Saturday, 8 March 2008

Jake - 'I'm more of a logical English guy so I do with words a little better than I do with numbers'

After thoroughly enjoying the image of Jake Gyllenhaal playing in a bed of red rubber balls at Ikea, I felt like more Young Jake Gyllenhaal today. So I've gone back even further to one of my favourite films, October Sky, and Jake's remarkable portrayal of a young man with dreams of rockets and space while being faced with the dark reality of a life - and possibly injury or even death - down the pit.


This video is pertinent because, hopefully sooner rather than later, we will see Jake in Space again in the Moon Project, and no doubt he will remember his early foray into the realms of space exploration. The video is also pertinent because there's a good chance it won't work for all - I had to hit my PC a few times to get it going - and Jake begins by giving a message to all those in 'cyberspace' who may be trying to download the clip and having trouble. Jake then reveals he's been having his own troubles downloading (Twisted Logic, you're in good company!).

'It will download - He'll get the whole thing soon enough. I've been having a little trouble downloading lately, maybe because I'm not on the network. I'm on AOL so... when I'm at school it's easier, it's faster.'


The conversation then turns to Jake's freshman year at Columbia, from which he had been enjoying a break for October Sky. 'I was on a break - I'm going a little over but I'm on a break and I go back to school on Monday... It's coming along pretty well, actually. It's an amazing school, Columbia, amazing people, amazing teachers, amazing experience so it's very interesting.' That sounds to me like someone who's trying to convince himself that he doesn't mind going back to school.

Jake is asked what the reaction will be to him from his fellow students when the film is in the cinemas: 'I don't know, I hope... there are things that I hope and things that people say to me... I don't really know how they'll react or what people will say. I think there's, especially being at Columbia - there are people with special skills and special talents all over the place. So it's not like that abnormal to have someone doing something like this. There are people who've written novels and they're only freshmen! People who know how to take apart a computer and put it back together again - things I would never, could never do and never would think of doing and they're doing it! So I would hope that they... should have the same respect for me as I have for them and it's exactly the same.'


And asking a question that no doubt Jake will be asked again when he gets going on the Moon Project - 'How much do you know about space travel?' (How much can any of us know about space travel?) Also, does Jake understand any of the books that Homer is given to read by his teacher? 'Oh yeah - I think that underneath the mathematics of the situation and equation, there's a logic to it that can shine through. And especially equations that he works with - things like s equals one half 80 squared. If you draw it out, it makes sense. That's sort of how I did it. I'm more of a logical English guy so I do with words a little better than I do with numbers but that's how I drew similarities between the two of us.'


Jake is then asked if he ever had experience of experiments blowing up during his own chemistry classes! Laughing, Jake replies 'Well, I have to say, not necessarily literally, but probably I did all the stuff with my voice and personality of blowing things up and annoying people. Dissecting frogs maybe. Or a baby pig, I think it was when I was in 9th Grade - I think that got a little out of control at times. I don't think I should go into specifics!' Now there's an image...


Finally, Jake is asked about what primary research he did to play Homer and whether he used any props. His answer reminds me of how later on Jake would record Robert Graysmith in preparation for Zodiac, using a range of recording devices. 'It's interesting cos I think that with Chris Cooper [being hugged by Jake below], I know that Homer gave Chris his father's rings and his father's watch and told him certain things about his father. But I think in terms of the character of Homer there are two things. And there's one the character that I create, drawing from myself and from my own experiences, and then trying to adopt the characteristics of Homer, the real Homer, and do service to him as a character, as a human being really. But I think that the connection between the two of us are the rockets and learning about the rockets, it's really what helped me to develop the character besides the accent and besides asking him.'


'And specific situations when I wanted specifics about a scene, especially actually emotional scenes. I knew they were emotional for him in real life - I wanted to do these scenes service, so I would talk with him about different aspects of what was going on, how was he feeling for a ... or I would just let him talk and I didn't even want to ask too many questions. I felt like I just wanted to know what he was going through.'

