Sitting For A Chat With Jake Gyllenhaal


The occasion was the taping of the Inside the Actors Studio Show new episode. Students and fans waited in line for hours to snap up a ticket but were rewarded with a long interview with the ‘critically acclaimed actor’ Jake Gyllenhaal (I read it was three hours long but I’ll wait for more official reports).

About the show: most of it is a one-on-one interview conducted by James Lipton. There is a questionnaire that he inflicts on every guest, therefore Jake got to answer, too. I’m curious about the favorite word and obviously what turns him on and off:

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Photos were not allowed but thanks to a few bold peeps and Instagram we got an idea of what it was like to be there. I can’t believe my trip to NYC is in less than a month and I missed this.


"Is it cool if I get a pic with you? Unless you’re exhausted. Is this like super intrusive?" And then he lol’d so I guess we’re best friends now right? [mgatsby on tumblr)

“Is it cool if I get a pic with you? Unless you’re exhausted. Is this like super intrusive?”
And then he lol’d so I guess we’re best friends now right? [mgatsby on tumblr)

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The program usually concludes with a question-and-answer session with the students. I wonder if this student got to ask him mine:

The show usually airs three weeks after the taping but I will update the blog with an exact date hopefully soon. In the meantime we’ll just have to wait for the audience to share more of what I’m sure was an incredible night.

A few reactions:

ashley_henriettaaa so much respect for #JakeGyllenhaal

sarahejacobs So surprising. So giving. An awesome thing to watch someone speak so candidly and passionately about acting. Without ego and for the sake of learning

kimsofiaemilia (No photos allowed of Jake) but it was amazing! Smart guy.

Courtney Cavanagh ‏ Just had the pleasure of seeing the extremely talented and intelligent @JakeGyllenhal at “Inside the Actor’s Studio”

Jesi Mullins ‏@jesimullins7h Home from the taping of Inside the Actors Studio with Jake Gyllenhaal – what an honest, intelligent, and delightful man to get to know.

Magan Carrigan ‏@FromMagan Went to the filming of Inside the Actors Studio with Jake Gyllenhaal last night. So intelligent, so knowledgable. He was an amazing guest.


And a few things he said:

Annie [Hathaway] is precise. Technique. I’m a mess. I like to throw things against the wall and see what sticks.”

Don’t let the character’s uniform define you. We worked 6 months in rehearsal 2 shed the uniform.”

“Winning an award for the movie w the 6th most profanity of all time. Now that would make me proud.” – Jake Gyllenhaal, re: End Of Watch.

“Nothing gives me more joy than seeing other actors kill it.”

Check this clip from the episode with Hugh Laurie as a guest to have an idea of what to expect from the show. Before you ask, yes, I love Hugh Laurie.


On theEnemyfilm front, TIFF has just released a slightly different and to me even more disquieting synopsis, which reads:

Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) star in the new film by Academy Award-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), a brilliant adaptation of the Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s novel The Double.

Brilliantly adapted from the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s 2002 novel The Double, the latest from the Academy Award-nominated Denis Villeneuve breathes new life into the doppelgänger tradition, with a hypnotic, haunting, surreal approach that reaffirms the Quebec director as one of our generation’s most skilled storytellers.

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a glum, disheveled history professor, who seems disinterested even in sex with his beautiful girlfriend, Mary (Mélanie Laurent). Watching a movie on the recommendation of a colleague, Adam spots his double, an actor named Anthony Clair, in a bit role, and decides to track him down — an adventure he quite relishes. The identical men meet, and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwined.

Set amidst the high-rises of Toronto, accented by a palette of muted browns and discordant cello notes, the world ofEnemy signals something deeply wrong hiding beneath its glassy, opaque surfaces. Dark dreams creep onto the screen, and as they begin to bleed into reality, the truth becomes even more unknowable.

Gyllenhaal is transfixing as both Adam and Anthony, engendering empathy as well as disapproval while embodying two distinct personas. He is supported by an excellent small cast, including Sarah Gadon (a 2011 TIFF Rising Star) as Anthony’s pregnant wife. Enemy marks Villeneuve’s impressive foray into English-language filmmaking (his US-shot film Prisoners is also screening at the Festival — and also stars Gyllenhaal). With masterfully controlled attention to detail, Villeneuve takes us on an enigmatic and gripping journey through a world that is both familiar and strange — and hard to shake off long after its final, unnerving image. 

I would like to point out the tags used for this article on TIFF:

Drama | Identity | Experimental + Avant-garde | Canadian | Adaptation

Experimental+Avant-garde. Mmmh. After reading the novel the film is based on I expected something like that but I fervently hope that the movie is not too cryptic for the audience.

