Monday, 30 June 2008

The Joker's countdown: two weeks to go - and a posthumous Oscar on the cards?

This time last year, Zodiac was finally out in our theatres and we had months to go before the next Oscar nominations, feeling that Zodiac would not be nominated despite the widespread critical acclaim for the film and its cast. Now, the buzz begins for the 2009 Academy Awards and, this time, it's possible that Brothers, with Jake Gyllenhaal, and The Dark Knight, with Heath Ledger and Maggie Gyllenhaal, might be among the nominees. There is even talk that Heath may now get that Oscar.

The Metro today reported: 'Heath Ledger could still win an Oscar after a film critic tipped the late actor to scoop the gong for his role as the Joker in the new Batman film, The Dark Knight. The Aussie, who died of a drugs overdose in January aged 28, is hailed as "mad-crazy-blazing brilliant" by Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers. He said: "If there's a movement to get him a posthumous Oscar, then sign me up."' Read the Rolling Stone article here for more superlatives for Heath.

This opinion, that a posthumous Oscar may be a possibility, is repeated in a set of ET video interviews recorded with each of the cast of The Dark Knight - with one exception. You can see a compilation video here. Christian Bale says of Heath's performance and how audiences will watch it: 'It's unlike any portrayal we've seen before. I think they will celebrate his talent and applaud him for that because he does do a phenomenal job.'

The video feature makes a point that this was the second time Heath acted with a Gyllenhaal, showing clips of Brokeback Mountain. You can see all of Maggie Gyllenhaal's interview here and in it she speaks about what it was like to see Heath on the screen as the Joker: 'I found it very, very difficult at first and then... He's so astonishing in the movie that I - I can only speak for myself - but I very quickly found myself watching the Joker. Maybe as a way of protecting myself but also because he's so good.'

The New York premiere of The Dark Knight is now just two weeks away - on 14 July - and the whole affair, as well as the film itself, appears to be dedicated to Heath and to fellow Aussie Conway Wickliffe, a special effects technician, who died during the making of the film. Heath's family is expected to attend. The premiere in London is a week later, on July 21.

A different FNIT?

Thanks to a poster at DC, here are a couple of stills from the television version of Brokeback Mountain that was shone on the Bravo channel at the weekend. Although much of the first tent scene was not shown - a view of a trembling tent was deemed sufficient - it included film of Jack unbuckling his belt shot from an angle not seen before. Intriguing indeed.

And finally

After yesterday's post, with its talk of Joe Namath and Jake's suitability to play a football star, today another player mentions Jake. Jason Peter, who has written his autobiography and is presumably known beyond British shores, when asked hypothetically which actor would play him in the movie said 'Jake Gyllenhaal' - because his wife said so. Sensible lady. Thanks to Nicole, here's a clipping of the Parade piece that featured the question about Jake.

Includes pictures from Parade, IHJ, Empire, The Dark Knight.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Jake Gyllenhaal looks forward to playing Broadway Joe

Obviously, if England had managed to qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament we would be getting ready to watch them lose in the final tonight, but they didn't and they won't and so instead we can sit back for some stress-free footie fun as Spain and Germany take each other on. It does make a change from the tennis, after all.

So through this extremely tenuous link, it seems appropriate that in a Q&A at the beginning of the new Parade magazine, there is a question about Jake: 'Is it true that Jake Gyllenhaal will star in a biopic about New York Jets great Joe Namath? A: Yes. Jake - who says he's often told he resembles the lengendary playboy-quarterback - is looking forward to playing "Broadway Joe." But the red-hot star has a busy dance card, and it could be a while before he slips on Joe's famous NO. 12 Jets jersey. Jake will soon start shooting Prince of Persia and has two other movies that already wrapped. Nailed, a political satire with Jessica Biel, and Brothers, involving the Afghan war, with Tobey Maguire.' Thanks to Trekfan for the information!

Jake has said 'I used to play football here and there, but I don't anymore.' No doubt, that will have to change in the run up to the biopic. Back in 2006, Jake was seen attending a game in Texas along with Lance Armstrong and Matthew McConaughey. He may have to catch some more games.

The possible sightings of Jake and Reese around London - being listed as among the attendees of the Nelson Mandela birthday concert and shopping in London at the weekend - gather pace and I wonder if Jake's going to be spending this evening in the traditional English manner of watching 'proper' football over a pint of lager and some pork scratchings. But Spain or Germany?

