Nailed is back at Columbia's statehouse, according to a poster at IMDb today, who took a great photo of the nightshoot in the wee hours of this morning: 'I'm looking out my apartment window right at the capital, they have the corridor from Gervais to Pendleton of Sumter street closed off. Filming trucks, etc. Super bright light shining on the entrance of a building right on Sumter. Here's a pic as of 2AM.' A big thanks to them for making their picture public.
All this talk about Robert Downey Jr over the last day or two has reminded me that, during the filming of Zodiac, Robert and Jake Gyllenhaal appear to have tightly knit and both stood together as allies against the onslaught of take after take.
'We promise you that in the course of filming Zodiac no animals were hurt," Downey says with a laugh. "That's where the humane behavior ended. No ego was left untarnished. We're doing a scene and I realized after we'd done it about 40 times, I was tied to the mast. Dave's like, 'Everything that Downey has just spent the last six hours doing? Let's delete that, go to lunch, and start over.' But that's the shit, dude. It's — Fincher.'... And David's response ' "Look, Robert is brilliant, he's a genius," he says. "And I'm all for taking a certain amount of time to explore other... But there are limits to where improvisation can help a taut thriller. In certain cases, things have to be said."'
Improvisation seems to have been used by both actors not only to amuse themselves but as a bit of a weapon against their 'purist' director. This clip from the UK's Total Film magazine (June 2007 issue) shows how it would wind up Fincher although Robert and Jake would pay the ultimate price with yet more takes:
From the way that David seems to warn cinematographer Harry Savides against the Gyllenhug on its way to him, it almost seems as if David thinks this is another weapon in Jake's arsenal. As for Robert, David says: 'You know, Downey likes to play, but he likes to know there's light at the end of the tunnel.'
Here is another excerpt from the reporter's eyewitness account of life on the filmset of Zodiac: 'Robert Downey Jr is on fire. The resurgent actor has been smoking nicotine-free cigarettes throughout his latest scene. But, for reasons best known to himself, he's been stubbing the butts out in tissue paper - which has finally ignited, underneath Gyllenhaal's seat. There's much laughter. Fincher walks past and Downey offers an exaggerated flinch. The scene resets. Fincher disappears to the monitor and calls across: 'Last one.' 'Yeah, right,' says Gyllenhaal. 'Have a little faith,' says a crewmember. 'Come on!' says Gyllenhaal. 'We're going to fuck all night!' At lunch he looks tired. 'I don't want to satisfy that part of David that enjoys having people hear that it's not easy,' he says, of the repeate takes. 'But it gets tedious. It really does... It can be pretty intense.''
I must say that trying to set Jake on fire is not in my approved list of ways to find entertainment on a tedious shoot.
This Is Our Youth director on being made invisible by stars
We've heard Jake talk at some length about what a great experience it was for him to do theatre. This weekend we have an interview with Jake's director on This Is Our Youth, Laurence Boswell, who is now working for Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. In the feature, Boswell discusses the experience of 'working with American celebrities like Madonna, who demanded a complete rewrite of the Williamson play, as well as Gyllenhall and Damon, was instructive. All the productions were sold out, based on star power alone. But for Boswell, the experience was an object lesson in how the culture assigns value.
“So there we are in rehearsal,” he recalls, “and of course they aren't theatre actors. They can't really act. They need my help for everything: what to do with their hands, how to speak, how to stand, how to breathe.… They are totally dependent on me.… And then we leave the building, and the paparazzi and the fans are waiting outside and we all go out together, and suddenly I am nothing. I am completely, I mean completely, invisible.”'
I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did, which shows Maroon 5 being given the third degree by a Gyllenhaalic Brit who appears to be far more interested in everything Jake than anything Maroon 5 (except whether the band is turned on by airports). Adam Levine also has a confession to make to Jake.
Includes pictures from IHJ, Jakegyllenhaal.org and links in post.