Sahifa fully responsive WordPress News, Magazine, Newspaper, and blog ThemeForest one of the most versatile website themes in the world.

“There’s this weird line that I am liking to walk recently, which is trying to merge some life lessons into my work,” the actor tells TheWrap following a string of tough, surprising performances

Jake Gyllenhaal has hit his stride. In the past three years, the 35-year-old actor has mined a deep vein of emotion to bring to the screen a series of indelible characters: Detective Loki in “Prisoners,” Louis Bloom in “Nightcrawler” and Billy Hope in “Southpaw,” to name a few.

Now he delivers another remarkable performance in Jean-Marc Vallee‘s “Demolition,” playing an investment banker who struggles following the tragic death of his wife.

The drama, which also stars Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper, premiered at last fall’s Toronto Film Festival and opens nationwide on Friday.

We sat down with Gyllenhaal late last year to talk about the maturing of his talent.

In the last few years, your career has jumped to another level in terms of the risks you’re taking with the films you choose. What happened?
I had been doing a number of movies and I wasn’t really sure why I had been doing them. I don’t think I had chosen them for reasons that were based on my belief in the characters themselves. Some of the choices had been made based on what other people’s suggestions were. I was in a little bit of — I would hesitate to say — turmoil in terms of trying to figure out how I wanted to express myself. I was just going from one thing to the next. Then a movie came to my door and I read the script and it was not offered to me, and I was just so moved by it.

What movie was that?
“End of Watch.” It was a beautiful script by David Ayer. I think really it was David pushing both Michael Peña and me into the real world of police officers — the world of southeast L.A., and the culture. We spent five months in there, preparing. The movie is about a friendship. The two friends happen to be in police uniforms. Every moment they hop out of that car, they’re threatened and that friendship is threatened, and really that love is threatened between the two of them, and I think that’s what makes the movie so dynamic. We had to build up that friendship. We also had to build up the skills and techniques where we could improv and spend time in the car and we acted and moved like police officers. Those idiosyncrasies were really important because we knew we had a very short time to shoot the movie and there was no time to mess around. We had to walk in in character and spend the 22 days of shooting in character as best friends.

Since then, you’ve played very complex roles in movies that include “Southpaw” and  “Demolition.” You’ve taken a turn in your career, taking on very challenging characters very successfully.
I don’t feel like there’s any other way. There’s this weird line that I am liking to walk recently, which is trying to merge some life lessons into my work. Trying to have experiences that will affect me in my life as well as in the job. And that’s the weird thing about the job that I do. It offers that opportunity, to be able to get to know people doing things in the real world and learn from them, and then bring them into my job and pretend it, or as far away from pretending as possible. I’ve just noticed that through a certain amount of preparation, I’ve learned so much and it’s changed my life.

How so?
“End of Watch” led to “Prisoners,” really. With something like “Prisoners,” you’re dealing with child abduction. I was dealing with a character who was having to deal with everybody being a suspect in his mind. He was the guy searching for the truth, yes, but I think the question of who was telling the truth became fascinating to me in that story. And that’s how that character came alive. And that came from hours and hours of watching pretty horrible footage and reading about, researching stories of actual abductions and what happened.

Ultimately, when the stakes became real for me, when I said to myself, “These are legitimate things that happen every single day, unfortunately.” The stakes are high, and I walked into every scene carrying the burden of the reality of those stakes. And I try and do that more and more. It’s easy as an actor to live in a world of fiction where people talk about wearing masks, creating a character to escape what is their real life. I don’t feel that way. I feel like there’s an opportunity to head into real life and have it beat you up a bit so you can come in to the fictional world and hand whoever you’re with — be it your director or the other actors — the reality of the situation. And that’s just where my approach has changed. I’ve just upped the stakes.