'And so, then also, friends of his came to the set and I would ask them questions and I kept a notebook so I had notes from what they had told me. And even lists of personality traits. I heard from one of his friends that he used to carry like a transistor radio everywhere he went to listen to the latest news, and even on his bike. He was the guy with the transistor radio. And I thought to myself 'What kind of person carries a transistor radio with them all the time?' So that added to it and just different things.'


Crawford's big night

Tonight is the premiere of the documentary Crawford, for which Jake is on the advisory board, along with Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Brad Silberling (Moonlight Mile director with Jake below). Crawford tells the story of a small town in Texas (a population of only 700 or so), which suddenly found itself the centre of attention when a new resident moved in - George W Bush. This film looks at what it was like for the citizens of the town to live through the years of the Bush presidency after being shoved so unexpectedly into the spotlight after Bush's arrival at the head of an army of media. Fittingly, the premiere is at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, and the possibility exists that Jake may choose to attend tonight.


The Austinist has published an interview with Crawford's director, David Modigliani, whom they asked how he came to have such high-profile advisory board members as Jake Gyllenhaal: 'Those folks really responded to the film - to the idea that Crawford is a microcosm of the country. They found themselves identifying with people they thought they never would because they had shared the same experience of the Bush era. The same boom and bust. The same feeling of having been used. Their interest probably helped a bit with fundraising, but their real contribution to the film was their notes on an early cut of the film. They're good storytellers, with a great feel for film.' That's a great tribute to Jake. Here is another look at the trailer.



Includes pictures from IHJ.

36 comments:

twistedlogic said...

Looks like all the WDW-ers are out partying for the night. I guess my invite must have got lost in the post:(
Anyway, I'll console myself with the video- it actually worked first time! Jake is so adorable in it, but so young!Thinking the things I was thinking and hearing him talking about being at school just feels so wrong!!
I love October Sky and Jake is wonderful in it. Having already seen most of his films, I knew how good he was at totally inhabiting his characters but to see him do it at such a young age really impressed me. And he reminds me of a young Jack Twist in it at times.

The Crawford film looks really interesting, hopefully it will get some buzz at SXSW and other places and it will get released here.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hey TL - good to see you - my invite too. I was thinking I must be talking to myself. I've been consolng myself by watching TDAT - it's the tornados riping through LA right now - the bit that made Jake go 'That rocks!'

The video worked for you first time? See, Jake's magic was working for you here, he said it would work. He does remind me of a young Jack Twist in October Sky too - so earnest and with all those dreams.

I'm really getting into the US election so yep, I wanna see this Crawford. I hope they'll be a way to see it over here.

Hope you have a good night - I'm feeling up to having a glass of wine now and a jaffa cake :D Thanks for the compay :)

twistedlogic said...

Hey WDW! Glad it's not just me! Yes, the video worked first time (albeit only the small screen one:() Jake certainly delivered this time ;)
I'm glad you see the similarities with Jake Twist too. The scene with Homer's father in the kitchen is one of the ones that stand out for me.
I'm in BBM mode atm, I watched some last night after the talk about Jake's eyes *sigh*

PS: If you can manage to just have the one Jaffa cake, you're a stronger woman than me. I find them so addictive, I can't buy them. Talk about gone in 60 seconds!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

There are a couple of scenes in TDAT where Jake looks just like a slightly younger Jack as well - especially when he's in the car being driven to the airport. I have insomnia these days so I'll watch some of BBM after this as I've not seen that for a long time and I miss it. Saturday night is my evening alone so I have to cram in as many Jake films as I can!

Talking of which, I saw the deleted scenes of Rendition and I could actually see why Gavin took out the phone call scenes.

I've had 3 jaffa cakes - I have 6 left - hmmmm. They go so well with Californian red :D Mr WDW bought them for me to try and trigger my appetite :) Thing is, all they make me want to eat is jaffa cakes...

twistedlogic said...