Enemy’s Special Presentation at TIFF is scheduled on September 8, 2013, @6pm. Check TIFF at Pinterest for the guest list (Jake will be in Toronto, of course, with both his films Prisoners and Enemy). There’s a board with the TIFF 2013 films posters but alas Enemy’s isn’t there yet (really people?)


12 thoughts on “Sitting For A Chat With Jake Gyllenhaal

  1. Wonderful post, GC! I’ve been trying to follow the tweets about the taping (thanks, Mermon, our eagle-eyed re-Tweeter!) but to see all of this info gathered in one place has me even more excited about watching Jake on Inside the Actors Studio. It must be timed to coincide with the promotion of Prisoners but I’m also anxious for Enemy. I share your concern about the labels “experimental and avant-garde” – words that could doom a great movie to obscurity and a very limited run in just a few theaters. Fortunately, I am not turned off by cryptic, but let’s hope Enemy gets more traction than Donnie Darko (my second favorite movie of all time). I expect Prisoners will do very well in theaters so perhaps some of its success will draw attention to Jake and help boost Enemy. Aren’t we lucky, though, to have such an embarrassment of riches now! Inside the Actors Studio, Prisoners, Enemy, Nightcrawler in the works – I hope Jake is exhausted (in a good way) from doing tons of interviews and promotional appearances this fall. I’m ready!

    • Good to see you, Susan and thanks!

      I’m all for cryptic, sci-fi, drama, introspection, dark…but just like you I’m afraid that an experimental/avantgarde-esque film won’t appeal to the ‘regular’ movie-goer, hence the lack of a US distributor so far. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a smart promotion (that I wish would seriously start already!)

      I hope the Inside The Actors Studio interview is the kick off of a long series of interviews. Let the promotion begin, I’m game too!

      P.S. Isn’t Mermon the best? LOL

  2. Hey, hey! What do you guys want from me! 😉
    After all those compliments about Jake at Inside the Actors Studio from last night, I can’t wait to see it. A long interview with such a candid and passionate, talented and intelligent, honest, delightful and knowledgeable man – Jake will be a pleasure to watch.
    One more opinion – ” It was fantastic, he’s incredibly candid and insightful. Lipton said he was one of the 8 best “teachers” in the show’s 19 years.”
    Thank you Gyllen for gathering it all. And for those questions that supposedly were asked. We know how wonderful and deep Jake is. So nice to see when others discover that too!
    The lack of any Enemy’s promotion is a bit frustrating, not even one poster so far. Very good opinion someone gave suggest that the author saw th movie already. I guess it won’t be any blockbuster, but very specific, dark, intriguing movie for connoisseurs and lovers of this type of films. I believe we’ll like it.

    • Hey mermon, what we need from you is that you keep up your amazing good work on Twitter 😉 yeah, I believe we’ll love Enemy no matter what, I just wish they revealed more, like a poster or even a trailer but I guess we got to be patient (I ain’t good at that). Thanks for sharing that lovely comment from Lipton, not that I’m surprised, we know our guy and I’m delighted to read how much the audience appreciated his good qualities.

  3. Another attendee stating it was three hours long, from FB:

    Andra Krygier Ginis : Last night was unbelievable. I attended a taping of Inside the Artists Studio moderated by James Lipton. It was held at Pace University in NYC. And wait…here’s the best part. He interviewed Jake Gyllenhaal. Mallory Ginis and Marnie Anna G were in heaven! Thanks Hillary Zillary for letting David Ginis and me stand in for you. It lasted for three hours and was quite the experience.

  4. Hi. Love reading longer comments here from you Gyllen and from Susan and Mermon. I like very much the Actors Studio interview. I like very much the begging and end of those master classes. Thanks for sharing and compiling the info that is available so far. I’m still waiting to hear if Jake will visit San Sebastian Festival.

    • Hiya Eureka! Thanks, it was nice to read about how the attendees reacted, I bet those students learned a thing or two from our lovely guy. Will you be able to go to San Sebastian if Jake actually will be among the guests? I really hope so, we need a Gyllenhaalic to report from there!

      • I’m not sure to go to San Sebastian. If I knew he was coming for sure I would make serious plans to go. But so far I have not heard more than what has been said that the movie is in the competing list. If you read anything promising let me know.

      • Of course I’ll let you know, I hope he will take the opportunity for a sunny vacation by the Spanish sea so you can get a hold of him and make us all jealous.

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