But you are playing too, as an actor. How much is that preparation versus your imagination?
I don’t want to walk into every scene like I’m carrying all that burden. There is a moment you throw it away and your imagination comes into play and you’re faced with the reality of the person in front of you, and whatever that might be. And they are not as you imagined. When I was at the Sundance Film Lab, Delroy Lindo…

Like, 20 years ago?
Twenty years ago. He was our acting mentor, and he said, “You know the difficult part about working with first-time writer-directors is that it’s hard for them to translate 2D to 3D.” Once it becomes a reality, they’re like, “Wait a second, I hate their voice. That’s not what I pictured.” Or, “What are they doing with their hand?” And the same thing happens as an actor. You walk in, you’ve done all your work, and all of a sudden you’re working with everybody else and you just have to assimilate and recognize you’re a part of a group of people. And that’s the weirdest part about making a movie. You spend all this time preparing and then all of a sudden it’s the day, and everything gets thrown out.

So let’s talk about “Southpaw.” It’s yet another incredible performance. You transformed yourself physically again, after having lost all this weight for the character you created in “Nightcrawler.” Why did that appeal to you?
It was scary to me. I didn’t know anything, really, about boxing. It felt very far away from who I am. I am now an avid fan. And I wanted to learn how to box. And I also really was moved by the story between father and daughter. The easy part would be learning how to box. The harder part is becoming a father. Those two things seduced me into the role. And [director] Antoine Fuqua – he is a boxer, has been since he was a kid, he’s an avid boxing fan.

Both David Ayer and Antoine Fuqua are really interesting. There’s something deep in their work about modern masculinity, manhood, what it means to be a man. It’s an interesting topic for you to explore.
I also think I’m an unlikely person to be playing those roles, honestly. And I love that. I think there’s a way in which — and I don’t mean to be provocative, or maybe I do, I don’t know — there’s a way in which Hollywood tends to create a convention, and I think that can be really misleading for an audience sometimes. A convention around masculinity, a convention around love, a convention around romance… And I consider that to be a responsibility.

That’s an interesting idea. What do you want to be conveying about masculinity?
It doesn’t come as you expect it to come. You don’t see it as you expect to see it. What is that? What does that mean? How do we define that? What is that? It’s even more of a question than it is an answer. And I think by creating these sort of stock stereotypes, it allowed me as I was growing up to be like, “Well, what do I really love? I love musicals. What’s that? But I also love action movies.”

The men I respect are the ones who really love what they love, whatever that is, and love it strong. And so that’s what I think “Southpaw” is about. A guy who loves his daughter. Loves his wife. Couldn’t live without her, and loses her and has to learn how to love his daughter, has to learn how to be vulnerable, has to learn how to open himself up, his mind up, his heart up. That’s the only way he can get his life back and regain any sense of self, that he can fight as hard as he can and beat as many people up as he wants with his hands, but that ultimately is not going to get anybody back. And that’s just a beautiful idea.

Did you find the shoot grueling? You have all these fight scenes. You definitely appear to be getting hit.
I did get hit, a lot. We shot the fight sequences for the first two and a half weeks of shooting, and that was pretty brutal. We didn’t stop. We would shoot 14-hour days, and I was just going and going and going and had prepared for that physicality. The first day, I was ready. We had trained like it was a fight. I had dropped weight three days before, we did a weigh-in, we had our hands wrapped that day as we entered the fight, we did the entrances as if we were entering the fight, we filmed them.

And then two and a half weeks of that and at the end of it I was like, “OK, cool, the movie’s done, great.” [Laughs] I think you don’t really realize how much you need the physical to fuel the emotional. I was tapped out two and a half weeks in, physically. Then we got into all of the emotional stuff that hits this character, and that’s where I started to realize that physical component to accessing emotions is a very important part.

A version of this story originally appeared in The Race Begins issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine. To read a more visual presentation of this story, click on the cover below of TheWrap Magazine:

For the full unedited cover interview with Jake Gyllenhaal, listen to Grill: Hollywood on the Hot Seat

Star of “Southpaw” and “Everest” stops by TheWrap for interview and photo session

April 8, 2016

‘Demolition’ Star Jake Gyllenhaal on Taking Risks: ‘I’ve Upped the Stakes’

“There’s this weird line that I am liking to walk recently, which is trying to merge some life lessons into my work,” the actor tells TheWrap […]
April 8, 2016

Sean Penn Joins The Angry Birds Movie Cast, Because Surprises Are Fun

Generally speaking, voice acting is one of the first things that takes place for an animated movie, so the cast has to be in place before […]
April 8, 2016

