Friday, 27 May 2011

New interview - Jake Gyllenhaal on making big, small and tricky movies: 'I take all my roles very seriously, always.'

Another great interview with Jake Gyllenhaal from Germany today. I particularly liked this one because it includes some questions I would love to ask myself, not least of which is whether Jake knows about the Amy Macdonald song LA which is dedicated to him. It always puts a smile on my face when it shuffles on to my iPod. Thee are other gems here. Forgive the bad translation, that's from me and Google. The good bits are thanks to Mrs JG, for whom we have to thank for the link. I have a few things to post from Germany to mark the release on 2 June and so I'm spreading them around.

'Do you like the song, Amy MacDonald dedicated to you? JG: I don't know anything about that, it sounds very nice anyway. I just hope she pronounced my name correctly!' [She got round that by calling him J.] 'It certainly isn't the easiest name to pronounce, I'm looking forward to when people make the effort with it. In school, I was fortunately spared these problems because my sister was a class above me - and with Maggie lies down to no-one.(Laughs)'

Working with a director on his first film: 'This first film, "Moon" was just so extraordinary and magnificent that I really wanted to work with director Duncan Jones. What they offer visually with relatively little money, I found very fascinating... I told my agent that I would like to meet Duncan. We understood each other well and he said that I could definitely try to play in one of his films. Then I said that I already had a screenplay I was considering that could come to him. I sent it to him and he committed four days later.'

An unusually complex film: 'It was great fun to tell my friends the first ten minutes of "Source Code". Everyone asked, "What, the train exploded?" And "He no longer recognises his own face?". Then I calmed them down and explained that the story is much more exciting. (Laughs)'

Tricky films seem your passion?: 'I find such material very attractive. At that time in "Donnie Darko" every day of filming began with questions: "What are we doing today?", "What happened yesterday?", "Have I already this guy?". Such questions lead to the ongoing development of a story, I like that a lot.'

With Jake's last eight minutes: 'I would call my family and talk with them. I would love to find something that I could laugh about - I've always found very intriguing the picture of smiling Buddhas.'

And if you could travel in time, what would you change in the past? 'If I could dive, like in the movie, into the body of another person, then I would warn John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King about the attacks on them. Most recently, I would warn Japan of the disaster - the list is endless.'

How easy is it for you to find such projects? 'Strangely, it has become very difficult to produce short films. A cheap project with a budget of under five million dollars is far more difficult to realise than a movie that is twice as expensive. That sounds pretty crazy, but that's the reality in Hollywood.'

You were a candidate for "Spider-Man, " "Batman" and "Superman" - are you happy in retrospect that the commercial popcorn heroes passed you by? 'I have absolutely nothing against these movies. They have huge success, which is certainly due to the quality of the directors. For me the difference is always whether someone simply makes a very expensive film or a film that has a premonition. Entertainment also has an obligation: it must tell intelligent stories. Therefore, Duncan was the perfect director for the perfect big budget film.'

How important is the balancing act between art and commerce to you? 'To me that's not important. (laughs) In the end it doesn't matter how big a project - as long as the story is right, a film also finds its audience. I had this experience with "Brokeback Mountain" as well as with "Donnie Darko" - which at the start broke no records, but in the long run, was highly successful.'

If the success of complex films such as "Winter's Bone" and "Black Swan" just coincidence or has the image of America changed in Hollywood? 'It has certainly been a change that I think is wonderful. "Pulp Fiction" and Robert Redford's Sundance independent productions have given it a boom, and the mood has returned. For actors, this is a great development.'

Does Jake take a film like Prince of Persia as seriously as Source Code? 'Absolutely! I take all my roles very seriously, always. When I play a character, then it means everything to me - otherwise I could not work at all.'

Wouldn't you like to act once again with Maggie? 'Why not? However, we've never talked about it much, we talk about family matters. But it would certainly be tempting to act together again in the theater.'

Thanks to Mrs JG for the scans from SKIP. Berlin photos from friends Christina and Sandra.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,
Wonderful posts during the last few days.
Hope you enjoy the weekend (hopefully with only little work for you) !
I can't wait for SC opening in Germany next week :-)

Susan said...

Another great post! I love the interviews that have been surfacing lately - some really good questions and answers.
"Entertainment also has an obligation: it must tell intelligent stories." That would make an excellent bumper sticker, especially in Hollywood!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thanks so much, Christina! Not long now :) I can't wait for a rest this weekend.

Thanks Susan! I love this interview. Some good questions and very interesting answers :)

Anonymous said...

Jake had a touch up on his do at a salon I wish he'd shave the beard


LadyEkster said...

So many good things coming from Germany these days! Thanks a lot WDW and MrsJG! :)

I enjoyed the question about getting short films financed. It seems Jake would be interested in short films - playing in them, directing them, producing them?? He always knows how to keep us on the edge of our seat. :)

MrsJakobGyllenhaal said...

@ Lady Ekster: you're very welcome. I love to share this stuff with you, since usually not much is to be reported from Germany.
I guess it's not too bad to have had to wait this long. All this wonderful stuff would probably have been "lost" with the impressive amount of interviews we had when SC started in the US/UK.

By the way - I think "Short films" is a mistake from google translator, because he is talking about getting "little" meaning independant movies financed. The word for short and little can be the same in German.

mermon said...

Hi everybody!
Thanks so much for all these interviews from Germany.

Barack Obama is in my country now. Looking good. Interesting visit. I like the way Americans keep the hand on the heart during national anthem. We don't do that.
Bad weather in Poland, causing my few days headache.
Have a good weekend.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hello! Being far too lazy today :) Fighting off a cold is my excuse...

Morning Sweetpea :)

Hi Lady Ekster! I can definitely see Jake wanting to be involved in the production of small indie movies.

It would have been lost, Mrs JG! Someimes a staggered release has some advantage. But blimey, these writers had quite an embargo :) So now only a few days to go. Gotta thank you again - I'm so grateful you shared this (and what is still to come) with us!

Hi Mermon! We had Michelle Obama in Oxford last week - caused chaos in such a small place! Bad weather here too, I've also had headaches :( Feel better soon.

Have a good Saturday! I'm putting the day to good use and finishing off my easter eggs while watching Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner :)

Eureka said...

Hi WDW, amazing posts, thank you.
Thanks a lot to MrsJG too. I adored many of the questions in these interviews. Some of them were in my head and it is so nice the interviewers asked him and he was willing to answer them.
So we complain about the different premiere dates but it seems interviews have a different flavour from country to country. German ones are really good.
Enjoy SC opening!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hi Eureka! I always like Jake's European interviews - the foreign language ones in particular. So that's one good benefit from the delay. I hope everyone in Germany enjoys the film next week and gives the figures another boost!

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