Friday, 29 February 2008

Jake off to South Carolina? - WDW Road Trip takes to the hills

A little bit of Jake Gyllenhaal movie news past and present today. Firstly, more suggestions that Jake is to film Nailed with David Russell. This project is set to be filmed in South Carolina (and Connecticut) and today this was reported by WIS News: 'COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - He's played Donnie Darko, the Bubble Boy, and Jack Twist. He's starred in movies with his sister - and soon, Jake Gyllenhaal could be coming to the Capital City. A source at the State House tells WIS News 10 that officials are working to bring a movie production starring Jake Gyllenhaal to South Carolina.'

In recent interviews with Doug Liman, the director of the other movie currently attached to Jake, Doug has shown he is having some trouble deciding which film to make next now that Jumper is out in the cinemas - The Unnamed Moon Project or the Valerie Plame Story starring Nicole Kidman. How Nicole's pregnancy will affect things is more cause for confusion.

Meanwhile, young actress Jenny Wade has been talking about her career as an actress in LA, including her most recent job, which required her to 'make out' with Jake in Brothers: 'Initially, Wade's character, Tina, was involved in a drunken night of making out with Gyllenhaal's character at a bar, but the context changed, and when the film comes out in December, Tina is now a "smart girl with political views." Wade still had fun with it and left messages with her female friends, asking "Guess who I just made out with?"'

One wonders if this bar scene has been cut out due to the change in character - in which case I certainly hope it makes the deleted scene section of the DVD, because I think it's crucial we all get to see it (purely to throw light on Jake's character in the film, of course...).

With thanks to an anon reader, we hear that Jake attended the CAA Oscar party the night before the Night Before party: 'Star-struck: That would be Terry Wayne Jones and Tina Pyne, who were in Beverly Hills Friday night for a pre-Oscars party at the home of her chum Bryan Lourd, a honcho with Creative Artists Agency. The Houston duo rubbed elbows with George Clooney, Ellen Barkin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Owen Wilson and on and on until we were absolutely green with envy!' This whole Oscar weekend must be extraordinary for even the biggest stars.

WDW Road Tour takes to the hills

Thanks to all those who have kindly said they've enjoyed by tour of LA - not long to go now... But today I took to the Hollywood Hills for a hike up (and down) Runyon Canyon, having decided that I haven't walked enough on this trip. I didn't stop there though, I walked right across West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, with the result that my Nike has proven itself while my joints are giving up, so tomorrow, the last full day, may be decidedly sedentary. This post is illustrated with pictures of Jake in the same places as me, just not at the same time.

In 2002, Jake was photographed having a fun walk with Natalie Portman - of course, his Brothers' co-star - in Runyon Canyon (see pictures above). I've no doubt that Jake will regularly take Atticus up here because it is a dog heaven - I saw one puggle, two dogs the size of shire horses and a multitude of others that looked like they might peg out at any minute in the heat despite owners pouring water down their throats. It was hot up there. Unfortunately, I didn't see this particular dog.

I saw one man stop running up the steep canyon in order to pause and lift rocks. He then continued to pound up the path with rocks in his pockets and in his hands. I called Mr WDW while I was walking up and he was worried that I was either in need of an ambulance or I was making a 'nuisance' phone call - I live in a flat part of England. There are stunning views to be had over LA, of the Hills and of the Hollywood sign.

After the hike up and down, I went in search of the one thing that could revive me - two bottles of corona - before walking to Joan's on Third, a place at which we have frequently seen Jake over the last few years. Apparently the cupcakes at Joan's rival those of Sprinkles so I set myself a task - I bought a cupcake there and then later a cupcake from Sprinkles. Admittedly, one was carrot and the other was banana but I think it can still be called a scientific experiment. I must say though (with my critical food reviewer hat on) that I doubt Jake is a frequenter of Joan's on Third for its salad nicoise, which was unlike any I've ever seen before and not in a good way. But the Latte had a smiley face drawn into the foam.

From there I walked more miles into Beverley Hills to buy my Sprinkles cupcake and then saw a shop that rang bells in my head - Alter Ego. Sure enough, there's a picture of Jake walking past it. I finished off with a visit to Pinkberry on Beverly Drive and yet more tea at Urth Cafe before crawling back to the hotel - via Bristol Farms' wine section. One doesn't eat much in Beverly Hills - there's no room for food after all this liquid. Jake was nowhere to be seen, which is probably just as well, as I have a bright red peeling nose.

