WET DARK AND WILD
JAKE GYLLENHAAL – OUT THERE
SUNDAY, 9 AUGUST 2009
Movie making risks: ‘It’s a person’s choice to see a movie’
Back at the tailend of 2005, Jake Gyllenhaal’s career took another shift of direction, rewarding audiences with more sides to Jake the actor. The Day After Tomorrow had been a surprise to some, and now, the three-setter of Brokeback Mountain, Jarhead and Proof, would surprise and astound many. The success of the first two in particular must have given Jake a wealth of those pinch-me moments that he’s spoken about.
Here is a Q&A; that Jake conducted with the Orange County Register a few days before Jake’s 25th birthday. In it, Jake talks about the demise of Buff Jake, why Brokeback never fails to make people cry and how risktaking shapes a career and leads to these changes in direction.
‘OCR: Where’s buff Jake?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: Buff Jake’s gone. Fincher told me I had to lose 10 pounds on each arm because I’m playing a cartoonist.
OCR: How sad.
GYLLENHAAL: Yeah, it was emasculating. I really enjoyed being buff.
OCR: How do you get un-buff?
GYLLENHAAL: Have two movies come out in less than a month, and you’ll lose the weight out of sheer excitement and sitting in hotel rooms talking endlessly about them.
OCR: And I imagine you stopped lifting?
GYLLENHAAL: I stopped lifting weights and started running a lot.’
‘OCR: Congratulations on the strong opening weekend of “Jarhead.” How do you think “Brokeback Mountain” is going to play to mainstream audiences?
GYLLENHAAL: I don’t know. But journalists seem to be moved by it. I even had one journalist apologize for referring to it as “the gay cowboy movie” before he saw it.
OCR: Is that “gay cowboy movie” moniker a problem?
GYLLENHAAL: I think everybody has made a judgment on it, whether they’re people who support it and are excited about it coming out, or they’re people who think it’s something other than what it is. It elicits a real mixed bag of emotion, but most of it is positive. A lot of people tell me they cried when they saw it.
OCR: Why did they cry?
GYLLENHAAL: I think they feel that the movie gives a real sense of what love is, what intimacy is and how complicated it all is. It’s about loss and regret and compassion. I think people are moved by that.’
‘OCR: Are you hoping it doesn’t scare some other people?
GYLLENHAAL: No, I hope it scares people.
OCR: What if it scares them so much that they won’t go to see it?
GYLLENHAAL: I know that some people are going to have a big problem with it, and that’s OK. That’s the nature of the way things are.
OCR: And that doesn’t bother you?
GYLLENHAAL: Not at all. I understand. I had friends who said they couldn’t see “Jarhead” because war movies upset them. I’m not going to force them to see anything by telling them it’s a different kind of a war movie. It’s a person’s choice to see a movie. People have issues, and can’t get past them. I’m not going to pass judgment on those people.
OCR: Do you consider “Brokeback Mountain” a risky career move?
GYLLENHAAL: My whole thing is that if a role isn’t risky, why do it?’
‘OCR: Speaking of risks, what was a nice indie actor like you doing in a big studio disaster movie?
GYLLENHAAL: I love those kind of movies. It was fun. But I also think it was political. I see something political in every movie I do.
OCR: Did you catch any flak from your actor friends?
GYLLENHAAL: Oh yeah. Some of them said, “How could you do such a thing?”
OCR: What did you say to them?
GYLLENHAAL: I told them that I think Robert De Niro is a genius in “Raging Bull,” but I also …