Thursday, 14 April 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal up north in Iceland and still being proud of Donnie Darko and beating that train phobia

A year ago today Eyjafjallajökull blew its fuse and ejected untold masses of ash into the sky. While this meant days of quiet skies, with not a white trail in sight, I do remember the anxiety of wondering if it would put pay to the Prince of Persia London premiere. Little could I have imagined that a year one Jake Gyllenhaal would be clambering about on the slopes of this volcano in the company of Bear Grylls. It also gave Jake the perfect opportunity to pop into the 66°North shop in Bankastraeti in Reykjavik and buy some hardy clothes for the trip.

But unlike those of us who are content to spend a flight watching romcoms while quaffing GnTs, Jake and Bear Grylls posed with fans.

Jake also bumped into Sigurjón Sighvatsson, a producer of Brothers. And Google translates... : 'It was a coincidence and it was really fun to meet him. He spoke very beautifully about the land' and the rest makes no google sense.

The wait for Jake Gyllenhaal vs The Wild will not be easy (although why Bear didn't take Jake off to some hot land with waterfalls and coconuts and coral reefs is beyond me). In the meantime we have bounty such as this interview with Maxim to enjoy.

Q: Did you ever imagine that the entire world would be able to pronounce your last name? JG: That was always the goal. When your name has that many letters and syllables, the only choice you have is to go into public life.

Q Is there anyone who still gets it wrong, like telemarketers? JG: They just sort of mumble it, like, “Hello, Mr. Blahblahblah,” as if their phone went through a bad patch. But there’s an odd mangling of the name pretty much on a daily basis.

Q: Tell us about Source Code. It’s a tough one to explain. JG: Yeah, I’m going to try to only make movies that are inexplicable, so people have to go see them. It really helps ticket sales. But, really, Source Code is a weird amalgamation of genres. Ultimately it’s a story about someone who is unconscious becoming conscious of his life.

Q: Part of the plot involves a train blowing up. Did shooting the movie make you wary of railroad travel? JG: I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with train travel, because when I was a kid I had a horrible nightmare on a train. So maybe Source Code was a way for me to resolve some of those issues I had as a five-year-old.

Q: Your Source Code character is in the military, but it’s a very different role than the one you played in Jarhead. JG: Jarhead was full-on immersion into the world of the Marines, and in this case my character is a helicopter pilot in the Army. That’s also a fascinating subject to learn about, but definitely different. Jarhead involved, like, a month of boot camp.

Q: Do you get marines coming up to you to talk about Jarhead? JG: All the time, and they have differing opinions. They say things like, “That part was bullshit, but I liked the movie.” One guy came up to me recently and said, “My friend enlisted because of that movie.” I feel like everybody involved in Jarhead would have different opinions about encouraging someone to enlist.

Q: You probably also get geeks coming up to you to talk about Donnie Darko. Are you a fan? JG: Are you kidding me? I’m prouder of Donnie Darko than almost any other movie I’ve made, and I happen to be proud of a lot of them. Watching it is a rite of passage, it seems, at certain times in people’s lives. Q: What do people say about it? JG: Someone will come up to me and say, “Hey, man, I watched Donnie Darko,” and I’m like, “Oh, that’s awesome, man.” Then they’re like, “No, man, I watched Donnie Darko.” Q: What exactly does that mean? JG: I have no fucking clue! Apparently people are having a good time watching Donnie Darko. I don't want to know.

Q: You must get some pretty strong responses about Brokeback Mountain as well. JG: I’ve had people say stuff to me—stuff like, “Brokeback Mountain changed my life”—and then I’ve had people come up to me and say, “I’d never see that movie.” What I find amazing is some audiences’ inability to separate characters from the actors who play them. Q: So you don’t go to Mexico anymore? Is that what you mean? JG: [Laughs] I don’t even know how to answer that. The truth is, when my character goes to Mexico and picks up that dude in the alleyway, it’s actually the cinematographer. Q: Wait. So director Ang Lee was just like, “We need a creepy- looking Latino guy. Hey, you!” JG: Yes, that’s exactly what happened. I had to do, like, 15 takes. I couldn’t hold my shit together ’cause it was Rodrigo.

Q: When you put on plaid, do you think about your character? Do you think about my character? JG: Uh, no? Do you have buddies who are like, “I’m not gonna go camping with you anymore!”? Oh, man. This interview is really going south...not that far south!

Q: Do people make The Day After Tomorrow jokes to you whenever there’s a really big snowstorm? JG: No. But I do feel like we’re starting to live in that movie. It’s scary how prophetic Roland Emmerich was.

Q: What’s it like being on all those “Hottest Bachelor” and “50 Most Beautiful” lists? JG: People don’t realize what a rigorous testing process it is to even be considered for those lists. Those who make it really have been through a great deal. Q: Like you and 1986 Ted Danson. JG: Yes! Really, it’s an honor and the barometer for everything in my career and why I make choices I make. And I’m totally aware that there’s no irony in print.

Q: Every woman, from our girlfriends to our sisters to our moms, is in love with you. What’s your secret? JG: It’s all about getting on a “Sexiest Man” list. If you can work that out, then I think you’re pretty much golden. No, you should read Maxim; that’s where I get it. And always be a gentleman. Q: You’ve dated some beautiful and talented women—Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon. Which of them would make the best Maxim cover? JG: Uh, I got nothing for you there.

Q: Fine. What was the worst hangover you’ve ever had? JG: It unfortunately involved a night of mixing red wine and vodka. Not advised. Stay away.

