With all the excitement about the imminent release of Source Code buzzing around at the moment, Jake Gyllenhaal was able to surprise attendees at the Harvard Westlake Film Festival last week in LA. Details are only now emerging. Guillermo del Toro was the main guest but Jake was an unexpected speaker 'who joked that someday he hopes these young filmmakers will cast him in their films'.
Jake is a graduate of Harvard Westlake (1998) and so it's no surprise that he's been a guest of the festival before. This is from 2004.
There are some more interviews for Source Code today, as the great reviews pile up. The Times featurea a wonderful spread on Duncan Jones today, in which he talks very honestly and openly about his unusual upbringing, his parents and the choices he's made. 'I’m 40 next month. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am. If Moon was my calling card, Source Code is part of the certification process of Hollywood to show I can work with stars and bring in a studio film on budget (which was around $30 million).'
'“It’s ironic I became a director,” Jones smiles. “When I was young my family was very protective of me. They were always hiding me from photographers and so I’ve always been a bit phobic of having my picture taken. I’m better now, but it’s strange to be so nervous around cameras when I work behind them.”'
There is a video interview with Duncan over at First Showing.
Meanwhile, there is a great interview with Jake over at the Chicago Sun-Times. It begins, however, with a little piece about us: 'His fans call themselves Gyllenhaalics and there is no intervention. They just need to have their fix of those pecs and that sweet smile.' Although I like to think that a regular fix of Jake's talent on the big screen is more vital than a peek at pecs... But yes to the smile.
Scenes from Source Code were filmed in Chicago: “'Chicago is so cool in my book,” Gyllenhaal said. “We shot in the early morning hours and we had the whole park, but without giving too much away, we were filming in front of a statue that was very reflective. You could see the faces of the fans in the background going nuts and waving. It didn’t exactly fit into the plot about a guy who is hiding out. So I asked the ladies to shift a little to the left. It was pretty funny because the crowd moved together like one big dance step. It was everybody to the left in a few big steps. Then everybody to the right. I love my fans. They were so cooperative.”'
Acting in the pod: '“I knew it had to look disorientating, so what I would do is hold my breath and do a number of kung fu combinations to get dripping wet with sweat. Then we’d roll,” he recalled. “We’d do a seven-minute take and then I’d do my breath-holding routine all over again.” He admitted that he almost passed out a few times. “The room was literally spinning, but that was great because my confusion looked so real onscreen.”'
Jake recalls his first role in City Slickers. '“It was crazy to be a kid on a major movie set,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that I was that close to Billy Crystal. To this day, I remember the wardrobe I wore, being in the makeup trailer and working with that cow that played Norman.” He was a giving co-star. “Remember the last scene at the airport with the family in the van with our new pet?” he asks. “The cow was peeing all over me.”'
There are also memories of working with Heath Ledger: '“I remember seeing him after we were both cast. We were at this party and we didn’t have real space to talk. But somehow we found a little corner and we started doing some of the lines,” he said. “We both thought the story was so beautiful and we wanted to service that story in whatever way possible. We had no time to waste.”'
For the first time, we hear a little about End of Watch: it's “a beautiful screenplay about two Los Angeles police department officers. It’s about the nature of duty and friendship, and about the reasons why young guys put their lives in danger.”
'"It would be great to just play characters and lose yourself in them while the audience loses themselves in the characters you play,” he said. “I’d much rather they know less about me and more about the characters. I don’t like having my life played out in the media. I’d much rather keep my private life private. At the same time, I completely understand the interest in an actor’s personal life. I am very forgiving of little 9-year-old girls who run up and say, ‘I want to marry you.’”'
'“Family is the most important thing to me. I love being with my niece,” Gyllenhaal said. “Since my niece came into my life, I have a new perspective on spending time around the dinner table with the people who are special.” They won’t have to deal with his movie star attitude, because there is none. “If I developed an attitude, my mom would give me a real good whupping.”'
Jake has talked to NBC Connecticut about Source Code and what he would change: '“I’ve lived a blessed life,” says the actor, who plays a character who must continually re-explore eight minutes someone else’s life in order to avert a major catastrophe. “I think with regret, regardless of what it might be, if you listen to it is the best teacher, in the way that it has allowed me to live more presently.”'
'“But in the wake of something like what is going on in Japan, even around the world,” Gyllenhaal continues, “I can’t think about something that I would want to go back and re-live in my life, because my life has so far been pretty extraordinary. I would want there to be something like this computer program in the movie: Imagine if you had the ability to go back into a nuclear scientist’s body in Japan, or eight minutes before something happened – you could warn thousands of people what was going on. That’s what I would use it for. It’s hard for me to think about something for myself in the situation that is going on right now.”'
When talking about the 8-minute loops that his character must undergo, Jake recalls the instructions of Duncan: '“Make it weirder – treat everyone like they’re a computer game. Respond to them even stranger.”'
Jake has also been speaking a little about his future and it does include directing: 'Well, I do have a number of things that I'm developing. That's probably where the future lies for me, but I'm not going to give up the day-job just yet. I'd like to see where it goes. You're always wondering how long this will last. It's a piece of being an actor. There's always someone more talented or younger than you. But I also like to write. In years to come, I think that will expand. I won't just be scrapping for the next job. Maybe I'll create something for myself.'
Includes pictures from links and IHJ.
My review of the Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2D) is now up at MovieBrit.