Glad you got round to watching the Rendition scenes. I can understand Gavin's reasons for taking the phone call scenes out but I don't necessarly think the film is better without them. I definitely think the "escape" scene and the phone call to Isabella were better off being left out, but I think the phone call subplot would have worked if it had been included. But I don't think the film loses anything by leaving it out, and I kinda like having it all together, so I don't have to ff to the bits I want to see. And I like the extra scene with Said, I like all Douglas's scenes with him.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

I felt that Gavin lft out those scenes just so he could focus on the local lovers, and also so Douglas could retain that emotional detachment. But I'm so glad to have these deleted scenes on the DVD as it makes me have more of an idea of the processes Gavin thought through when making and planning the film. And I love to have more Jake - the scene where Jake is confronting his girl, well, he just looks gorgeous :) And the scenes with Said are very good. Let's hope all these deleted scenes are saved from Brothers!

positively pia said...

Well Im here, wondering if I need to go to bed early because of the time change. Yeah those tornados ripping through LA, why I was glad to see you back home WDW. (sigh of relief)

The video worked well for me. O gosh young Jakey. "a logical English guy. . ." ?? giggle giggle giggle. I assume he's sayng that he's an English major, but who am I to interpret the meanings of young Jake - I cant imagine Columbia being a good fit for Jake.
But what do I know: to quote Rufus Wainwright, Im not his mother. Oh, no, Rufus said Jake was not HIS mother. Im so confused.

I love the fall and spring Men's Style sections of NYT. Quite a few plaids & checks, but not wooly lumberjake style. Yummy men's jackets. Astonishing Beckham/Armani photo. Any way of tracking down the photo or photos of Jake from the 2003 mens fall fashions?

I had no idea that celebrities were heavily courted for their "star power" by corporations, to lead credence and recognition to brand names and philanthropic causes.

I found the following from the NYT article on celebrities and philantropy very intresting:

"Natalie Portman could drop in on senators. And that’s not only because secretaries of state are star-struck like the rest of us. (Though George Clooney, like Portman, does say that he is slightly embarrassed to find that members of Congress, whom he was taught to think of as Olympians, treat him with awestruck deference."

Both Natalie and Reese are involved with corporations and causes and womens issues. I wouod love to have been a fly on the table at Four Seasons this past week! If Jake was on advistory board of Crawford, what can that mean? Wonder if he put some money in this film.

What do you Brits and other Euros and yours think of USAan political shenanigans?

just wonderin'

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hey Pia :D So your clocks change this weekend? We have a couple of weeks before ours move. Yep, I'm glad to be away from those LA tornados.

I can see why Jake would want to leave Columbia - what could it possibly teach him when he had the world of opportunities and experiences at his fingertips. He reached out and took them, definitely the right move in my opinion. I guess he did mean English major but it gave me a pleasant chuckle, thinking of Jake as an honorary Englishman.

It's so interesting, the US partnership between stars and politics. Our politics in the UK - IMO - is so dull. All the characters have gone and there's such little difference between the three main parties. I was a demonstrator and activist in my student days - and now there seems like there's noone who asks you to march. But then, that could be a good thing as the 80s were grim.

I'm fascinated by American politics and this long process of selecting a candidate, with division and competition within each party. And the showbiz of it all. It makes for glamorous reading for us over here. But in the US it appears that soe stars have enormous clout and it seems right that they should use that for some good and I like a star with a cause or a project.

It's interesting that Jake should have lent his name like this to Crawford, even if he put no money up. Just giving your name will give something so much attention. I doubt many of us in the UK would have heard of this project if it hadn't been for the support Jake and others have given it. It's an interesting thought that congressmen would sit down and listen to the opinions of stars.

twistedlogic said...

