** Update: Prince of Persia overtakes SATC2 at the holiday box office! **
Thanks to the photographic team of USA Today we have proof of that fine age-old adage: 'Nothing sets off a brick wall quite like Jake Gyllenhaal'. Photographer Robert Hanashiro describes the background to the fabulous photo of Jake that adorned the front page of the newspaper last week. When faced with the option of taking photos of Jake in the basement of the El Capitan theatre against an Alice in Wonderland backdrop, Hanshiro took the risky decision to move to a brick alley. The results are stunning. You can read all about it here.
Pictures from USA Today.
We've seen the cast of Prince of Persia take the Gyllenhaal Spelling test - and largely fail. Today the cast has a go at the PoP Movie Quiz. It is spoilery so you may want to wait until you've seen the fim but otherwise enjoy seeing how bad Jake is. Not that the others are much better, mind you. When asked how many times Dastan and Tamina kiss in the film, Sir Ben Kingsley slips into character and asks would Nizam care? Possibly not.
I must thank those who have been sending me interviews and features from all corners of the globe for Prince of Persia. Many thanks to Linda for this scan from the Mexican TabascoHOY. You can read the article here.
A feature from Brazil (with thanks to Monica) contains a lovely snippet about Jake's set companion Atticus, who is truly a Hollywwod dog. Please excuse my poor translation: 'The interview with Jake Gyllenhaal was amazing. The guy is a family man. The actor spoke of his father (Stephen) and his actress sister (Maggie) more than the movie. He said he loves to cook, goes to the market to select ingredients for the dishes. He has a dog that accompanies him to film sets. On the set, the dog, very playful, has learned the codes and he makes no sound when you hear 'Shoot', coming back to life at 'Cut', when he runs into the scene to try to knock over the good guy from Brokeback Mountain.'
In a German interview with Gala.de, Jake confirms that Atticus is his companion on set. He also says that cookbooks fill his bookshelves and they are his obsession. [Well, I've got lego and a veritable Prince of Persia library on mine...] Jake says that 'If I'm in a strange city, I ask first when the market days are.' This seems like a good point to tell Jake that Oxford's market is on a Wednesday.
'I like to cook, grow my own vegetables and it's nice to sit comfortably with friends at a table and chat. I am a good listener.' Jake also owns up to his Martha Plimpton crush. Jake admits that he was never so proud in his life as when Maggie was nominated for an Oscar and he sat in the audience. He also says that the ring he is often seen wearing these days says 'Carpe Diem' or 'Seize the Day'. 'This is my life motto.'
Intriguingly, this interview begins with a suggestion that the keys were lost for this interview at the Dorchester and Jake had to break in, ala Dastan. My German is too rusty and so updated to add a translation from my good German friend Uli (no doubt still celebrating Germany's Eurovision win on Saturday...): 'In the posh London hotel, The Dorchester, Jake breaks open the door to the interview room - much to the horror of the staff - because the key is missing and then, during the "Gala"-Interview, made his cool Princeof Persia-Barbie [ie, action figure] climb over glasses and through the flowers on the table.' Thanks Uli!
There is another fine interview from DigitalDVD in Germany. Jake talks again about how proud he was of making his first big jump onset and that he took a photo of himself afterwards. Jake says here that he's thinking of making it his screensaver. [Something else Jake and I have in common!]
Jake's favourite scene in the movie is one of mine for sure: 'The fight scene with Asoka. Asoka followed me on a horse. He has a spear in his hand and he gallops behind me while I run before him and he comes closer and closer. I run into a small tunnel, I jump high at the end, then up the wall and get him out of the saddle. The Parkour here is very smart and cool.' [Again, my rusty German.]
Jake also suggests that he may have been a bit hasty in running away from the ostriches... and gives some interesting detail about his costume. 'From the beginning, Jerry Bruckheimer said that this character must be a real person, and must not be a cartoon. I worked with our costume designer Penny Rose for how Dastan's clothes should look. Behind every piece of clothing lies a story that is not necessarily told in the film, but I know it. At the beginning of the film I wear this one jacket. If you look closely, you can see some things that hang down on this jacket. We came to the conclusion that these were pieces of hair from women that he had courted earlier, perhaps, and later Dastan had attached them to his jacket.'
'I love Morocco, I've shot two films there. Overall, I have spent four to five months in Morocco, I traveled everywhere - Marrakech, Erfoud and Ouarzazate. The Moroccans are lovable, generous and full of life. The country has a wonderful culture and an extraordinary history... I've eaten a lot of tagine. I love this stew. Just great, in fact I have eaten nothing else. And so I stayed in shape. Do you want to know my secret of how to stay fit? it's the tagine diet.' There is much more to read so do take a look.
But may the last word rest today with Sir Ben who is again insisting that Dastan has a northwest London accent. '"We [Jake and Sir Ben] discovered each other while filming, and that's one of the delightful things about what we do," says Kingsley. "No day's the same. No film's the same. No cast is the same... His accent is impeccable," Kingsley notes of the Los Angeles native. "I can tell you what street in Northwest London that boy comes from. I can tell you what school he went to. It's a very accurate accent."' I lived in NW London for years (NW3 to be precise) and I can honestly say it definitely wasn't my street.
The Independent reports today on Prince of Persia's success across international box offices this weekend, beating SATC2 soundly into second place, and good to read that PoP opened top in another country today, Australia!
Pictures from USA Today and Disney.