This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 9, 2012

 An earlier version of this article misspelled Mr. Gyllenhaal’s surname as Gyllenaal.”


It doesn’t come as a surprise to us who’ve been following Jake’s career for years that he puts everything into his roles and that he works extremely hard on each and every one of them but it’s nice to have a reminder every now and then of just how dedicated he is and how much he is appreciated for it.

In this interview with Movie Talk, which I failed to post about last week (work got in the way), you can read more about it:

Ayer said, “There were times where Jake and Mike are in uniform in a marked police vehicle,” and there were no cameras to indicate a movie was being filmed.

Ayer recalled, “Cops in LA will do a hand sign with four fingers to say ‘everything’s good.’  Jake threw a ‘Code Four’ at some LAPD cops rolling by and they threw a ‘Code Four’ back.  I don’t think they had any idea it was Jake Gyllenhaal!”


“Jake put his heart and soul into the training,” Ayer said.  “There are a thousand subtle things cops do, and I wanted Jake to have the body language and presence of an LAPD officer.”  Ayer called the training process “months and months of blood, sweat and tears, and it enabled Jake and Mike to be so believable together.”

Ayer stated that even the film’s shooting style — where all of the footage comes from sources like cell phone and security cameras — is inspired by reality.  “Everybody films everything in their lives these days,” Ayer said, “Even the bad guys!”  As a result, Gyllenhaal and Peña were required to not only be convincing cops, but also cameramen. Ayer said, “A couple scenes are entirely Jake’s camera work.  He got pretty good by the end!”

Jake said once that he would like to be a director. Who knows…this might be another push into that direction. I would love for him to direct, one day.

But not yet, there’s still lots of work for actor-Jake so stay tuned!


9 thoughts on “David Ayer’s interview with the New York Times: more about End Of Watch and Jake Gyllenhaal

  1. The crazy and tough training for this part, the work on himself for being “his own enemy”, his dedication to all of his parts, Man vs Wild… Damn! Quand s’arrêtera-t-il?… Jamais je l’espère 🙂

    The video… ROFLMAO (Ha ha!) (même si je préfère la version longue ;-))

    • I can imagine! I would like to see him play a character of one of your scripts.

      And as for him stopping, I hope he’s going to have a very long career, like Paul Newman.

      • He will… (have a long career :-)). I’m psyched about “An enemy”… I’ve finished reading it and I’ve been thinking about the script since then…

        About the work, I’ve got a sentimental comedy and a really dark thriller… What would you prefer for him?

  2. I would love to see Jake as an Director as well, but I hope he will never quit acting. He’s simply too good in that.
    So David Ayer did 2 interesting interviews about film, actors, especially Jake. Now it’s time for Jake to be interviewed.
    I like that line from interview – “Instead they bring fierce mutual loyalty and an unexpected sweetness to their pursuit of goodness in a bad world.” It’s sounds so nice to my ears. I can imagine that sweetness in that bad world.

  3. I too hope Jake won’t quit acting. He could do both, he wouldn’t be the first. I don’t think they’ll start with the actors’ interviews too soon, there are still months to go before the film hits the theaters and they probably won’t want the promotion to play all its cards too soon. But I’m looking forward to hearing more from Jake about a project he has so much invested in.

  4. I remember when those pics of jogging Jake and Michael were published. Judging from EoW trailer seems like Michael Peña was in much better condition making a movie than in that preparation time. I think he lost some weight.
    The last pic of Jake in that post is simply smashing! That smile could melt the ice.

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