Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Jake and Reese to save the world in Roland's next blockbuster?

Another week, another rumour... This time a Vancouver site suggests that Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon are to star in Roland Emmerich's next guaranteed blockbuster disaster movie 2012, which is due out in little more than a year, on 19 July 2009.

'One of Hollywood's hottest couples may soon be headed our way. Rumour has it, none other than Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal will be here to star in an epic new flick called 2012. It centres around a group of people who face natural disasters, such as typhoons and volcanoes, that coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012. Filming is expected to get underway in Los Angeles and in Vancouver in late June. 2012 will hit theatres next year.'

I'm a bigger fan of summer blockbusters than perhaps I should be, but even I took a start at this one, hoping that this is merely just another rumour. Neither Jake nor Reese appear to me to be the kind of actors who would appear in such a film (plot according to IMDb: 'With the Mayan calender ending in 2012, a large group of people face natural disasters like volcanoes, typhoons, and glaciers'), even though Jake's name does have a tendency to pop up in Roland's interviews. Roland was, of course, the director of The Day After Tomorrow. During the publicity for 10,000 BC, Roland mentioned that he needed to have unknown actors, no longer could Jake Gyllenhaal be seen running after a mammoth (a shame, in some ways, I thought). In another recent interview, Roland said that he and Jake were still good friends.

The Day After Tomorrow gave Jake a chance to talk about global environmental issues. The destruction of the world in 2012 - due to the alignment of the planets or whatever other reason - may be less easy to explain. However, I doubt even Jake has the ability to film both Prince of Persia and 2012 in June. Time will tell and we'll know soon enough.

I'd be in London

Talking of The Day After Tomorrow, here is a brief interview with Jake, from the London premiere of the film: 'He and Dunst are keeping a low profile in the British capital, though Gyllenhaal does marvel at the offbeat kind of attention they attract. "We don't even get photographed at pubs," he told reporters. "We get snapped at the coffee shop. Maybe they think we're smuggling something in our coffee cups, because we do nothing that interesting." Although Day After Tomorrow director Roland Emmerich assured the press that the film's dark premise about vicious global warming should not be over-interpreted, it still seemed fitting to ask Gyllenhaal what he'd do if he had one more day left on Earth. Gyllenhaal said he would spend the day with his family, or else "I'd be in London, doing press."'

Here's a picture of Jake arriving in London, just for encouragement, and it needn't be the last day on earth - any old day would do... I would also point out that, in London pubs, people are too concerned with trying to get a round in and the price of a pint to get their cameras out. Coffee shops operate at a slower and more gentle pace, allowing more snapping opportunities.

Another project still on the cards...

Doug Liman, the director of what, for some time, appeared to be Jake's next project, The Unnamed Moon Project, has just been subjected to a Q&A at a screening of Jumper. As this blogger recounts: 'I went to a screening of Jumper at The Symphony Space in their downstairs Thalia Theater. Doug Liman, the director, spoke before the screening and shared he is currently working on two projects: the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame and a moon mission flick with Jake Gyllenhaal. He's also planning a third project, Knight Rider, and described this eventual remake as being made purely to entertain in this era of insanity. He stated, "It's like chicken soup, something that this particular audience will understand."'

One wonders if Doug has too many irons in the fire. Chicken soup?

Pictures from IHJ.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Nailed needs men, Tom is my slavename, and the Joker leaves his mark

The Nailed production may have gone underground - in a manner of speaking - but it's still going on full steam ahead, judging by today's call for more extras. Now they want 'adult males and senior citizens', for scenes to be shot this Thursday. Another site elaborated - the project needs men aged 30-80. I guess that rules me out then.

I saw in your eyes that you hate the world. I hate it too.

Last night's post led to a discussion of The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger and Holden so I thought I'd include a little about The Good Girl here.

