Jake on a roll

He definitely is and what a nice feeling it gives me to write that. One would think that with the hectic schedule of the past few weeks he’d be worn out but instead, in this neat and elegant column and interview with USA Today, he says it’s blessing, not tiring.

I woke up and I said, ‘I’ve had the privilege of being able to do this for 15 years.’ I got so far away from the idea of acting as a real craft to master. I didn’t want to skirt the surface in it. I wanted to learn about myself,” says Gyllenhaal, who earned a supporting-actor Oscar nomination for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. “I wanted to interact with people doing real stuff and have it enrich my life. I wanted to have my work enrich my life and have a life that I was proud of. Not to say I wasn’t proud of it before. There were a lot of things. Many things dominoed into that moment.”

[snip] The rewards of making the film extend to his personal life. Today, says Gyllenhaal, he considers Pena (who co-starred in World Trade Center and Tower Heist) part of his inner circle. Pena, in turn, says he and Gyllenhaal text consistently; they’ve spent time with each other’s families; and Pena went to see Gyllenhaal’s play while he was in Manhattan. Initially, though, relations were frosty.

[snip] So is Gyllenhaal anything like his character, a man both brashly confident and sweetly true-blue?

Pena says what’s most endearing about Gyllenhaal is how family-oriented he is, and how much he adores his mother, screenwriter Naomi Foner, and sister, Maggie. And how he’s willing to help everyone be on their A-game, including Pena — who admittedly was out of shape before shooting started.

Something to brag about

“He’s a complicated dude, to be honest. He’s really, really smart. He can be goofy at times, but his mind is always going, going, going,” says Pena. “He goes on these epic jogs. He called me up and said, ‘Let’s go for a run.’ And there’s paparazzi shots of us. He’s running all stealth and all you see is me dying. Meanwhile, Jake is like, ‘Whatever.‘ “

[snip] Again, he went after the role, because it spoke to him. Gyllenhaal isn’t the first name on the poster promoting the play. Nor does he view himself as the star of it. “He chose a really interesting ensemble play,” says director Michael Longhurst. “He’s obsessive about making this production as good as it can be.”

His character, says Gyllenhaal, is “thinking and doesn’t say what he thinks and he feels the thoughts connecting. His desperation to communicate some kind of honesty, I fell in love with that. It’s a high-energy role, so it requires a tremendous amount of focus and attention. To be able to do what I love the most is the best. It gives me energy.”

Yes, you want to roll your eyes at Gyllenhaal’s unabashed exhilaration and all that talk about work ethic. But there’s the real sense that he means every word. “Honestly, I love waking up in the morning knowing that I’ll be on stage and feel like you’re part of this history of storytelling. I walk home every night,” he says with a smile.

And now that he’s on a roll, Gyllenhaal has no intention of slacking off. He just wrapped the thriller An Enemy, another intense film about a man who discovers what appears to be a doppelganger living nearby. His mantra: Listen to yourself and follow your instincts.

“I did this movie October Sky with Chris Cooper. When I asked him for his actorly advice, he said, ‘Just don’t have any regrets.’ I don’t think I had any understanding of what that meant until very recently.This is one of the very first movies where I can say that I have very little regret. I’ve combed every corner. And that was for me,” he says.

Read the whole interview here, it’s one of the loveliest Jake profiles I’ve read in a while.

I haven’t been around this past weekend and just got back home (I made a mental note to schedule my business trips when Jake is on vacation) and I missed a whole lot of video interviews so I’ll just post a couple of them that cover a different ground than the usual ‘live ammunition/4pm-4am ride along/we-didn’t-get-along-at-first’ stuff.

Jake and Michael with Ben Lyons

Clevver

He talks so much about his beard with Jimmy Fallon, how could I not give you the link to the full episode?

AttaGirl Entertainment

Kind of amateur-ish vid. I expected Jake’s cell phone ringtone to be more original 🙂

Anna Kendrick, from this interview with IGN

IGN: The film’s form is fascinating, how did the ‘day in the life’ aspect inform how you took on the film?

