Thanks so much to WDW reader Lisa, who not only got the chance to spend time with Nicole and other Jake fans in Columbia, South Carolina, on Monday, she also got to see Jake Gyllenhaal himself. But more than that and luckily for us, Lisa's daughter is one of the 'squaws' and is filming today inside the State House - a report on that will follow. In the meantime, here is Lisa's account of her visit to the Nailed set and the wonderful hours spent watching Jake in action. You will enjoy this, it's a great account - here we have Jake hugs, blue eyes, the constant battle by Jake to give the brollywielders the slip - and some Jake stripping, yep, Jake stripping. Over to Lisa...
'Yes, it's true. I drove the two hours to Columbia yesterday [Monday], and hung out at the State House, and watched the filming of Nailed. I had arranged to meet two fellow Gyllenhaalics there (hi, Barbara! hi, Nicole!) to see what we could see at the State House. We were very lucky. What they filmed yesterday was an outdoor sequence taking place on the back steps of the State House. So we got to see a lot of Jake in action.'
'They began shortly after 9, which was great for me as I didn't get there till around 9. The grounds of the State House are rather park-like, sorta like the US Capitol but not as grand. As I walked up from the street, the very first thing I saw was a HORDE of little girls, all dressed in these bright blue girl-scoutish uniforms. They were standing in a loose formation and were WAY more well-behaved and calm than one would expect of a gaggle of girls. I'd say there were 80-100 of them.'
'At this point I was on the phone with Barbara trying to find her and Nicole. I said to Barbara, "I see some woman on the steps with an orange dress on." That turned out to be Jessica Biel. As I walked up, Barbara said, "Jake's on the steps too." And there he was. This was some distance from where we were standing, but there was no mistaking him. I could tell from his posture; he just has a distinct way of standing with his head forward that maybe some of y'all have noticed too. He was in a dress shirt and tie. Of course he's playing a Congressman so he was naturally going to be dressed up. They began filming shortly thereafter. It'd take me all day to describe everything in a narrative, so here are just some random memories:'
1. The scene.
'They filmed one solitary scene all day long. It was Jake, with Jessica on his arm, starting up the steps, with the troop of girls and their leaders following behind. Also in the group was James Marsden and Tracy Morgan and some other "name" actors whose names we couldn't recall. Anyhow, they started up the steps and then reporters would come and yell questions to Jake, who spoke as he walked. Then at one point Jessica would reach out and pull the hair on the back of Jake's head and he would holler out. And then they would keep going on up to the doors of the State House, then they'd yell "cut" and go back and do it, or a variation of it, all over again. This went on ALL DAY. (Well, I had to leave at lunchtime, but B and N say that's the only scene they did in the afternoon too.)'
2. Jake viewing.
'Well, he was glorious. I made it my business to follow him, at an angle and at what I hope was a respectful distance, all day. When they took a break and he went to his trailer, we'd head over that way. When he moved over to a break area they had on a kind of terrace on the steps, we'd wander over there. Of course one could not get that close while they were actually working. I think the closest I got was as he returned from a very short break; I think I may have been 15-20 feet away. He looked in my direction though not directly at me. His eyes are THAT blue. On breaks, he would not tarry. He'd hurry right over to his trailer.'
3. Jake working.
'Jake seemed to be the jolliest, most animated of the main actors. He would chat with the crew and his co-stars between takes. At one point he was getting hugs from some of the little girls in blue, which was absolutely precious. He chatted with Marsden a time or two, and a little bit with Jessica. But though Jake seemed chatty and friendly, he was also 100% professional. They'd yell "rolling" and he'd snap to. He seems so comfortable in front of the camera. Well, they all did. I guess that's why they're stars.'
4. The other stars.
'It took us ages to figure out that that was really James Marsden, who plays Jessica's original love interest in the movie (before she gets the nail in her head). He was in full Indiana State Trooper gear, and had a mustache. He also seemed very at ease. He smiled and waved at Nicole later on. In the scene, he gets to shout out "Booyah!" and he did it a million times that day, just great every time. Jessica Biel walked not 6 feet from us at one point. She was wearing this bright tomato-colored dress and some shoes that I personally thought were an unfortunate choice, but hey, I'm not the wardrobe person. She is pretty, and obviously works out; she was totally working that sleeveless dress with her well-toned arms. She was not as chatty as Jake, but she seemed totally professional.'