'He was a good man' - Christian Bale on missing Heath

For the main focus of Parade - Christian Bale and The Dark Knight - you can find out more here, including this quote from Christian about Heath Ledger: 'He was a unique character, a very infectious character. He was a good man, and I was glad to have spent time with him. He was somebody who I’d been seeing on a daily basis for months. It takes a long time to accept that someone’s gone, when all body and mind are telling you that this is somebody you will know for a great deal of time. He was something of a kindred spirit to myself.'

Includes pictures from IHJ, Flickr and links.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Zodiac reaches the small screen and 'I like your shoes' - it's all in the swoosh

Zodiac and Jake Gyllenhaal's wonderful portrayal of Robert Graysmith may reach another audience tonight as the film receives its premiere on satellite TV in the UK (9.40pm on Sky Premiere Movies to be precise). It's listed as a 4-star movie in the schedules I've seen, with TV Times saying: 'Based on a real story, this intelligent and stylish movie is spellbinding all the way through, with suspense expertly balanced against dark humour.'

Although this clashes with our annual TV showing of Wimbledon (the movie) as well as highlights of Wimbledon (the tennis) - not to mention at least three channels of Glastonbury coverage with or without Amy Winehouse - I hope as many people as possible do sit down to enjoy Zodiac with a big heap of strawberries and cream. As someone who does not have satellite TV, I'll settle for the DVD.

But this seems like a good excuse to repost a link to the Filmdetail audio interview with Jake. I could listen to that voice for hours. And talking of Jake on our small screens, I also hear that Brokeback Mountain was shown on the US Bravo channel last night and was heavily censored - I just don't think 'Jack Frederick Twist!' has quite the same ring to it.


The Antiques Roadshow is in town! Hertford College in Oxford has been taken over by cameras, experts and a long line of locals bearing grandfather clocks. I was surprised by the lineup of catering trucks outside the college and the huge amounts of coffee.

So, as I know less about antiques than I do about almost anything else and the oldest thing I own is my complete set of Upstairs Downstairs on DVD, I thought I'd take a look instead at one of Jake's mighty fine collections - The Nike.

Jake has far too many pairs for one post or one wardrobe but here are some of my favourites, with others dotted around this post. Some are just plain odd.

To sum up - It's hard to go wrong with a pair of Nike with green soles whereas you can have too much yellow swoosh. But so long as they're not crocs...

When Jake was discussing his thoughts about the real Robert Graysmith during the publicity for Zodiac, Jake remarked that Robert was a sweet guy but then he would become intense: '"Occasionally he would glance at things on me, and I'd think, what's he looking at? And he'd say things like, 'I like your shoes. Where did you get them? I had a pair of shoes like that once. What store did you get them from?'' Good man!


We were talking about food last night - for a change - and I came across this, which suggests that Jake has been known to bake 'chocolate zucchini bread' for holidays. What on earth is that and what does one do with it?

Includes pictures from IHJ and Just Jared.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Jake insists 'I'm a very simple chef... the thing that matters is confidence'

It's not going to be long before Jake Gyllenhaal is back in Morocco filming a movie that couldn't be much further removed from Rendition, in a role a world away from that of Douglas Freeman. When Jake appeared on the Late Night with Jonathan Ross show last October, he seemed to show the symptoms of someone who has eaten too many tangines, his daily dish during Rendition's filming. But, despite Jake's well-publicised distaste for a certain herb, it seems that when he was in London working on This Is Our Youth a few years back, Jake developed a liking for a Moroccan restaurant.

Back in August 2002, as part of the publicity for The Good Girl, Jake was interviewed for Los Angeles Magazine in an apartment he was sharing with a bunch of old friends - Jake appears to have been resident chef and washer-upper, although the fact that this was a a temporary arrangement is borne out by the apartment's state of unlivedness and the fact that Jake deplored the lack of a knife-sharpener. Is one supposed to have a knife-sharpener? I thought they were naturally blunt...

Here is some background, as Jake settled down to make the lucky interviewer a breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon: 'Although Gyllenhaal's Fairfax-area house looks comfortably suburban (down to the pristine and seemingly unused living room), and the kitchen is a classic '30s model done in narrow white tile, the appliances crowding the counter space aren't mixers and coffee grinders but phones and a fax. The workmanlike decor extends to the dining room, where two of his roommates are huddled over a laptop. Sierra, he explains, has been a friend since childhood; Aristotle's her partner in a clothing design and wardrobe business.'

'The third roommate, Matthew, is asleep, having stayed up for the World Cup. In this domestically distracted environment, the actor's been forced to lower his culinary standards, but then, his career keeps him away from home a lot. Still, he stares at the offending slices [of tomato], shaking his head in disbelief. "I'm using a serrated knife."'