One reason why Jake Gyllenhaal took the role was because Maggie fell for it: 'When Jake was approached at the Sundance Film Festival for the role of Holden, his sister urged him to consider it... 'I told him to take that person seriously,' recalls Maggie Gyllenhaal. 'The script is so smart and (director) Miguel Arteta is so awesome. We're good critics for each other, in a way,' she adds. 'I think that he, more than anybody, can see in my work what is honest and maybe dishonest and vice versa.''

The role of Holden was difficult to cast, Miguel Arteta said, because 'You need a guy whose sadness you can really believe in the beginning, and you can believe how deranged he gets by the end of the movie... It was hard, but Jake has the range.'

Jake has sometimes spoken about how he is not too good at auditions but his approach for the Good Girl audition was different and, one would have thought, not promising. ''In a real actorly moment, Jake got really wrapped up and he picked up a chair and put a hole in the wall, just threw it against the wall,' says Arteta. 'And Jennifer and I, who had heard about the new paint job, we just turned to Mike in horror. Mike was like, 'He should get the part, but I hope he pays me back for our wall.''

In this interview, Jake also mentiones The Catcher in the Rye: 'It was actually the first book I related to when I was young.'

Incidentally, The Good Girl featured Jennifer Aniston's very first love scene. Brad Pitt, her husband at the time, had joked 'Be nice to the guy. He's just a kid!', while Jake kidded(?) 'That's the only reason I did the movie' (People, 2002). Of Jennifer, Jake said 'Audiences will be blown away by Jennifer. She really goes further as an actor than she ever has, and it was a blast to do this.'

Interestingly, Jake has on several occasions compared his experience of filming Brokeback Mountain's love scenes to diving into a pool. Jennifer described her Good Girl experience in the same way, saying of Jake and herself: 'We met each other and adored each other right off the bat. It was easy. As for the bedroom scene, we just bit the bullet, man, it was quick. Miguel (Arteta, the director) had it all set up and ready to go. It was two takes and we were done. You just dive in fast and furious as you can. Like diving into a cold pool' (Seattle Post, 2002). Jennifer told the Sun 'He's so young it felt wrong - like doing it with a child... I was shaking.'

Jake and Gwyn

Also yesterday we heard Gwyneth Paltrow talk about her admiration for Maggie Gyllenhaal. To repay the compliment, here Jake is asked about what it was like for him to work with actors and directors of such a high calibre: 'In some ways it's overwhelming but in other ways it's exactly the kind of steps you want to be taking so you can learn from people who are at the top of your profession. I've always thought that Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the best actresses around, and I think that Ang Lee is one of the most intelligent and sensitive directors. So these are great moments for me and I'm lucky to be getting these kinds of chances when I haven't done that many films yet. But I'll make the leap as long as I don't blow it! (Laughs)'

The Joker leaves his mark

Last night some lucky people who were able to decipher some mindbending 'clues' that would have baffled Zodiac hunter Graysmith himself saw a new trailer for The Dark Knight. Not only that, some of them walked away with movie reels marked by the Joker himself. One witness to the London viewing has put pictures on his site, which show the Joker's mark on the reels. I find it all mesmerising but also, seeing Heath's face like this, on these reels, it's very chilling. But thanks to the blogger for sharing his experience.

Includes pictures from IHJ and links.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Nailed moves on? Jake 'super well read' Gyllenhaal, and more TDK fun and games

It's possible, according to a blogger's report today, that the Statehouse sequence of filming for Nailed is at an end. The site describes a bunch of suits from the production celebrating finishing that part of the shoot at the pizza restaurant The Whig, on Main Street, Columbia. 'So the new Jessica Biel/Jake Gyllenhaal talkie "Nailed" wrapped up state house filming in Columbia and the producers were in town Saturday night to celebrate, or whatever a celebration amounts to for people with cell phones permanently attached to their ears.'

So it's up to our ears and eyes on the ground in Columbia to let us know if they spot a trailer, a camera or a Jake Gyllenhaal in the neighbourhood during the coming days.

One for the books

Jake Gyllenhaal is a reader and, speaking as someone who has been involved with books for most of their career, I thought today I'd imagine Jake having a quiet evening in his comfy chair, perhaps with a glass of wine balanced precariously on one arm of the chair and a leg thrown decorously over the other.

