You can be in Nailed too! Should you live anywhere near Columbia, South Carolina, it appears you have three alternatives: 1. You get a part as an extra yourself; 2. You get your daughter (aged 7 to 12) hired as an extra; 3. You get your car a part instead - this last one is obviously the least desirable. Incidentally, I couldn't help but be interested that they only want cars from the 50s, 70s and 90s. What was up with the 60s and 80s? Castings will be held at Dutch Square Mall at 421 Bush River Road, Columbia, on Thursday and Saturday - full details here.
There is also information about the casting of more prominent roles. As we were discussing earlier, Catherine Keener (who starred with Jake in Lovely & Amazing) - along with James Marsden and Tracy Morgan - 'are in final negotiations to star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel in David O. Russell's romantic comedy Nailed'. Is it really going to be promoted as a romcom? Nailed is due to begin filming in South Carolina on 14 April and still Jake Gyllenhaal is only 'rumoured' to be its co-star.
Some time ago, we were discussing what could well be one of Jake's best interviews to date - it took place in Venice in September 2005 and Jake was interviewed by an Italian journalist who had clearly fallen under the spell of Brokeback Mountain. He asked Jake just the kind of questions that Jake responds to best of all. This interview quickly vanished but now it's back and so I want to grasp the opportunity to repost the interview, and some of Jake's answers, because it will disappear again and it should be preserved. I urge you all to watch it while you can.
The polarities of Brokeback
Jake: Ang describes it the best when he says my character is representative of the New West and the that Heath's character is representative of the Old West. The idea that, Heath's... working hard and staying where you are is what life is and my character's more about progression and moving out of where you've become into something better, or what you consider better, is the New West. It's the place where they both meet and where they both meet is a real place of love.
Ennis is introverted and doesn't share much and I think that Jack, my character, is expressive and wants, I think in a weird, interesting way, beyond ahead of his time and wants this thing to work in the real world and the reality is that somewhere it can't - it can only really exist on Brokeback Mountain.
Jack moving on
Jake: I think there's an issue with like soulmates... I think a soulmate is really someone who not only are they your bestfriend but they're also someone who you... sleep with. But when you can't sleep with them ultimately there's a physical urge that overcomes you. You're a human being and you're alive. And I think that with my character, they drift apart. Their love is still deep but they drift apart and he has to look for at least some kind of physical resolution with someone else. He can't see Ennis that often.
Jake: I think there just comes a point in everyone's life, if they're hiding things or not living a life they want to live, where they crack. I think also there's a sense too with my character that he puts up with a lot from other people. He puts up with a lot of criticsm and he puts up with a lot of - not getting what he really needs and he compensates. And at that point he's just tired of not being called a man and he's tired of not - that definition of whatever a man is - what you're supposed to be. He has a family, he loves his son and he's not going to let somebody tell him that he's not the father of his son.
It's funny cos here I've been asked a lot of questions about how my character's more feminine or something than Heath's character and I find it a real... It's a little offensive simplification of what masculinity is and it's exactly the same thing that makes him so angry at his father-in-law in the Thanksgiving scene because it's just naive. What is masculine and feminine? The idea of a gay man, a straight man, whatever it is, it's just an unfair assumption. The idea here is the idea of love and that's really the hardest part and the most difficult of all!
The setting of the story
Jake: It's a real universal story. It had to find its place... it happens that there's an irony in the time that the two of them get together as it's considered the ime of free love and stuff like that. And yet they're not free to love at all. My parents always talk about that time - 'Oh, we were crazy then!' - and I'm like, Yeah, but a lot of people weren't allowed to do what they wanted to do and how they really felt. It's different for everybody and that time's a juxtaposition of what you assume that time period to be.
The Wild West of Brokeback
Listening to Jake discussing the polarity between the Old and New West represented by the two characters in Brokeback Mountain reminded me of this feature (from later in 2005) when Jake brought the contrast up again: 'Ang talks about how Heath's character is a representation of the Old West, and I am the New West, and in the amalgamation of the two, that's where love is. How they are both right and both wrong in their separate ways, and when they come together, it's all right.'
Jake also discusses the contrasting ways in which he and Heath approached their roles: 'Ultimately, me and Heath did come at it from separate corners. And in technique too, in style of acting, we're very different, and it helped the story, us not talking about much of anything before we did it. It was a new approach for me, and it was really hard... I sometimes made choices that were grander, and when I saw the final cut of the movie, I was surprised with the takes that Ang chose: A lot of them were early takes, before I made bigger or riskier choices. There is a subtlety that goes through the whole piece. It becomes torturous after a while as an actor, because it's not your typical interpretation of what a performance should be. In service of the story it works, but as a performer you feel repressed and held back, you know?'
Jake's loneliness and frustration were channelled into his portrayal of Jack: 'In particular, the inability to talk to Heath, or even talk to Ang about what was going on, does ultimately come through. I also think that more than Heath or Ang, I have an intention in my will and my life to want to move, and change, and want to force things out of people. I want to get to the truth of things, I don't want to just sit there sulking, and letting things be. I think that was Jack's intention as well, to want to get things out there, to always force the issues, push them forward.'
And finally: 'I don't worry about people not getting it... I think people are much smarter than that, and more open-minded. Even though it's a sad movie, it's ultimately hopeful. There's not a perversity to it. People mistake riskiness for perversity, for shock value. People expect to be shocked from this movie, and what they really get is a sense of love, of holding on to love, and a salient sense of regret that is not in movies right now. It's a really simple film and it moves in a way people aren't used to, but it gathers up on you, and you're nailed with it. [I hope it] takes people to a place most movies aren't brave enough to go.'
This post is dedicated to my good friend Linda, with whom I was discussing Brokeback Mountain late last night. Thank you for being there.
Includes pictures from IHJ.