Tuesday, 30 September 2008

'It's impossible not to respond to Gyllenhaal's sweetness, wide eyes and dazzling smile'

With Chekov's Seagull opening on Broadway this Thursday, starring our very own Peter Sarsgaard, I'm in a theatrical mood, helped along by Peter's appearance in an Associated Press interview today. The interview itself takes place on the stoop of his Brooklyn house (complete with blueberry muffin).

For the role of Trigorin, Peter has 'grown a lush beard... and radiates both charisma and sleaze.' And in the interview we learn that, at the last minute and without warning, Peter switched his accent on stage to an English one in order to be less acceptable to the audience. After An Education, Peter should be well-versed and, of course, he can practise with the Prince of Persia himself.

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Brokeback Mountain is to be turned into an opera, we now hear that Bubble Boy is to be 'musicalised' (I've made that word up). At this rate we'll be getting Zodiac on Ice.

Bubble Boy has had its share of critics, after all, it could be construed as being slightly tasteless. However, that is because you have to suspend belief and feed the laughter glands by revelling in Jimmy's happiness at being out of his bubble room and into the big wide world (albeit while still in a bubble), where you can tread on dog poo, leap in sunlight pools, mud wrestle, have your first sip of beer and meet shiny happy people (not to mention a bunch of other lunatics), while chasing your blue-eye blonde-haired dream all the way to Niagara Falls.

This film was also Jake Gyllenhaal's first experience of the stunt world of being a movie star: 'I'm falling over waterfalls, flying in an airplane, and being tossed off motorcycles... I did a lot of the stunts because the bubble makes it safer to hit the ground.' Jake also defended the film when the Immune Deficiency Foundation called for a boycott: 'It's actually really political, and I think, while being political, really empathetic to people who might be considered sort of oddball and different, and so in essence it becomes different itself.'

Some critics really did get the joke - and the charm in Jimmy's situation: 'Gyllenhaal is fabulous as Jimmy, a charmed innocent who grew up viewing the world from a distance and inspires people with his purity and lack of cynicism. Once he leaves home in pursuit of love and experience, Jimmy could be an alien visiting Earth for the first time: Everything is new to him, wondrous and strange. This is a star-making performance: It's impossible not to respond to Gyllenhaal's sweetness, wide eyes and dazzling smile, or to imagine anyone whose looks or personality would be more perfectly suited to the role.'

'Equally brilliant is Swoosie Kurtz, who gives a wicked spin to Jimmy's sex- phobic, fiercely overprotective mother. Determined to keep her child clueless and celibate, Mrs. Livingston is prone to reading aloud from "Pinocchio" and improvising the ending: "And then Pinocchio touched the filthy whore who lived next door and died."'

When Jake read the script: '"I laughed out loud at the perversity of the script... It's funny, but it's also touching and warm. It's a beautiful love story, and it's a story about a boy finding himself." Gyllenhaal said the idea that the movie makes fun of such children is ridiculous. "They obviously haven't seen the movie," the actor said, "because the boy is the hero of the movie. The people who make fun of him in the film are shown to be idiots. If anything, I think the movie will help bring an awareness of the disease to people who never heard of it."'

Director Blair Hayes wanted Jake for the role on first sight: 'We literally saw hundreds of actors for the role, but when Jake walked in, Beau and I looked at each other and we knew," director Hayes said. "Jake has a way of immediately being sympathetic, lovable and cute. That was essential for any actor playing this role. But more important, Jake is able to play comedy and drama. In the hands of just a comedic actor, this part would come off as shtick, and that was the last thing we wanted. There are not many actors making films today who can pull off both comedy and drama like Jake. It's a Tom Hanks quality, and Jake already has it."'

And when you watch this film, it has to be with the commentary...