Just wrote a comment and my internet connection packed up:( Anyway, as I was saying..
Yes, Jake looks gorgeous in that scene *drool* And there's something about the way he's so mean and moody when he's questioning her about the phone calls which is very sexy. I'm hoping we're going to see lots more of that in Brothers:D Btw, they better not delete our naked shaving scene - although they might have to on Health and safety grounds:(

Pia, thanks for reminding me of that "logical English guy" self-description of Jake - guess that means he's have a lot in common with a (twisted) logical English girl like me;)
As for what I think of the US election process - I've not been following it that closely atm cos it just seems to be such a long drawn out process and I just don't have the patience, or the brains, to keep up with it. I am interested, of course, as it doesn't just affect the US who's in the White House. Once they sort out the Democratic candidate nomination, I'll start paying more attention. The important thing for me is to get the Republicans out.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

I've reached the bit in TDAT where Laura is trying to warm Sam with her body heat - I could do that...

Hey TL, Jake looks so good in tat scene where he's being mean - with that snarl. Sigh. Yes, they'd better leave in the naked shaving scene whether it detracts from the plot or not - better to remove some plot instead.

twistedlogic said...

I love that line from Laura:D It's as good an excuse as any;)

And that shaving scene is actually crucially integral to the plot. It symbolises Jake's character looking inside himself and seeing the hidden beauty within himself and he manifests that by exposing his physical beauty...or whatever, I dunno, if he can get away with saying the Santa Dance scene is deep and emotional, then surely the same goes for the shaving scene;)

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Oh yeah, that scene is crucial and fundamental - a transitional point as Jake's character leaves the bad behind and embraces the good. In fact, it's so important it should fill a good ten minutes. If necessary, they could always delete some Tobey scenes ;D

pia said...

Yes he looks mean and obnoxious in the deleted phone call scene. I liked the scene when he looked snarly and disgusted and cynical and mean when he said, "Id have a chance to use my gun. . . "

Some more of this would have helped to accept scene where he leapt at Anwar's throat - doncha think, or not?

Im going to movie and bed, since Ive got to get up an hour earlier.

G'nite ladies and laddies. Here's to a sound sleep, WDW.

pia said...

Yeah the Santa Dance was very emotional for all of us.

Guess I'd better start immunizing myself against the naked shaving scene.

Oh, sorry, I said I was going to bed. ta ta (dont discuss nekkid Jake while Im gone please)

Wet Dark and Wild said...

G'night Pia :) Thanks for that - I could do with some sleep wishes. I thought when I saw the film originally that Douglas was a dispassionate, disinterested man, and when he went for Anwar's throat it was merely to test for himself whether Anwar was lying or not. When he was satisfied, he could withdraw and then come to terms with what he'd seen and what he'd done. I think the 'use my gun' scene was an important part of that. There's that ambivalence towards what's right and wrong, Jake captured that so well. When Douglas understands it won't work, then he can make a choice. I prefer not having the additional scenes because for me they detracted from this ambivalence and distance. A really interesting character and I love how Jake played him. As with BBM, sometimes the critics don't take the time to think about Jake's performance.

Sleep well.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

PS Pia - I'm afraid there's no stopping us discussing nekkid Jake when the mood strikes :D

twistedlogic said...

No worries, Pia! I WAS going to discuss naked Jake, in relation to Rendition and in a serious, non-gratuitous way, but my internet connection is playing up again and I lost my comment and I can't remember what I was saying, so I'm off to dream about naked Jake instead;) I take it that's allowed? :D Nite everyone xx

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Night TL - sorry to miss your non-gratuitous and serious discussion of naked Jake. I guess it'll have to wait. I'm watching an all too over-dressed Jake thumping wolves over the head with a torch at the moment. Speak to you tomorrow :D

BirdGirl said...

Never stop discussing naked Jake. Please, please, please. I rather enjoy it on a quiet Saturday night. :)

BirdGirl said...

Sweet (naked) dreams TL.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hello there, Bird Girl :) I must admit, it's a good topic. Maybe Jake should do another version of TDAT but in extreme heat so that he loses the layers rather than overloads with them.

BirdGirl said...