Aleksia Landeau played Cheryl in Moonlight Mile (the girl who wanted to offer comfort to the grieving Joe). In an interview, she said of Jake: 'He's great. He's super well read. He's very educated and he's got a real thirst to learn both working and outside of work. He's always reading.' Jake's love of reading extended to his choice of names for his dogs, although I must say that Boo is the perfect name for a small, cute dog, irrespective of its literary credentials.

When Chelsea Clinton and Jake interviewed each other for Interview magazine back in 2003, Chelsea, studying in Oxford at the time, asked Jake what he was reading: 'I happen to be rereading my favorite book, [J.D. Salinger's] Franny and Zooey. Have you read that book? CC: I have. Have you also read The Catcher in the Rye? JG: Of course. Many times, actually. CC: How old were you when you first read it? JG: I think I was 12. We went on a family vacation to Hawaii, and my sister gave it to me for Christmas, and I remember I couldn't put it down. You know, my production company is called Nine Stories Productions, which is an homage to J.D. Salinger's book of short stories. After The Catcher in the Rye I read everything he wrote. And now I'm back on another kick, reading them all again.'

'I think now I have an appreciation of the specific more than the broad--the ideas, the sort of Buddhism that pervades all of Salinger's work. You know, I think it's genius that J.D. Salinger doesn't want anybody to make a movie of his book, because there's no way anyone can play it. it is what it is to everybody. I've met many people who actually dislike it. Especially some women I know.'

This led to a rather intriguing discussion by Jake and Chelsea on who has more angst - boys or girls going through puberty. 'I think that male angst, especially in an adolescent boy's life, is very specific. I think girls moving into womanhood go through it earlier and in a somewhat different way. So by the time they're the age where boys start going through it, they've sort of already gone through it, and some people just don't relate.'

'CC: That's interesting. I don't think I've ever encountered anyone who has a vehement dislike for the book. I know people who don't like it as much as I would have anticipated they would, but I've never had the benefit of having to defend why I like it. It's a special experience to read it when you are at the age Holden is in the book. I had to read it in high school, and it really compelled me and my friends to think about where we were in our lives. I would encourage people to read it in the hope that maybe it would have a similar inspirational effect. Did you feel Holden Caulfield-esque while you were making The Good Girl? Do you even agree with your character's interpretation [of the book]?'

'JG: There's something about him that makes me think he's only read that one book. He's so lost that he just sort of takes on this "Holden" persona because he understands it's universal. There's a funny line in the movie where [Jennifer Aniston's character] says to my character, "Your name's Tom?" And he says, "Tom is my slave name. Holden's what I call myself."'

I'm actually finding it hard to finish this post now, because Jake has got my brain ticking - on how we can adopt the thinking of a favourite character in a favourite book and use it as a fireblanket. Before I move on, I have to say that it's never easy to read with a horse looking over your shoulder...

Jake is clearly motivated by the scripts he reads, and/or the books that inspire them - the director is always an important factor for him but he needs to be moved by the written word (although one feels that with the Zodiac script, daunting would be a better word). This was true for Tony Swofford's writing: 'The book spoke to me... Tony Swofford has a certain style, in the same way that Dave Eggers has defined a certain generation of writers, so that when I read 'Jarhead' I really responded to it. I was the right age as all the guys who were going to the Iraq war now, and who were in Desert Storm back in 1990. And there was just something about the aggression, and having a part where you don't have to do hair, no wardrobe or anything. It's just basically you."

It was also true for the short story of Brokeback Mountain: 'I read it and it was beautiful, just beautiful. I knew that I wanted to do it.' Jake told the Independent: 'My agenda is to tell stories that I care about and that move me. And those were two stories that movie me. I didn't go, 'Oh, if I do Brokeback Mountain, it's not gonna put me in a box.' I'm crying after I finished the script and I'm like, 'I will do anything to do this movie.'