Anna Kendrick: It certainly created one of the most interesting atmospheres on set that I’ve ever experienced. One in which you were never really sure if you were being filmed or not, so it was weirdly liberating and challenging at the same time, in this wonderful way where you were in character for 12 hours a day. The only time we weren’t holding hands, snuggling or whatever the scene called for was at lunch. If there was ever a point that we realized that every other camera was re-loading then Jake or Michael would grab the handheld and we would just film something. Jake would pull me aside and he would grab the handheld camera and start doing something, and then David would notice that we were in the corner and come over and start filming, and we wouldn’t have noticed for a solid 5 minutes that they’d been filming us, until Dave yells out ‘kiss her!’

French Connection anyone?

♦♦♦

I can SO relate with the opening line of this article:

It’s a job any woman — and many a man — would love to have: hugging Jake Gyllenhaal eight times a week.

Seriously, this is a nice interview with Annie Funke. I was glad to hear that her weight turned out to be a blessing.

And then came the call: She’d won the part of Anna, opposite the star who had her at “Brothers.” (“Oh my gosh, what a movie!”)

“I actually started crying,” she says. “I was ecstatic!” And intimidated.

“At one point the director left the room and it was just us,” she recalls. “Rather than engage in conversation like a normal person, I went to the piano and buried my head in my script. Jake came over and said, ‘You’re doing a great job,’ and I said, ‘Oh, thank you. So are you!’

[…] She says Gyllenhaal and the other members of the cast — Michelle Gomez and Brían F. O’Byrne, who play her parents — couldn’t have been more supportive.

Ditto the audience.

“I’ve had girls come up after the show and say, ‘Wow, what you did on stage, taking off your clothes, was really brave. I don’t think I could ever do that.’

“It’s actually the most liberating thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin.”

It certainly helps to have a guy like Gyllenhaal on your side.

He’s told me a few times, ‘When we go out there, whatever happens, we have each other’s back in this.’

Jake Gyllenhaal’s back. Not a bad thing to have.

I agree.

Speaking of If There Is, I’ll wrap this up with two totally diverging reviews of the play. Ah, critics.

THE FASTER TIMES

Julia Roberts made her Broadway debut in “Three Days of Rain,” Daniel Craig in “A Steady Rain,” and now Jake Gyllenhaal is making his U.S. stage debut in a play that begins in a steady downpour and ends in a flood. If there is a special connection between movie stars and watery stages, I haven’t found it yet.

INFphoto.com Walter McBride

“What I might largely have dismissed as a young dramatist’s standard dysfunctional family saga (first produced in London in 1999, when Payne was 25), turns into something eerier, more memorable.”

The cast is superb, Gyllenhaal all the more so for losing himself in the role, for not standing out in this ensemble work. He nails his British accent (based on my extensive experience watching “Mary Poppins” and “My Fair Lady”), but more importantly he subtly captures the nuances of Terry’s maddening, endearing, foul-mouthed, kindly, reckless, restless personality. For all his good intentions, Terry can’t even get Anna’s name right; he keeps calling her Hannah.”

NEW YORK OBSERVER (one of the most negative reviews so far and I’m going to quote it in its quasi entirety cause I’m a fair blogger)

[…] How is Jake Gyllenhaal? In his New York stage debut, I am pleased to inform you, he acts the impossible role of a human zero in a profoundly professional manner. He has energy, presence and a theatrical dynamic—qualities as affecting onstage as they appear onscreen. He would be a whole lot better if we could actually hear what he’s saying, however.

Since his most recent screen appearance as a baldL.A. ghetto cop in End of Watch, he’s grown a head full of what looks like dirty orange mattress ticking and knocked himself out perfecting a cockney accent, which he spits and mumbles incoherently through a scruffy beard like a face on a box of Smith Brothers cough drops. Of course, this might be a blessing in disguise. The play is so stupendously abysmal it doesn’t make any sense anyway.