Q: Finally, what do you wish you could tell your 18-year-old self? JG: I’d say, “Lighten up, dude. Bubble Boy is a lot better than everybody says it is.”

Includes photos from links and Source Code.


LadyEkster said...

"Bubble Boy is a lot better than everybody says it is."
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Amen!

Has it really been a year since those volcano problems? Man, it seems only yesterday... I remember those days so clearly. It also means I'm getting closer to my first Gyllenhaalic anniversary! :) Will be celebrating it a month later with Source Code, great timing. :)

Susan said...

What a great interview! I LOVE Bubble Boy - it's a wonderful social satire and goofy and sweet and funny all at the same time. Anybody else as Jimmy Livingston would not have been able to capture that wide-eyed innocence and heart of gold. Maybe Jake will consider a comedy when he's done with End of Watch. I could really embrace that.

Snow said...

Have to agree on both things...

Yes the vulcano problems... arrrgh. It got my Sweden flight postponed three times, and fourth was the time I could finally catch the flight. No major drama though, everything went smooth with bookings and such but... I didn't know if I would make it home weeks later hehe!

And... Bubble Boy, I agree again with LadyEkster and with Susan, I loved it and still do!

It's so much better than you/people would think it is judging other facts like... the cover?!

Can't wait to see that ep with Bear... and agree with WDW on an ep with coconuts, palm trees and just shorts and possibly a white tshirt. Possibly wouldn't mind just the shorts ;)

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hey Lady Ekster! Ooh I love Bubble Boy, not least because it has a fantastic Jake commentary. I know - I can hardly believe it was a year ago! I was so worried that Jake wouldn't make it over for the premiere.

Jimmy Livingstone is adorable, Susan! I'd like some comedy after End of Watch too.

OMG, Snow, that's a pain! It was such a strange time. Yep, a tropical Man Vs WIld would've been good :D

Anonymous said...

I loved this interview (and the pics of Jake)

I agreed with everything he said about his movies....EXCEPT

Bubble Boy is a lot better than everybody says it is.”

um NO, Jake. I've watched it and no it isn't (IMHO) BUT I agree with you about Donnie Darko, BBM, TDAT and Jarhead


Anonymous said...

Bubble Boy - what a great comic performance by Jake. Even reviewers who didn't care for the movie had good things to say about Jake. I thought it was very sweet and loving and had a lot of truth in it. His character took a chance - even tho he had no idea where he was going or what he was going to do he Had to get to the girl he loved and to make sure she wouldn't end up with the guy she was going to end up with. There was satire and his acceptance of all people (except of course the guy she was going to marry) It's a positive movie.
Not the other anon.

Sasha said...

I loved Bubble Boy! Maybe I should get the DVD if there is a Jake commentary on it.

And I think it's so strange that people would go out of their way to tell Jake that they would NEVER see BBM. I mean - you don't have to like it and you don' have to think about being gay if you're uncomfortable with it - but keep it to yourself!
What is he supposed to say to that?

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Morning everyone! Friday :D

Hi Sweetpea :) I've gotta disagree on this one. I adore Bubble Boy and it's so flippin' funny!

Hi 4:42 - I totally agree. And that moment when Jimmy and his father are in the car looking at the moon... always gets to me. Some bits really are sweet, others are ludicrous and some of it is so witty as well as hysterical.

Morning Sasha! OMG the commentary is brilliant! You must listen to it. And yes that is strange. I also find it strange that anyone would ever tell an actor that they wouldn't see his movies. What on earth is the point?

Have a great day everyone! I'm ready for a weekend.

Alejandra said...

I too love Bubble Boy! In fact, I fear that if you asked me what my favourite Jake film is, "Bubble Boy" would be the first to come to my mind. Yep, I admit it. Could be a phase, tho. But I keep saying it replaced "Edward Scissorhands" for me. :-)

The Maxim interview was highly interesting too.

Have a good day, everybody. xo

Anonymous said...

God that Maxim interview has to be the best ever.
I'm dying to see JG vs the Wild, but I'm absolutely sure I'm gonna miss it. My life just wont take to Other Channel Scheduling (OCS) !


paulh said...

Sorry I haven't been posting much here lately. I'm feeling down about movies in general, and disappointed that "Source Code" is not racking up box office dollars the way "Inception" and "Avatar" did. I think Hollywood is taking us for granted. They have the technology to make movies like "Hop" look gorgeous, so they don't bother to hire actors who are even remotely plausible. Such a waste of talent!

I have advice for Jake: make a lot more movies. I realize that your interviews are among the best in the business, but it's movies that posterity will remember you by!

I agree with the fan who said that he enjoyed watching "Donny Darko." That first scene, where Donny/Jake is in the middle of the wilderness with the sun coming up? It's absolutely gorgeous! I like the Darko house and the Cunningham mansion, and the creepy seats in that movie theater. We have another Smurfs movie coming at us (shudder!), so the scene where Donny discusses Smurf sex will become relevant again. ;-)


Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi Alejandra! It's definitely the Jake film that makes me laugh the most. I reckon it's time for another comedy...

Hey TD! I think we could be in luck with this JG vs the Wild as it's also for Channel 4. So fingers crossed! Can't wait for it.

Good to see you Paul :) No worries, I know what you mean. Except for Source Code there is nothing on at the cinema that I want to see. The few films I am interested in have such limited releases I'm not actually able to see them.

I do agree about that opening scene in Donnie Darko - it's stunning.