So what else have we seen Jake read or heard of him reading? Jake told an annoying interviewer at Cannes that he enjoys the books of chef Jacques P├ępin ('He has a very unique understanding of food'). He told another interviewer that he was reading John Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. And, from the photograph below, a clever reader at IHJ identified the book as Inner Revolution by Jake's Columbia professor Robert Thurman. Jake was also reported to have read Enter the Past Tense: My Secret Life as a CIA Assassin, possibly as a guide for his role in Rendition and, for Brokeback, the actors were all given Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest. Jake said: 'Before we started shooting, Ang Lee and James [Schamus, the producer] gave us books about first-hand accounts of guys growing up in the Midwest and their encounters with men and their attraction to men, and what that was, and even they didn't understand what it was, or what they were doing.'

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight egg hunt continues and, thanks to Sheba, we now know that the London section involves something to do with Pall Mall in London at 9pm. More transparently, we also know that five more posters were released today and one of them features Heath.

And finally

During the publicity for Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow had something to say about Maggie Gyllenhaal and it's definitely worth repeating: 'Maggie Gyllenhaal in Sherrybaby. She's my favorite, she's the best actress working. I'm obsessed with her. I think she is the real deal.' Never thought I'd say it, but good old Gwyn.

Includes pictures by IHJ, USA Weekend and links.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

From Bubble Boy to Nailed and on the trail of a trailer

Bubble Boy has been voted as one of the Top 25 Movies you're never seen. It's No 4: 'John Travolta may have played a Bubble Boy first, in a sappy TV movie about a kid who needs to be wrapped in plastic and protected from the elements. But Jake's haircut tells the whole story here; there's something a bit "off" about this surprisingly funny 2001 big-screen version, in which Jimmy builds himself a portable bubble to go after the gal he loves. Oh, sure, there are moments that challenge our dear boy. (Ever try to steal a can of beer while waddling around in a homemade germ-free sphere?) But nothing can keep Gyllenhaal's love-struck Jimmy down for long. His heart — and the film's heart — is that big.'

I'm particularly pleased that they've highlighted my very favourite scene from Bubble Boy - when Jimmy attempts to steal a can of beer. The movie is worth seeing alone just for Jake's commentary.

No 1 on the list is Falling Down with Michael Douglas, another good film with an oddness about it. As for the others, I think I've seen three and I am now keen to see a few more of them, although others look a little scary, in more ways than one.

Malinda Williams joins Nailed

As one actor leaves Nailed (on account of artistic differences over how to choke to death on a cookie), another one signs up. The latest addition is Malinda Williams, who has just completed one movie with Tracy Morgan and will now be in another. There is an interesting extra bit of information about their characters in Nailed: 'Malinda's character [Rakeesha] joins Jessica Biel and Morgan's characters on a march to Washington, DC to persuade Congress to pass new healthcare reforms. Also featured in the film are James Marsden and Catherine Keener. Morgan will play a an injured compatriot of Alice's who has given up on love.'

On the trail of a trailer

I had some time on my hands this weekend (quite possibly too much time) and got sucked into the bewildering maze that is The Dark Knight promotion campaign. In addition to a new poster, the movie's website Why So Serious is now throwing up 'clues' to where and when a few people in a few cities will be able to see a new trailer. Even I could work out that the countdown is leading towards Monday as the big day but for more than that I've needed help. Thank heavens for Superherohype. Clear as something that's not very clear at all. I must admit to feeling relieved to not having to decipher all this in the run up to a Jake Gyllenhaal movie...

Includes pictures from IHJ and links.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Nailed back in town, Jake and Robert take on Fincher, and did schoolboy Jake have toned legs?

Nailed is back at Columbia's statehouse, according to a poster at IMDb today, who took a great photo of the nightshoot in the wee hours of this morning: 'I'm looking out my apartment window right at the capital, they have the corridor from Gervais to Pendleton of Sumter street closed off. Filming trucks, etc. Super bright light shining on the entrance of a building right on Sumter. Here's a pic as of 2AM.' A big thanks to them for making their picture public.