5. Tracy Morgan.
'He is apparently playing one of the den leaders of that gaggle of girls. He had on a bright blue jogging suit the same color as their uniforms. I think he has the best agent in the bunch. Here's why: EVERY single time they yelled "cut!" within 10 seconds one of the crew were there with a folding chair for Tracy to sit on. I am thinking that the first clause of his contract had to say that he got a chair within 10 seconds, or the film company would be in breach. No one else--not Jake, not Jessica, no one--was off their feet that much. Or maybe Tracy just wasn't feeling well or had a foot injury.'
6. The vibe.
'It was a beautiful day in Columbia. By the time I left it was about 80-83 degrees. We were able to stand in the shade most of the time, and there was the occasional breeze. There are various state office buildings on the State House grounds, and people would come out to watch the filming for a bit, then go back in to work (mental note: write my state senator about the breaks these people take on the taxpayers' dime). The University of SC surrounds the State House, so lots of students finishing up exams would drift by.'
7. The crew.
'These people work hard. There must have been 200 crew people with radios. They all seemed to have a very important purpose and to fill a very important role. We were standing near a young blonde woman who was doing a great job of keeping people from wandering into the shot. I particularly respected the guy with a megaphone who seemed to be in charge of the girls. He'd say, "Don't run, ladies!" when you just knew he wanted to scream, "STOP!!" Jake's assistant was an Asian woman who was always hovering around. The crew were always on the move, bringing water and gatorade and muffins and fruit to the kids, and iced coffee and god knows what else to the grownups. I think it looks like a fun job. It can't be very different from what I do all day anyhow.'
8. The umbrellas.
'I would not have believed this if I had not seen it myself. As I said, it was a beautiful day in Columbia. It was a pleasant temperature early on, but as it got warmer, all the crew people started walking around with golf umbrellas with which to protect the stars from the sun. Every single crew person seemed to have one. When they yelled "cut!" someone would be over Jessica with a 'brella, and someone would be over Tracy with one. Jake kept wandering away from his! If a star headed to the trailers, there would be someone accompanying them with a 'brella. It was bizarre.'
9. The girls in blue.
'Three cheers for those kids. They were all extras, but they were true pros. Barbara got there at 8 a.m., and she said the girls were already there and dressed when she arrived. They stood in the sun waiting for direction, and when someone said "rolling" they were ready to go. They followed Jake and Jessica walking three abreast, with each row of three holding hands. When they yelled "cut" the girls would turn around and go back and wait patiently. Sometimes some of them would walk over to the bathrooms and miss a take, but they'd get right back in formation for the next one. One adorable little girl fell and skinned both knees. There was a "medic" who looks like he'd wandered over from a Deadhead convention; and he very kindly fixed her up. The moms were all sitting way back out of the shot.'
10. JAKE STRIPS!
'If you've read this far, you deserve this important visual. When there was a break of more than a few minutes, Jake would usually remove his suit jacket. Then for about an hour before lunch, they started rehearsing shooting the same scene but from a different angle. Jake started out these rehearsals fully dressed. Then after a few times, off came the jacket. A few more times, and the tie got loosened. A few more times, and tie got untied altogether and was just hanging around his neck like a stole. Then the dress shirt got untucked. THEN the dress shirt got UNBUTTONED!!! and by the time they broke for lunch, the shirt was off; and Jake headed for his trailer in his sweaty undershirt. We were eager for him to get out of the dress slacks too, but no. Anyhow, it was kind of cool. He never seemed to complain; he just kept taking things off to get comfortable.' [WDW: Note to future directors: ensure at all times Jake feels comfortable but hot.]
'Had I been able to stay, I'd have got an autograph. But it was enough to be close to him and to get to watch him work. I don't know if I'll get to go back. I'm STILL waiting to see if they call my kids. But if I don't get to see him ever again in person, at least I'll have these memories.'
Thanks so much to you, Lisa, for sharing this with us, and I can't wait to hear how you and your lucky girl got on today.
The Gyllengaards in NYC
So good to see pictures of this family together: Peter, Maggie and Ramona out in New York City this week. Unfortunately, this does mean that the UK has lost Peter, but hopefully not for too long.
Jake back in LA?
A sighting puts Jake (and Reese) back in Los Angeles - or Santa Monica to be precise - and he was in shopping mode, 'buying jeans and sweaters at Club Monaco'.
Includes pictures from IHJ, FITSnews and links.