[snip] It is never clear what Terry does or where he’s been. He’s been abroad. Postcards have been received. Now he’s popped in for a visit, covered with tattoos and driving everyone nuts in a Faulknerian stream of jabberwocky punctuated with more F-words than any attempt to quote dialogue will allow. Clutching his overstretched, misshapen T-shirt, shifting on his feet and dancing around like a whirling dervish, he smokes a joint, climbs on top of the fridge for no reason and scratches himself in every body crevice. It’s a wild, exhausting performance that for all of its judo is not always convincing. Encouraged by the kind of loopy direction (by Michael Longhurst) that can only be described as spastic, Mr. Gyllenhaal’s fearless vitality is admirable, but he so completely throws himself into a repulsive character that it overwhelms him.

One can only wonder why Roundabout chose to plague the undeserving New York audience with so much obtuse and juvenile irrelevance, or why, indeed, a movie star of Jake Gyllenhaal’s stature and popularity would choose to appear in it. He’s powerful enough to raise the backing for any play he chooses, and financially independent enough to wait until the right one comes along. What on earth, I kept asking myself, could have attracted him to this rubbish? Then I knew. During the final third of If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, he disappears from the watery stage and doesn’t appear again until the water washes it away. Some actors have all the luck.

I’m sorry Observer, but I’m more inclined to believe this.

Mark your calendars and don’t miss Jake on CONAN tomorrow.

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13 thoughts on “Jake on a roll

  1. Thanks for all your hard work keeping us updated, GC. It’s wonderful to come here and read all the lovely things people have to say about what a nice person Jake is as well as being so talented. I get a warm fuzzy feeling as I’m reading, and looking, and listening. It’s a great feeling and I’m going to ignore what that cretin at the New York Observer said about the play. Obviously, he was having a bad day and took out his frustrations on the first thing he found handy. I’ve seen the play and I know better!

    • I get the same warm feeling Susan, it feels so good to read people talk enthusiastically about Jake. He deserves the rave reviews, he’s been working awfully hard for this wide recognition, something that was long due IMO. As for the Observer, the caustic tone that permeates that article is totally uncalled for.

  2. I just found that AttaGirl interview. It’s one of the best I’ve seen, despite the amateur hour. Jake says different things from the usual spiel. And “stuff white people like” was hilarious.

    I’m exhausted from these past weeks. I can’t imagine how Jake is feeling. But it seems like he’s exhilarated, which is wonderful.

    • Yeah that vid is different, isn’t it? it gave me a ‘genuine’ vibe, probably because of its amateurish style, but they were all relaxed as if they were just shooting the shit. LOL @stuff white people like!I honestly thought that with all the Jake stalkers around more people would have said something about Jake’s cell ringtone 🙂

      It looks like Jake feels blessed, bless him 🙂 He has plenty of reasons to feel exhilarated, I’m happy for him and I’m glad he has his family close by to share this moment with.

  3. Hey!!! The USA Today interview was so special to me! Really was funny how The interview w/ Ben Lyons, Jake said the hip hop song Anna & him sang to was from his iPod. And it sounds to me like The writer from NY doesn’t even get Jake as an actor. She or he didn’t even probably walk in that theatre with an open mind. btw, love how you ended this with “Jake Gyllenhaal sizzles”- Bloomberg haha AND I can’t wait to see Jake on Conan 😀

  4. Hey Jenny! Oh, that USA Today interview was priceless, every once in a while journalists come up with some good stuff. I’m glad you liked the ‘sizzles’ pic 🙂 Jake was funny and adorable on Conan, wasn’t he?

    And yes, the Observer guy clearly had preconceived ideas.

    • Yes Jake was so funny on Conan. With the way they were saying “Gyllenhaal” and all the silly things! Jake’s so great when he walks in the audience and is “cmon, cmon” as if getting them yell for him more. He did it on Jimmy Fallon too. It’s quite cute when how does it! It seems like He is full of this energy! I love it! 🙂

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