Saturday, 15 January 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal Part 2: When the right role comes along 'I go after it like a wolf!'

After a break for jogging and while Jake Gyllenhaal irons his shirt, collects his dry cleaned suit and ponders over which shoes to wear for tomorrow's Golden Globes, here is the second part of the sensational and lengthy interview conducted with Scott Feinberg. In this part Jake covers the 'teenage in transition' roles, the big movies of the mid 2000s, living privately in the public eye and his pride in Love and Other Drugs. As before, there are times when words are unclear and/or muffled and I've done my best and so, as previously said, any mistakes are mine and not Jake's. Over to Jake:

Teenager in Transition

'I just remember being pretty confused! There was a lot coming at me and I didn't... and I think that was what Donnie Darko was born out of, Bubble Boy was born out of that - the question of confusion of adolesence and growing up and being out there on my own for the first time. And even the movie Highway that I did with Jared Leto which never came out at the the theatres. The Good Girl really. All of these characters came out of, I think, a sense - I think I have always tried to just,... but I guess I just learned from the lesson of the moment... where I was in that moment I think, that I kept on questioning...'

I care very deeply about what I do and I think that leaves me very vulnerable in a lot of ways

'It's funny but I've seen over the past five years the image of an actor really sort of change. What an actor does and what people expect from them. Being outside scrutiny, and the internet and all these things - you have to maintain integrity (laughs). There are a lot of different things that changed since 2005 to 2011, you know what I mean? In terms of what it is to be an actor and what young actors think it is to be an actor. There are people acting all the time, all over the place, themselves, really. For me, I think I saw, there was definitely a phase in there with Proof and Jarhead and Brokeback Mountain - those came at me in way that was just like kismet. There was just a real... being at work with those movies. And yes the beginning, trying to find a real ease in the acting process and I think that ease translates maybe into being an adult.'

'And then with Brokeback and what Brokeback became, that was... all of us in that process, that was overwhelming. I see that a lot with people involved in movies that are such... and become these huge things in culture and that happens, it does happen. I think there was a little bit of searching after that for me. I was like, Ok, there's Rendition and then there's... I did Zodiac, which was, looking back on it, particularly the honour to be working with David Fincher and Mark Ruffalo and Tony Edwards and Downey, and seeing where Downey was, that was a really special time. There was searching in that, for me that's what it feels like when I think of that.'

'And then even with Prince of Persia there was a search in there, figuring that out. And then I think when I did Love and Other Drugs there's a... to be there's a real clarity actually, just knowing the character, finding a character that, a real character that I fell in love with. And for the first time... there are a couple I'd say - Donnie Darko and Jarhead and Brokeback, even October Sky, there are a couple of characters in there that I felt sure about and when my instinct comes up like that I go after it like a wolf! I mean I really do! And I did with that. Imagine me with... that for me was Love and Other Drugs. That, that marks the beginning of something else for me and that's why I feel so proud of it and that's why the character and the role I feel... I feel at ease with it. Like when the movie came out, there's usually a lot of... I like to think that they're only there... I care very deeply about what I do and I think that leaves me very vulnerable in a lot of ways to some people's responses but with this one, with Love and Other Drugs, I was like I didn't really care... and that's the beginning of another phase for me, which is different than I've ever felt before.'

I'm just as guilty of being interested in the people that I admire

'I approach all this stuff with great trepidation because I always feel that I never know how my words will be interpreted which I think is the weird irony like I said of being an actor because ultimately the only thing I see that I want to see from actors is vulnerability and I want to see them open their hearts. And when somebody tries to do that in their work and other people know very little about what's actually going on and tend to paint a very, very simple picture. I'm not necessarily sure why that happens but I think it's just... we're all part and parcel of it, do you know what I mean? I'm just as guilty of being interested in the people that I admire or somehow I find as interesting as the next person. I do happen to be a part of that, of some people's interest.'

'But I think, to be really honest, which is hard to be, I think it is kind of really... I think for a while there I thought it sort of impacted my life in a way and then I realised like, you know,... I'm a very private person. I try - the irony about all of this is that I really try to be a very private person and I definitely am, in choosing what I want to do, giving up that privacy, which is already confusing (laughs). But I think that... I think what I've noticed is that it's so hard for anybody, whether they're under scrutiny by a photographer or by some tabloid, or whatever, any journalist, whatever you might do, it's hard for anybody to find themselves, really their true selves. It's just frustrating when people have intentions and the intentions are... They've made it so, so simple when it's a so complicated, fascinating, extraordinary thing. And that's what I see movies moving away from too - it's harder and harder to have people make movies about complicated, fascinating... because that's not what's being consumed as much but actually it feels like maybe there's talk about it this year, that maybe people are really wanting that. That they really do want that... I realise, as I said, that it can be seen like 'Why the hell are you in these things every week?', they might not like that.'

'There is something that I would love... I love that people understand that it's a funny thing, I think, in the end and you hear about celebrities getting upset at the photographers and I understand why! (Laughs) I don't know what it is but it's just a real... it's made it impossible for people to be totally honest because when you're honest it's manipulated.'

Love and Other Drugs

'When Annie came on the project, as what happens when anybody who's a great actor, they're looking for the reasons for why their character exists. That's the first real question you always have to ask and sometimes actors I think can fit themselves into something that's the way they've been given weight to, they can create weight themselves. Sometimes the weight's already there entirely written by the writer and they just show up and read their lines and somehow the story creates something even deeper than you could have imagined. But in the case of Annie and that role, it wasn't as much and I made a decision, which was great advice from a lot of different people who had read the story, that the strength of the script was always - and I believe the strength of the movie is too - is its love story and all the rest of it, not that all the rest of it can go away, but in a way it could.'