Includes pictures from (with Jake) IHJ and (without Jake) WDW.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Dining with Jake - WDW Road Trip reaches Santa Monica and another near miss

The WDW LA Road Trip today reached Santa Monica and Venice, giving me the opportunity to seek out Jake's favourite cafes and restaurants in this area in person (it's a hard job, I realise) and do one of my Dining with the Gyllenhaals features. Admittedly, no Gyllenhaals were actually present during the creation of this post, but one, namely Jake, has been seen at each at some time or other. I didn't go in all of these myself because there is a limit to how many coffees and smoothies I can drink in one day.

First up was Cafe Montana on Montana Avenue, a very lovely street which finishes at the Pacific Ocean, just to the south west of Brentwood. I was particularly mesmerised by The Wagging Tail dog store, which seemed to be selling some kind of outfits for paparazzi dogs. Cafe Montana was very empty and seemed more like a restaurant, so it didn't seem like a good place for 10am, although the reviews of this cafe indicate it's a good choice for those hungrier times of the day.

A little further down the hill towards the ocean on Montana Avenue was Caffe Luxxe. This cafe was buzzing and specialised in what I was in need of - coffee - and so I went in this one. Everything inside was the colour of a Latte and they sold no orange juice, just 'organic soda'. This cafe, and its popularity with Jake and Reese, is a subject in this week's OK magazine. The manager told the magazine that 'They're regulars, and they have their regular order - coffees and pastries.' This isn't a big surprise because I couldn't see that they sold anything else but the atmosphere was good and the staff were extremely friendly and knew many of the customers. If I lived there (in my dreams) I'd be a regular too. And when you walk out of there, fuelled by good coffee, look down the hill and see the ocean and palm trees, it puts a spring in your step.

Next stop - via the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, the promenade along the ocean and lunch on the pier - was Urth Cafe on Main Street, Venice. I don't know if Jake's ever been to this Urth but we know how much Jake enjoys the cafes on Beverley Drive and Melrose, so it's better than possible and gives me a good excuse to post a link to the Urth website. I had a large orange juice - freshly squeezed in front of me - and it was so large it contained the oranges of an entire orchard - a bit like the one Jake has here.

After quite a walk, Main Street became Abbot Kinney Boulevard at a point very close to the place where Jake encountered the little white dog. This is also the location of Axe, which is pronounced, for some reason, 'Ah-shay'. Just as well I knew this as I had to ask directions because Axe was very discrete, dark and quiet - and shut. The menu looked wonderful and mixed. By this point, I realised I had a very long walk back.

Just missed Jake again

There was a sighting of Jake yesterday at a 'trendy house wares store' on Beverly Boulevard, Beverly Hills. My hotel is off Beverly Boulevard and yesterday I was driven along its length, little knowing that while I had been at Disneyland, Jake had been shopping for household goods close to my hotel. To quote one of my favourite sayings 'Strange old world'. This has prompted a gratuitous photo of Jake shopping.

Includes pictures from IHJ, Flynetonline and WDW.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Jake leaves Urth Cafe update and WDW's Road Trip continues

Thanks to Stephanie at IHJ, here are a couple more pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal leaving S Beverly Drive's Urth Cafe yesterday, having had lunch with one of his familiar and lovely PAs, blissfully unaware that I'd had breakfast at the same place just a couple of hours before. There is also a video, which is quite innocuous and good-natured. You can see it here, at a site that gets the identity of the cafe entirely wrong and ignores the fact that Jake has folded the paper to fit a crossword puzzle and is carrying a pen, believing he is instead reading a play advertisement.

In the video you can see Jake pull something off his windscreen, making me suppose he may have a parking ticket, which is as common at Urth Cafe as a small pot of hot tea, with honey, lemon and low fat milk on the side - very common indeed. Also, and completely off topic, if I'd have still been sitting at the seat where I'd been an insanely maddening three hours or so earlier, Jake would have been no more than a foot away and I would undoubtedly have seen which clues he still needed help with.

WDW Road Trip - Disneyland

I'm going completely off topic here for a few moments just to share a few snaps of my day at Disneyland. It is speculated that WDW and Pluto narrowly missed one another at the beer stall at the Pacific Wharf in the California Adventure park but until I've seen pap pics of Pluto leaving the Wharf, I prefer not to believe it.

I did go on Space Mountain but only because Winterbird told me to. I didn't go on the Teacups because this is a ride I would only want to share with Jake Gyllenhaal. I would have gone on the Matterhorn - honestly - but it was shut. I did go on Soarin' (frequently) and on the Indiana Jones ride, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean. I also helped Buzz Lightyear defeat alien invaders.

There is one ride that I absolutely would not go on, having once, in Florida, gone on it by mistake, thinking it a gentle walking tour - the Tower of Terror. Always study the name of rides, that's my tip - likewise I didn't realise that the Aerosmith Rock and Rollercoaster was a rollercoaster, with the fastest acceleration of any rollercoaster, until I was sitting in it with my eyes welded shut and no way to get off.