Oh I see Jakes fighting those famous CGI wolves. TDAT is on tomorrow night on FX again. I am sure I will get yelled at for watching it again. I usually goes something like, "Why are you watching this? You own this movie!". Poor Mr. BG. He will just have to deal with it.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

I tell Mr WDW that it's because TDAT teaches me a lot about NYC's architectural heritage and it's about a library, and Mr WDW loves libraries. Also, it's very educational - I know just what to do if someone has a bad cut now. This is hardly ever on UK TV - I should start a petition, there should be a Jake film on UK TV at least once a week.

BirdGirl said...

Hey that's some good advice. I'm gonna give it a try.

I agree US and UK should have at least 1 Jake movie on a week.

FX plays TDAT so much that it's in the promo commercial for the network. I smile every time I see Jake rescuing what’s her name from the big wave.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Wow - seeing Wet Jake hurling himself across cars etc would certainly get me to watch a channel - I like the sound of this FX :D

BirdGirl said...

Well I better run now. Mr. BG will be home from work soon and he will be jealous if I don't pay him some attention.

Have a good night dear. Enjoy wet Jake.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

G'night BG - see you tomorrow xx Jake's about to be rescued now so then I can sleep easy :)

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi everyone :) Hope you all have a good Sunday - and I do believe that the US will be an hour closer to us :D

bobbyanna said...

Just so you know. I watched rendition...again..deleted scens, etc....then read over this thread...then went to bed early bcz of time change,,,and I dreamed...I was ironing! (I NEVER iron!) So much for naked Jake and suggestibility!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Morning Bobbyanna :D Jake made you dream about ironing?? Well, he is very tidy. I think I'd prefer to dream about Jake while I'm ironing. I'm looking forward to our clocks shifting - I want those long evenings :D

paulh said...

When guys shave, it's practical to be wearing as little as possible. It has nothing to do with showing off our bodies. ;-)

Jake moment #3: When I came online this morning, there was a news article featured on AOL's home page, about President Bush vetoing a bill that would ban waterboarding. If enough Congressmen and Senators saw "Rendition," they might be motivated to override President Bush's veto. :-(

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi Paul - well that was our reasoning in requesting the naked shaving scene - it was a purely safety and comfort issue ;)

I totally agree about that - one wonders if these politicians have actually thought what the action behind the euphemism is about.

sass said...

Morning everyone,
It still feels like 8AM for sure. I just had to pop in and tell you how much I've enjoyed this discussion. I don't have anything to add right now, except to add,
that Jake's multi-layered performance as Douglas blew me away.

The interrogation deleted scene in Rendition was a masterful piece of acting. Watching Jake over these past years is almost magical. His promise in October Sky manifests more brilliantly with each film. Each of his films is like opening a present on Christmas morning. Now mind you, I didn't go nutso over him as a man until BBM;) Before BBM, I considered Jake a really good actor, who never disappointed me when I would go to see him in a film. I could always count on him not to disappoint, and that is very important when the average cost of a ticket increases every year. Jake works hard in every movie to do his best work and unlike so many of his contemporaries he delivers.

When I lived IN TX, going to the SXSW festival was a huge deal to me. I was fortunate to attend the year Russell Crowe premiered his band documentary. What a great time we had. Russell, up close and personal, on stage answering questions, was almost too much for some of us back then:)
I wish I could attend Crawford at the Paramount in Austin; it's a really lovely theater.

More current news that makes me think hard about Jake and Rendition and appreciate his taking a salary cut to make this film, He is a mensch.

Our president just vetoed a bill that would have outlawed certain CIA interrogation techniques, i.e. waterboarding; his reasons, we need these techniques to interrogate the most hardened terrorists and get the information needed to save American lives.


Bush vetoes bill to limit CIA interrogation methods

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi Sass :D Thanks for the comment. That's great that you saw Russell Crowe at SXSW - that must have been amazing. This looks like a fun festival to go to.

I fell for Jake with TDAT (although that was everything to do with him running around in the water) but he got my heart with BBM. But I love these earlier films too, as they show how Jake grew as an actor, physically, just every way.

As Paul mentioned too, this decision of Bush and Congress is a sign that this election can't come quick enough. It seems to take forever.

Have a relaxing Sunday :D

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