Zodiac allies

All this talk about Robert Downey Jr over the last day or two has reminded me that, during the filming of Zodiac, Robert and Jake Gyllenhaal appear to have tightly knit and both stood together as allies against the onslaught of take after take.

'We promise you that in the course of filming Zodiac no animals were hurt," Downey says with a laugh. "That's where the humane behavior ended. No ego was left untarnished. We're doing a scene and I realized after we'd done it about 40 times, I was tied to the mast. Dave's like, 'Everything that Downey has just spent the last six hours doing? Let's delete that, go to lunch, and start over.' But that's the shit, dude. It's — Fincher.'... And David's response ' "Look, Robert is brilliant, he's a genius," he says. "And I'm all for taking a certain amount of time to explore other... But there are limits to where improvisation can help a taut thriller. In certain cases, things have to be said."'

Improvisation seems to have been used by both actors not only to amuse themselves but as a bit of a weapon against their 'purist' director. This clip from the UK's Total Film magazine (June 2007 issue) shows how it would wind up Fincher although Robert and Jake would pay the ultimate price with yet more takes:

From the way that David seems to warn cinematographer Harry Savides against the Gyllenhug on its way to him, it almost seems as if David thinks this is another weapon in Jake's arsenal. As for Robert, David says: 'You know, Downey likes to play, but he likes to know there's light at the end of the tunnel.'

Here is another excerpt from the reporter's eyewitness account of life on the filmset of Zodiac: 'Robert Downey Jr is on fire. The resurgent actor has been smoking nicotine-free cigarettes throughout his latest scene. But, for reasons best known to himself, he's been stubbing the butts out in tissue paper - which has finally ignited, underneath Gyllenhaal's seat. There's much laughter. Fincher walks past and Downey offers an exaggerated flinch. The scene resets. Fincher disappears to the monitor and calls across: 'Last one.' 'Yeah, right,' says Gyllenhaal. 'Have a little faith,' says a crewmember. 'Come on!' says Gyllenhaal. 'We're going to fuck all night!' At lunch he looks tired. 'I don't want to satisfy that part of David that enjoys having people hear that it's not easy,' he says, of the repeate takes. 'But it gets tedious. It really does... It can be pretty intense.''

I must say that trying to set Jake on fire is not in my approved list of ways to find entertainment on a tedious shoot.

This Is Our Youth director on being made invisible by stars

We've heard Jake talk at some length about what a great experience it was for him to do theatre. This weekend we have an interview with Jake's director on This Is Our Youth, Laurence Boswell, who is now working for Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. In the feature, Boswell discusses the experience of 'working with American celebrities like Madonna, who demanded a complete rewrite of the Williamson play, as well as Gyllenhall and Damon, was instructive. All the productions were sold out, based on star power alone. But for Boswell, the experience was an object lesson in how the culture assigns value.

“So there we are in rehearsal,” he recalls, “and of course they aren't theatre actors. They can't really act. They need my help for everything: what to do with their hands, how to speak, how to stand, how to breathe.… They are totally dependent on me.… And then we leave the building, and the paparazzi and the fans are waiting outside and we all go out together, and suddenly I am nothing. I am completely, I mean completely, invisible.”'

And finally

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did, which shows Maroon 5 being given the third degree by a Gyllenhaalic Brit who appears to be far more interested in everything Jake than anything Maroon 5 (except whether the band is turned on by airports). Adam Levine also has a confession to make to Jake.

Includes pictures from IHJ, and links in post.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Serendipity - WDW's birthday adventure with Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth and Jonathan Ross - and Maggie in London

Sometimes you just have to wonder and last night was one of those occasions. Wet Dark and Wild had its first birthday yesterday and I have always been very aware of, and not to mention grateful for, the luck and good fortune that has followed me about during that year - now and again it's hard even to believe. The name of this site was inspired by Robert Downey Jr, an actor for whom, through his portrayal of Paul Avery in Zodiac and his obvious friendship and professional support for Jake Gyllenhaal, I have a deep regard. 'Wet, dark and wild' seemed, to me, to sum up everything that drew me to Jake.