'And what I think mattered the most as an actor is going towards the thing that works. Its seen for any created thing, that anybody who has any great success in the movie business, moving towards the thing that works and that is the most honest. And when Annie came on, she was like 'what the hell is this girl doing here?' I don't understand. Is she just like a thing... to create sympathy?' And we worked on it to make it a real love story and we just started cutting things, that the story used to be a story about this guy who goes through a journey and then it became a love story.'

'And I think it really was born out of Ed, Annie and I all deciding that that was something... At any point along the way me, or Annie or Ed could have said 'I'm out of here. No, this isn't the story I wanted to tell.' I could have said I wanted to be that guy who learned something and Annie could have said this character isn't developed enough and if it's not about her I'm out of here, and Ed could say any number of different things. But I think we were all on the same page with it and Parkinson's is what she deals with and I think the movie deserved a trememdous amount of more weight than it had been given initially in the script. So we just went that way and I hope that answers your question.'


'It means a lot that you like the movie. To me, Annie, Ed and I tried so... we tried so hard to make something special with this movie and the fact that people respond to it makes me... how much hard work was put into it and how much we care about these characters. It means a lot, thank you.'

Personally, I am delighted to hear Jake mention Zodiac. It sounds that now Jake looks back on that as an important part of his career. I'm thrilled with David Fincher's success with The Social Network, including victory at the Critics Choice Awards. And so good luck to Jake and Anne for tomorrow night's awards!

Includes pictures from IHJ.


T said...

WDW you really are fabulous, thanks so much for transcribing this wonderful insight into Jake, it's much appreciated as I couldn't get the sound right.
Hope you managed to keep it together during steel magnolias?? I struggle and I've seem it loads of time...
I'm with you on star wars clone wars, jar jar binks put me off the newer ones, I'm old school loved Harrison ford and chewy...

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thanks T! It wasn't easy to catch all of it so I hope this helps.

I was a bit of a soggy mess after Steel Mangnolias - I love that film as it has every mood in it. I love films that make me laugh and cry. Oh yes, my heart belongs to Hans Solo :)

Linda said...

that was actually a great interview!
nice to hear Jake talk about his life in such an open way :)
loved it!
WDW you're amazing, thanks for taking the time to transcribe it.

BBMISwear said...

I have been sitting back this afternoon enjoying the past couple of weeks worth of posts and it is just what I needed in the middle of a very, very busy time for me. Nothing like recovering from exhaustion with a heavy dose of WDW!!

Thanks for all the great posts, WDW, and I downloaded the audio interview so only took peeks at the transcript for right now but will surely come back to it later. Wow - great work - thanks for that! I think I'll listen to that interview right now in fact!

I'll be back when I can...


Alejandra said...

But how can I download it too?? I listened when you first posted about it, forgot to ask how to download it and now I can't find the interview!! I would love to keep it. :-)

Reading the transcript, I got most of it right: my English teacher would be proud. Still, huge thanks for your work, WDW. Much appreciated.

Only thing I am missing is the first bit: when the interviewer asks him about his immediate family. There's a part of Jake's answer that I'd like to be able to listen to again. :-) (From what I caught, it was in the line of the quote that's in my signature at the forum...)

mermon said...

Hi! WDW - thank you for that second part. Thanks heaven you did it, because this interview is gone! I had it saved in my "favourites" and now it's nothing there :(
I like all the pictures you choose to this post. I didn't know that one from Highway - with Jared - it's lovely. And that one in the crowd, just above the pics with Anne - Jake looks charming. Of course all the pictures with Anne are great. Show their friendly closeness.
Jake - a searching man. Jake going for a role like a wolf! - that's great!
I wonder how original screenplay of LAOD looked like. They chopped it, increased Anne's part, made it more like a romantic - love story movie. Maybe that's why some people think it is like few movies in one and that the story doesn't go fluently. Till I won't watch it - I don't have my own opinion.
Thank you once again.
Jake attended last night - Art of Elysium Heaven Gala 2011

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hello everyone! Having another very lazy day reading and potterring :)

My pleasure Linda! I'm glad I did it, especially as the interview has now gone unfortunately.

Hello BBMISwear :-) I'm so glad you could pop by during these crazy days you;re having. You'll enjoy the interview. Have a great Sunday!!

Hey there Alejandra :D So sorry you missed downloading it (it's right click and then 'save link as'). I'll see what I can do about it in the members' bar in the forum. I am amazed and inspired by how you and other people whose first language isn't English listened to this interview! I found parts of it really hard to hear. Including the parts about Jake's family at the beginning. It was only a couple of minutes' worth but I had trouble hearing a lot of the words then.

Hi Mermon! I love the pics of Jake from Toronto and Cannes, just love them. And the first pic of the post is Jake asking me to yell his name louder! It worked.

As for LAOD, I definitely agree with Jake that the love story is an important part of that film and I can't imagine the film without it. I hope you see it very soon!

New post coming shortly with those pics.

Have a lovely Sunday :)

Monica said...

Thanks for the transcript, wet dark.
It was a good interview.

I found new pictures of L&OD:

Anonymous said...

photos from last night's Art of Elysium gala. pics of him and Ryan Kavanaugh who he worked with in Brothers

He looks like he is angry.


Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thanks, Monica :) Those are great pics - several of the scenes aren't in the film so I hope they make the DVD extras. I'll put those in a post.

Hi Sweetpea

Nev said...

Er...what? Wow, I have so much trouble understanding what he's saying.. :s But thanks for writing it all down ;)