Jake Gyllenhaal: Oscar contender?
Not my words, mind you, but those of the Los Angeles Times in this fine profile and interview.
A few excerpts:
Do you find that since you’ve turned 30, you feel differently about yourself and the world?
At 30, there were a number of moments in my life that culminated or began — like my family being born in a new way, with two nieces that are now in my life. My parents got divorced right around that time. When you’re in your 20s there’s a certain sense of wanting to take responsibility for the way you behave, the way you look at the world and how you interact. I’ve always felt that way in the movies I pick, or the things I care about, because I was brought up by people with good values. But, yeah, there was a real biological turning point at that time.
You’ve based yourself in New York; you generally choose smaller, independent projects over tent poles. How much of a conscious effort has it been to have a “normal” life?
It’s about what makes me feel free. It doesn’t serve an artist well to be stuck in a hotel room, ordering room service. What we do is not important, but you have to devote your life to it. And what is your life? The only thing that’s going to inform the work you do. You’re only as good or as interested in however much you’re interested in your own life.
Speaking of family, were you and your older sister Maggie ever competitive about both being actors in this business?
There is that type of competition as siblings, but that’s a sibling relationship. She went to see “End of Watch” the other day and called, and she’s crying and said she was so proud of the work I’d done. No matter what anybody says about the movie, my sister was moved and proud of the work that I’d done. That was everything to me.
You became great friends with your “Brokeback” costar Heath Ledger; you’re the godfather of his daughter. What did you learn from him?
I work with actors, and I’ve made a conscious effort to work with people who are more talented than me, because I think they bring out your best work. Heath was always full of massive charisma and great skill, and he really took his time to listen to himself and find that. And I have great admiration for that.
We started off by noting you’re in your 30s. Where are you in your 60s?
Hopefully alive. (Laughs.) Hopefully with a family, hopefully as a father, with a family I can be proud of, which will most likely be a mess of one. If you’re asking me if I see my career or whatever — well, there are so many talented people out there, so many people who have, as Jay-Z says, “genius-level talent.” I don’t want to be presumptuous enough to say I’d still be doing what I do in 30 years. But I would like to be.
Someone else is hinting at Oscars but what’s most interesting about this article from the GOLD DERBY Theater Awards Blog is the video interview. Jake talks about End of Watch of course but also and at length about his surreal and special experience performing in If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. Don’t miss it.
In addition to starring in the film, Gyllenhaal is also an executive producer. It’s his first producing credit, and it’s one he is particularly proud of. “That was earned,” he says. “Giving my all and my whole life to it, I eventually felt like I was there almost every step of the way, even in the post-production process, so by the end of that process [writer-director] David Ayer called me and said, ‘We’d like to make you an executive producer on this’ … I have to say, it was one of the best days of my career.”
After several weeks in the role, he has more than 80 performances under his belt – the show closes on December 23 – but he says he only recently settled into the conceptually challenging play: “I have to say I don’t think I found the play until two shows ago … I think we finally have a show that we understand.”
But he enjoys the challenge of live theater and hopes for another chance to return to the stage. He also appreciates the rare comfort of having “a consistent job … at 7:30 every night, I have a job, which as an actor is a pretty great feeling.”
Watch the interview here
End of Watch was released in France two days ago. Here’s the French trailer. Mes amis Français, you have something to look forward to this weekend
Last but not least don’t forget to cast your vote for Jake, who was nominated for People’s Choice Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor. You can vote as many times as you want.