So how amazing that on the birthday of the site, I go to see the recording of the Jonathan Ross show, thanks to Ruby, and discover that we're not seeing the filming of tonight's show after all (that took place on Monday) but next Friday's instead. And there on the show, direct from the London premiere of Ironman, was Robert Downey Jr himself. And not only that, the other guest was another co-star of Jake's, Gwyneth Paltrow, who was wearing the deadliest pair of heels I have ever seen. Having said that, RDJ's footwear was pretty incredible and ubercool, an effect highlighted by bright red socks. I did kinda wonder if Robert had kept his Ironman boots as a souvenir.

The show itself was a great experience to watch, although delayed for a couple of hours due to the premiere. Robert was the first guest and endured the first degree on Marvel Comics - Jonathan Ross is a self-admitted Marvel comic geek (sorry, enthusiast) and even came along prepared with his very own Ironman mask (silver foil, cardboard box and the finger from a large pointy hand) and machine gun that fired large numbers of elastic bands to an alarming noise. We were in the second row and I did fear that my Jonathan Ross TV debut could be me getting twanged on the nose by a rubber band. The picture below is illicit so it's wonky.

Otherwise, Robert was asked about his family and whether he had ever smoked a pipe. Not unexpectedly, the answer was yes. His motivation, he said, for doing Ironman was that he wanted to do a film more than eight people would see - to demonstrate the point, Robert asked how many people in the audience had heard of his last film called Fur, which showed him depicting a character who suffered from a condition that led to long hairs growing over his entire body. Point made.

Robert was very relaxed but clearly not an expert on comic books although he did appear to be a fan of the extremely likeable and hilarious Jonathan Ross (his mime of his dog's behaviour when it had a stick stuck up its backside is not something I'm going to forget in a hurry). One thing that struck me about Robert is how, now and then, he made me think I was in the same room as Paul Avery - he got the look.

Gwyneth was beautiful and very tall (not surprising, considering the shoes). She wore a different dress to the one she wore at the premiere - a lovely black number with a slightly longer skirt. She mentioned Proof as the last big film she worked on, but only mentioned Antony Hopkins. Gwyneth seemed to indicate that she wished she were married to the lead singer of Radiohead instead of Coldplay and she said that her days of the microdiet were over - pregnancy gave her a deep appreciation of icecream that I can truly understand. She supped a pint of Guiness like a good'un (her favourite drink - she took it away with her) and had a good go at a Scottish accent but then she said that the only paper she read was the Financial Times, that she didn't watch movies, just documentaries, and my old view of Gwyneth from Proof came flooding over me and I think I may have nodded off. Great shoes though.

Just for the halibut, here is a picture of me outside the hospitality area of the BBC, next to the icon of 60s' and 70s' UK TV - the Doctor's Tardis.

Back to Jake... A poster on IMDb seems to indicate that next week filming on Nailed is moving back to the Statehouse in Columbia so more sightings will hopefully follow.

Also, there is the rumour by 'sources' (them again) that Jake is to open an organic restaurant in LA with Chris Fischer. We've heard this rumour before - in fact, I think this one pops up each summer - but, if it's true this time, may I just point out that my bar skills are legendary and I can do the washing up if I have to. I was amused by the NY Daily News: 'Jake Gyllenhaal wants to open a restaurant. One source says, "Cooking is his big hobby and his passion. It's nothing for him to whip up miso-marinated cod with braised microgreens." Note to self: don't go to Jake Gyllenhaal's restaurant.' What on earth is miso-marinated cod? Is it tasty?

The Gyllenhaals in London

Yesterday, Maggie Gyllenhaal was seen in Holland Park, London. Ruby and I went through Holland Park ourselves yesterday. The day before, Maggie was spotted in a cafe with Ramona and, judging from this picture, Maggie isn't the only Gyllenhaal in London at the moment - I do believe that is Maggie's father Stephen enjoying the spring weather with his family.

Includes pictures from IHJ, WDW, The Mail On Sunday and Popsugar.