Back to the Moroccan restaurant... When Jake was in London: 'Being on his own exploring a new city was a kick. "There was this bar," he recalls, "that had amazing Moroccan food, and you'd smoke hookahs afterward. It was so chill. It was actually right behind the Ivy--the most famous restaurant in London--down in the basement of this sketchy building."'

Elsewhere in the interview, Jake says of his parents: 'My parents are both really good cooks. I was told if I was going to spend money on anything, I should spend it on food.' Also 'He went to Columbia University but left after two years, realizing "all I wanted to do was act." He squats to retrieve a mixing bowl from an under-the-counter cupboard. "Now I'm trying to reassess that."'

Jake recalls being interviewed by Susan Sarandon for Interview magazine in a women's bathroom: 'People kept walking in, saying, "What's Susan doing with that boy?"' Actually, what I think they said was, 'Lucky, lucky Susan'.

Jake gives a reason for doing the London play: '"Getting a little perspective on this town was important," he says, cracking eggs into the bowl. "I discovered ways of being more myself." Crack. "Being more truthful." He whisks the eggs with a dash of milk. "I think I was searching out the opposite for a while." He returns from the refrigerator holding up a Ziploc bag. "Do you eat cheese?"'

'Aristotle, the only roommate interested in breakfast at this point, is pouring orange juice while Gyllenhaal layers tomato and avocado slices beside the eggs. The previous evening the two attended a screening of The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, and what begins as a mature discussion of the film's merits and emotional impact ends with Gyllenhaal teasing his friend with little-boy fervor: "You cried? You cried!" "A little," Aristotle admits with exaggerated dignity....As we carry our perfectly arranged plates to the vintage Formica table, the roommates break into a chorus of Danke Schoen.'

I must say that I love a man who can slice avocado - I've never mastered it but I'm good at making avocado gloup. Incidentally, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys starred Donnie Darko star Jena Malone, as well as Kieran McCulkin, who has also featured here.

At the end of the meal, Jake shows himself yet again to be my kind of man: 'He refuses offers of help with the dishes. "I'm a very simple cook," Gyllenhaal insists, tipping the leftovers into the garbage. "But I guess the thing that matters is confidence. Skill can only get you so far."'

I purchased this article - if anyone wants a pdf (without pictures), please email me. Includes pictures from IHJ.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

'Because you never know!'

Speaking as someone who has a passion for Jake Gyllenhaal, cars (predictably big, fast and fancy cars - ideally in blue, but that's not essential) and car television programmes (so long as it's called Top Gear), I have always been more interested in the contents of the boot/trunk of Jake's car than I should be. Particularly, because Jake's car is ten times the size of mine and it doesn't look like it contains a year's supply of free London newspapers.

When Jake was interviewed for GQ back in February 2007, the lucky interviewer got a peek. As Jake said: 'I have to show you what's in the back! Any sport you want to play we can do!' He wasn't exaggerating - the trunk contained 'a football, a catcher's mitt, some basketball shoes, a basketball (self-pumping), tennis rackets and balls, bottles of water, some other kind of shoes, a headband, an Elvis Costello CD, something called "rolling space balls", a Frisbee for the dogs, and an umbrella. Jake points out this last item and, not unlike the former Eagle Scout he plays in Zodiac, proudly stresses, 'Because you never know!' And, really, that was just the top layer.'

Much of this section of the interview takes place in the parking lot behind the Shakespeare Globe, next to Hugo's Restaurant in West Hollywood, which Jake tried to break into. The dead Shakespeare garden next to it was recently removed (a blessing for everyone, I think) but the Globe remains. I thought it might be appropriate to post a picture I took of it just a week or two after GQ was published.

Jake's house must be full of wheeless bicycles - bicyclde wheels are a regular find within Jake's trunk. They are also an inconvenience because you can't put heavy shopping on top of them

Now and again, you can get a whole bicycle attched to the back of Jake's or his friends' cars, or inside it. You can even on occasion fit an entire fellow actor into the back of a Hollywood car.

While Atticus is a familiar sight in the back seat of Jake's car, the trunk can provide a comfortable spot for a coffee or a picnic, in which case you may be lucky enough to find Jake Gyllenhaal in the trunk of a car.

And because I don't want the other end of the car to feel left out...

Gyllengaard in Venice, CA

This week, Gyllengaard were out enjoying the summer sun in Venice, LA, as you can see from these wonderful pictures of Peter, Maggie and Ramona, who is keeping a very firm grip on some of the finest ears in the business.

This post is dedicated to Ruby! So what are "rolling space balls"...?

Pictures from IHJ, Celebrity Baby Blog and WDW.