And finally

Jake is a theme of a new musical, Jason and Ben, currently being performed in NYC. The play is not getting particularly warm reviews but has a highlight: 'Cohen's songs are mostly fine, capable examples of 1990's Emo pop that would be better enjoyed outside of the show since nearly all of them lack theatricality. The score's lone attempt at humor, Ben's gushy tribute to the charms of Jake Gyllenhaal, is its clear highlight.' It's difficult to see the fault in anything that includes a gushy tribute to Jake Gyllenhaal. So that's a 10 out of 10 from me and I don't even need to see it...

Includes pictures from IHJ and links.


Ruby said...

I have so many questions about that first pic of Jake.....

Why does he have that expression on his face?
Who does the small pointing hand belong to?
Who's the girl on the badge?
What is the thing he's holding in his left hand and Whose picture is on it?
What's with the hair?

Anonymous said...

. . . and radiates both charisma and sleaze.

Now, who could not find that appealing? I really do hope I can see The Seagull. Trigorin is very intriguing to me. What a wonderful interview with Peter.
It's too trendy for me in there - love it!

Dead Man Walking - one of my all-time favorite movies, with Susan, Sean and Peter; talk about a film that will make you think and feel.

Bubble Boy - chances are, I never would have seen it but for Jake, and I haven't seen all of it, but from what I have seen, I fell in love with it. It's Jake who makes it, his guileless and angelic Jimmy, and he is the hero, and Swoozie, who turns out to be "Wildfire" is wonderfully funny. It good-naturedly needles anything and everything. :)

sheba said...

Isn't that Eva Carradine, the girl he did a shrine to or maintained her website... something like that... sounded like a little crush going on there ;o)

I love Jimmy and his 'Bright and Shiney' innocence. I love that my little one loves the only Jake film I've allowed him to watch all the way through.

I seriously could not imagine any other person in this role other than Jake, seriously. He should be darned proud of it... I certainly am. Blair did a great job with the script, direction and casting. Swoozy Kurtz was amazing. WDW, that line about the 'filthy little whore next door' which was later repeated by Jimmy was an absolute howler.Can you tell... I love it. I'm a bad mother... off to feed the little one.

Oh... BTW, I can six-degrees myself to Jake in about 4 moves (very long shot - but I'm desperate).

Jake worked with Marley Shelton, who did a Hercules: The Legendary Journey film with Kevin Sorbo who worked on Andromeda with Keith Hamilton Cobb who I've met in person.... twice..and received a bear hug. Ok, does that count?

Zodiac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zodiac said...

I can 6-degree myself to Jake in 4 steps: I used to babysit for a family in London,in Balham,(for obvious reasons I can't say more) where the father was an actor (theatre mostly) and knew Ralph Fiennes quite well. Ralph was in a movie with Hopkins, Hopkins was with Jake in Proof. Ha!:)

I love Bubble boy. I love it, I love it, I love it.

Ruby, the girl on the badge and other pictures are the characters form the film. Have you seen it? Unfortunately, I can't answer your last question:)Too high.

Jake has inspired quite a number of poems (his dad's poetry, this older guy who wanted Jake to be his),songs(i.e.L.A.),plays (remember "Sex with Jake Gyllenhaal"?). Am I missing something?

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi there everyone :D Having a quiet evening, watching Iron Man while supping the red stuff. But now I really want to see Bubble Boy again! I wish I could remember lines from movies - I'm useless at it. There are so many good lines to quote from this one :)

Hi Rubes! I love these Bubble Boy premiere pics - what a lot of expression on Jake's face. Looks like a fun event. I can answer none of your questions - particularly not the hair one - yet again Jake suffers bad hair for the sake of his career!

Thanks so much for that comment, Anon :D It's a great interview with Peter. I find him so fascinating and such a sexy guy. I didn't realise Peter was in Dead Man Walking.

Wildfire Swoozie - what a great character. I would never have seen BBoy if it hadn't have been for Jake and I'm so glad that I did as I just love it. There is no malice in it, but a lot of fun - and I just love the beer drinking scene :D

Hey there Sheba! Yeah, I think that's Eva. That was so funny about the website Jake said he ran for her! So many good lines in that movie. I like your six degrees :D

Hope everyone's having a good evening!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hey Zodiac! Good six degrees :D I love this film too, so much. Jake is an inspiration as we see over and over - he certainly inspires me :)

Ruby said...