A Classic TV Movie Is Coming Back As A Same Sex Vampire Romance

James Franco, AKA The Busiest Man On The Planet, has a project coming up that might surprise you. A lot. Franco is reportedly working on the […]
April 8, 2016

Gerard Way to release new graphic novel series through DC Comics

Gerard Way has signed a deal with DC Comics for a new graphic novel series. The former My Chemical Romance announced the new imprint entitled Young […]
April 8, 2016

Jane’s Addiction announce 25th anniversary ‘Ritual de lo Habitual’ tour

Jane’s Addiction have announced a 25th-anniversary tour of their 1990 breakthrough album ‘Ritual de lo Habitual’, their third studio album, which preceded the rocker’s first break […]
April 8, 2016

Charlie Sheen and the National Enquirer’s Quest to Break the Story of His HIV Status: 5 New Bombshell Claims

Dylan Howard, the editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer, is finally opening up about how he broke the story that Charlie Sheen is HIV-positive. The journalist claims […]
April 8, 2016

Scarlett Johansson Addresses Equal Pay Issue: It’s ‘Obnoxious’ for Me to Complain About My Salary

Johansson visits The Tonight Show in 2015. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/NBC/Getty Images She doesn’t relate on this one. Scarlett Johansson shared her take on the issue of […]
April 8, 2016

Peter Dinklage And John Hawkes Enlist For Martin McDonagh’s Crime Thriller Three Billboards

Martin McDonagh’s casting spree for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri continues today, with The Wrap revealing that the In Bruges director has plucked Game of Thrones stalwart […]
April 8, 2016

The Scene Zack Snyder Took Out Of Batman V Superman For Being Too Dark

Warning: spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are ahead! Superman isn’t a being that angers easily, but when you threaten his adoptive mother, Martha […]
April 8, 2016

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 Premiere Title, Synopsis and Clip Revealed

The premiere of Game of Thrones season 6 is only a few weeks away, so the trick now is making sure we don’t get hit by […]
April 8, 2016

Watch Mark-Paul Gosselaar Crush Part Of The Ninja Warrior Course, Not The Rest

American Ninja Warrior has managed to be so compelling because the course is so incredibly difficult. Even the fittest of fit individuals have trouble even coming […]
April 8, 2016

Pope Francis Advises Compassion for LGBT Individuals and Divorcees, Urges Less Judgement in Catholic Church

Francis holds his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square in 2015. Credit: Giulio Origlia/Getty Images He accepts everyone! Pope Francis released a new document on Friday, […]
April 8, 2016

Paris Jackson Gets Tattoo in Honor of Grandmother Katherine, Brother Prince Gets New Ink Too

Double the ink! Paris and Prince Jackson, the children of the late superstar Michael Jackson, both got tattoos on Thursday, April 7. PHOTOS: Famous Celebrity Families […]
April 8, 2016

‘Demolition’ Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Grapples with Delayed Grief in Dark Dramedy

Despite a third-act skid into sap, this look at a young widower in denial recalls the early, emotionally subversive films of David O. Russell The defiance […]
April 8, 2016

Uh Oh, Is Your Netflix Monthly Fee About to Go Up?

Well, we have some news that might affect your Netflix experience: Prices are about to rise for some subscribers. But don’t worry, not all Netflix users. […]
April 8, 2016

‘Star Wars,’ ‘Batman v Superman’ Score Golden Trailer Awards Nominations

Universal has 46 nominations, Fox nabs 44 and Warner Bros. follows with 37 nods “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Batman v Superman” and “Straight Outta Compton” […]
April 8, 2016

Lacey Spears, Mom Convicted of Killing 5-Year-Old Son With Salt, Cries in First Interview: Watch the Preview

Lacey Spears, the mom who was convicted of murdering her 5-year-old son, Garnett, with lethal doses of salt, cries and denies she killed her child in […]
April 8, 2016

NBA’s Dr. J — The WORST Hair In the NBA Is … (VIDEO)

Julius Erving‘s fro is widely regarded as one of the greatest hairdos of all time … so when we got him out at LAX Thursday, we […]
April 8, 2016