You can be assured that the road trip will end, honestly! Tomorrow is the turn of a new part of town. Pictures from (the on-topic ones) IHJ and (the off-topic ones) WDW.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Jake Gyllenhaal at Urth Cafe, just missing WDW

So who was at Urth cafe on Beverly Drive yesterday? Two guesses is enough - Jake Gyllenhaal AND WDW. The only problem was that, for the second time on this road trip, we just missed each other. And the other uncanny thing, Jake's doing crosswords at Urth while I did Sudoku. I wonder if he also had the poached eggs. Thanks Stephanie for the pics - I think! By the way, Jake, I'm at Disneyland today if you'd like to just miss me again... Seriously looking good there.

Pictures from IHJ.

The day after the day after the Night Before - Jake in Variety and New Weekly

Much of today has been spent trying to track down Daily Variety, thanks to IHJ's Stephanie who set me on the trail. You'd have thought finding Daily Variety in Beverly Hills would be easy, but then I also hadn't calculated on having helicopters hovering over my hotel in the not so small hours of the morning because Elton John happened to be having a little soiree. But, in the end, I found a copy, which contains a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal - with David Arquette - at the Night Before party. I didn't pack my scanner so, until I can scan it, here is a photo of the picture. And it is a little picture, unfortunately. Read on for details on the other photos in this post.

While being delighted to see a picture of Jake at the event, it also makes me cross that I didn't find a bigger pile of coats to hide behind. I know some people think Jake looks sad here, but the party didn't start until quite late and he just looks tired to me - after all, they did all have to pose with MacDonalds, play video games and try on several pairs of sneakers before being given a drink and a Big Mac. The article itself makes no mention of Jake but it does say that, including this year, the event has raised $31 million since its inception in 2003. For more details - as well as an extremely long list of people - see Variety.

In the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge, before the event, someone pointed out Kirk Kerkorian to me, the owner of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, looking a lot younger than his 80-odd years. Maybe I should have gone up to him to thank him for my very pleasant stay in his hotel in January 2007. Despite having the longest corridors I've ever had to walk in a hotel, the beds were the comfiest and I soon got used to the green glow.

Jake interviewed for Rendition in Australia

The release of Rendition in the theatres of Australia has led to the added bonus of more publicity from Jake. Yesterday, New Weekly published a 'Five Minute' interview with Jake, which contained some interesting questions and answers. I was particularly relieved to hear that, although Jake has had some falls off his bike, he is 'still here'. Here are some extracts from this all too brief piece:

Q: Are you okay with being a sex symbol?
JG: Am I fine with it? Do I have a problem with it? I don't know. Look, it gives me the opportunity to do the work I want to do. Ironically then, I have no problem with it because it's sort of more about the work I want to do.

Q: You bulked up a lot for Jarhead and you seem to have kept some of it. Do you work out a lot?
JG: I don't know. [Laughs.] I do exercise, but I don't really focus on keeping myself looking physically good. I want to feel good. It makes me feel good to do that. So I guess it stayed. I don't know — I feel a lot skinnier than I was then.

Q: How did you get into it?
JG: My best friend is a cyclist and he had a tandem bike. One day he was like, "Let's ride." I got on the back of the bike and we were riding and we just started pushing so hard, working together on this tandem bike. It was so much fun. I just remember that one ride — from then on I started riding. Then I guess Lance Armstrong heard that I biked and so he called me one day: "You want to go for a ride?"

Q: There was this phase where there were always photos of you, Lance and Matthew McConaughey …
JG: [Laughs.] Yeah. Well, then I had to go to work. We all hung out during summer, then we all had to go to work.

Q: Your fans seem to worry that you're not happy. Are you happy?
JG: That's really sweet, actually — it's really nice. I would say, "Stop worrying about me and ask yourself."

Q: Perhaps they just get this melancholic vibe from you ...
JG: I can be melancholy but I also feel a grand spectrum of feelings — not just happy, not just melancholy, not just one thing. I'm pretty aware all the time of my feelings.

WDW On the Road (on foot)

For those of you who are polite enough to be interested in my tour of Jakeland, it continues! Today was the turn of Beverly Hills and a little bit of West Hollywood. So here are some photos from Jake landmarks, with some others of the gentleman himself in situ, which are scattered through this post, so you can match them up. For those with keen eyes and memories, some photos contain more than one image that should be familiar from pictures of Jake. The pictures include North Bedford Drive, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica Boulevard (south), the Beverly Center (speedos anyone?) and the 'other' Urth cafe on Beverley Drive. I would have taken a picture of the Ivy but it was full of people wanting to have their photos taken by paps, and not by me.

Includes pictures from IHJ and Just Jared.