Thank you Zodiac, I'd best take another look. Still seeking an answer on the facial expression! Any ideas?

yes, I've seen the movie - it does have Jake in it after all! :D

Jake's hair is an eternal mystery to me. ;-)

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hey Ruby - maybe someone was pinching Jake's bum :D That is very true about Jake's hair - sometimes it seems to lose control all together.

Monica said...

Good night, Wet Dark!
Peter Sargaard is incredible. I would like to see the play in which he is acting. Certainly should be a lesson in interpretation.

The first time I saw the announcement of Bubble Booy thought it was a bad movie.
After watching the film I found very funny.
My friends love watching Bubble Boy!

Jake is a real charm!

Thanks for all the links!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi Monica! Bubble Boy was such a surprise to me too - I wasn't expecting to fall for it so much but Jake drew me in. Peter is incredible :D

pia said...

I made up my mind! no matter how much I lov'd Jake that I would NOT NOT watch Bubble Boy.

But I lov'd it!

Nice interview with Peter!

O the sweeteness, where are you, swweeetnessssss?

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Morning everyone! Lovely autumnal day out there :D

Morning Pia :D I'm afraid that Jake is irresistible as Bubble Boy and should not be avoided... Glad you liked it :D I know, missing Jake...

*good girl* said...

Morning everyone and thank you WDW for this post, I had never seen this set of Jake's pics, love them :D
And I love Bubble Boy too, I've always thought it's a really nice movie, Jake's so sweet and funny :)

I miss him too :( looking forward to some intense movie promotion ^^

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi Good Girl! They are great pics, I'd not seen them before either. Hope you're having a good day :D

Carol said...

Thanks for reminding me of Bubble Boy WDW: )
It's been awhile since I saw it.

Enjoyed the interview with Peter.

Have a great day everyone.

Xenia said...

I love Bubble Boy, Jake is wonderful in it, made me think of Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands when I saw the movie for the first time. Both played a weird sweet kind of sexy character.

As for Pinocchio, it's funny because if you read this old Italian story, you'd find that it might have somewhat influenced the writer of the movie script...

Thanks for another gem of yours, WDW, and Jake is still MIA...

Bye to all, have a good day.:)

paulh said...

Movies from earlier eras can look very strange to people of later generations. I can only wonder what audiences will make of Jake's movies 50 years from now. I find the same feeling of disorientation when I see movies from the early 1970s, let alone the filmes noirs of the late 1940s. Could the world possibly have looked that threatening and ominous in the
40s, or that carefree in the 70s?

WDW, don't joke about having "Zodiac" on ice. Every word any of us says is picked up by the search engines, notably Google. Someone might be reading your comments (or mine, or anyone else's), and think, "That's a good idea; we can cast Will Ferrell as Graysmith, and John Heder as Paul Avery, and rent Madison Square Garden's rink for a three-week engagement." We'd end up with songs like "Zodiac Killer, I love you," and "A typical day at the Chronicle," and big Busby-Berkley-style chorus numbers about squirrels dancing in a mobile home.
If they could write cheerful big-chorus numbers for "Little women," then they could do the same for "Zodiac." let's not even go there (except that I guess I just did).


Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi there everyone! Back from a long day earning overtime and getting frazzled - so time to relax with you all, Jake and some red.

Hi there Carol :D

Thanks Xenia! That's an interesting comparison between Bubble Boy and Edward Scissorhands. Although I've never really fallen for Johnny Depp, his roles are intriguing and so odd on occasion. And that's a good thing.

hey Paul! I love the idea of the Zodiac on Ice songs - I can see Avery and Graysmith chasing Allen across the ice while Fincher follows on behind with a megaphone.

Have a good evening, everyone! I need to take some deep breaths and relax :)