Melissa McCarthy Returns as Sookie in ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival

For awhile now, it didn’t sound like Melissa McCarthy was going to be able to reprise her role as Sookie St. James in the upcoming Gilmore […]
April 8, 2016

“Moments Of Humor” Peppered Across Solo Wonder Woman Movie, Says Gal Gadot

If Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman impressed during her limited screentime in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, then you can imagine our excitement to see the […]
April 8, 2016

Finding Dory Concept Art Highlights New Settings & Hank the Octopus

Leading up to the release of Pixar’s forthcoming feature length animated sequel Finding Dory, many fans of the preceding film Finding Nemo are no doubt eager, and perhaps […]
April 8, 2016

‘The Vampire Diaries’: Paul Wesley Previews Very ‘Human, Emotional’ New Episode

Stefan Salvatore’s soul was trapped in the Phoenix stone after Rayna caught up with him on “The Vampire Diaries” last week — until the suicide drive […]
April 8, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Clip Teases Davos’ Fight at The Wall

HBO has found major success with its fantasy drama series Game of Thrones, which is adapted from the Song of Ice and Fire book series written […]
April 8, 2016

The Unexpected Pixar Sequel That Inspired Neighbors 2

Making a good sequel is not easy. Making a good sequel to a comedy seems to be even more difficult. When Nicholas Stoller was tasked with […]
April 8, 2016

Greg Lauren Wants to Change Menswear One Distressed Jacket at a Time

The artist and designer, who shares a last name—and bloodline—with that other Lauren, is creating a ripped-and-repaired universe that looks like nothing else in American menswear […]
April 8, 2016

Peaky Blinders series 3 details and Cillian Murphy teaser revealed – watch

Post-First World War Birmingham gangster epic Peaky Blinders is to return to the BBC in May, and Cillian Murphy – who plays boss Tommy Shelby – […]
April 8, 2016

Vampire Weekend were nearly on the ‘Shrek Forever After’ soundtrack

Vampire Weekend‘s Ezra Koenig has recalled the time he and the band turned down the chance to record a song for the Shrek soundtrack. The story […]
April 8, 2016

Glastonbury resale ticket details announced

Glastonbury festival organisers have announced plans for a limited number of resale tickets on two different dates later this month. The first batch will be sold […]
April 8, 2016

The Black Eyed Peas to reunite for a new album, says has revealed that a reunion of The Black Eyed Peas will take place shortly, including a new album, though the rapper’s yet to confirm when […]
April 8, 2016

Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus appears in Day Wave’s new video ‘Stuck’ – watch

Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus has teamed up with Day Wave for his new video ‘Stuck’. In the clip, which you can watch below, Hoppus parodies a […]
April 8, 2016

Red Band Trailer For Backwoods Thriller Green Room Tees Up A Chilling Nightmare

x [embedded content] One week out from its theatrical debut and A24 (via Machinima) has unleashed a grisly red band trailer for Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room and […]
April 8, 2016

Kingsman 2 Just Cast A Game Of Thrones Actor In A Major Role

Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle seems to be coming together nicely. In true sequel fashion, the follow-up to last year’s smash hit, Kingsman: The Secret […]
April 8, 2016

Interview: ‘The Invitation’ Director Karyn Kusama on Crafting Her Unsettling Thriller

Director Karyn Kusama made her directorial debut in 2000 with the critically acclaimed Girlfight. Her sophomore effort was the 2005 adaptation Æon Flux, which she didn’t have enough creative control […]
April 8, 2016

Edge of Tomorrow 2 Has Its Writers; Doug Liman to Direct

Edge of Tomorrow wasn’t an immediate commercial success when it was released in theaters back in 2014, but the Tom Cruise-headlined sci-fi action/thriller eventually grossed $370 […]
April 8, 2016

Met Ball and the “Circus of Ambition”: Nicole Kidman, Michael Kors, Cher Tell All in THR’s Oral History

It started out small, society and $50 a ticket. But the Met ball, nearing 70 years, morphed into today’s biggest, sexiest spectacle in New York. Now, […]
Prev page
Next page