Thursday, 30 April 2009

In need of a good home: Brown leather Polo Ralph Lauren dress shoes, size 11

Even better, they're autographed (and possibly polished) by Jake Gyllenhaal.

It's always good to see Jake supporting a good cause, and his contribution to a celebrity shoe auction will help raise funds for foster care childrens' charity Hillsides. It will also clear valuable wardrobe space. The downside is that while Jake is donating a perfectly decent pair of Ralph Lauren shoes, he is hanging on to green crocs, missing a great opportunity to swap them for charity dosh. Mind you, how would one sign crocs...? Needlesstosay, one can never go wrong with a good pair of Nike whatever the occasion, but if one (ie Jake) insists on venturing out without the swoosh, this post includes some examples of the alternatives.

Jake's footwear even received top billing in his Cannes self portrait.

Includes pictures by IHJ.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

'The love fest' - Moonlight Mile

After the recent Brokeback post, and while we wait to see if we will ever learn in which continent Jake now finds himself, I thought I'd take a look at another film of Jake's in which chemistry is everything. For me, Moonlight Mile is right up there, knocking on the door of Brokeback, for the connection between Jake Gyllenhaal and Ellen Pompeo and for the other connections - between Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon and between both of these and the young Jake.

There is a contradiction about Moonlight Mile to my mind. The story is built upon the most awful tragedy, not just for Joe, but also for Bertie. But there is real humour in it - and hope. I feel that a very big part of why we feel this is because of what seems like genuine affection between the four main cast members and because of the family dynamic, especially between Jake and Dustin. With Jake getting top billing and with Dustin keen to clip Jake's feathers while littering him with advice, I get a sense of Jake's nervous rebelliousness. He agreed to do This is Our Youth, as strongly advised by Dustin, but stood firm against him to do a blockbuster movie.

Without doubt, Jake impressed both Susan and Dustin. Brad Silbering recounted (in the Detroit Free Press): '"It took Dusty six months to make up his mind, six months of us talking on the phone every day, working through detail, half the time talking about anything but the script. Finally I got him together with Jake, because I truly believed that would get him off the dime. And he just fell in love with him. He kept saying, `He's like a young Buster Keaton; he's like a young Keaton.'"

We've enjoyed Susan's flirtatious comments about Jake before, but I liked this description of him that she gave at the Toronto Film Festival: '"He's very bright," says Sarandon. "The emphasis is focus. He reminds me of Sean Penn. I love the fact that he grew up in a show-business family and still has great values."' Elsewhere in this article, Jake says of his role as Joe: 'I have regrets, but I will hopefully mend them in future things'.

Here is a lengthier extract: 'If Gyllenhaal mania arises, the actor admits that there are worse fates than Leonardo DiCaprio-style celebrity. "There's something alluring about it," says Gyllenhaal, whose entourage at Toronto consists of three longtime friends who've spent as much time accompanying him to movie theaters as they have to bars. "I would not be human to say that I don't fall for that. But it seems to me that ... if you're in that position, it's not really in your control, except in the choices that you make and the movies that you choose to do. The nice thing about that position, regardless of the entourage or the girls, is that you can do any movie you want, which is what's alluring to me." Gyllenhaal, who next stars with Dennis Quaid in the Roland Emmerich film The Day After Tomorrow, feels good about where he is. "I think I'm in a pretty OK position," he says. "It's hard to get perspective. ... It's so weird that I want more even though I have a ton."'

This comraderie between the cast was pretty clear for all to see at the Toronto press conference: 'The mood at the press conference yesterday for Moonlight Mile, about a bereaved husband-to-be coming to terms with his grief, was set when Susan Sarandon sat down, turned to her co-star Jake Gyllenhaal and asked, "Did you just pinch my ass?" Within two minutes, Dustin Hoffman had laid his head in the laps of both Sarandon and co-star Ellen Pompeo, played footsie with Sarandon and asked her for sexual favours. Then the cast launched into a rousing Happy Birthday for director Brad Silberling. It was, in Sarandon's words, "a bit of a love fest" on the set of this movie.'

And then there's Ellen... The story of her fairy tale meeting with Jake in an LA carpark is well known, but here is a fuller account of it: 'A guy tried to pick her up in the parking lot behind gourmet sandwich shop Joan's on Third. She says she had no idea he was actor Jake Gyllenhaal. "She walked by and I was just blown away by this energy," Gyllenhaal says. "She does this thing with her hair where she kind of jolts it back and forth. I thought it was so sexy." "He knocked on my [car] window in the parking lot," Pompeo says. "And he was standing there very nervous and shy. He said, 'I just want to tell you that you're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my entire life.' And he tried to run away. So I said, 'Wait a minute, come back here.' Normally, I would say, 'Thank you' and let it go. But there's something so interesting about his face, so soulful."

'"I looked down at her passenger seat," Gyllenhaal says, "and I saw that there were 'sides' on it," the parts of scripts actors are given to read for auditions, "and I was like, 'Oh God, this girl's an actor." Pompeo says she told him, "Maybe we'll work together someday. Thanks for the compliment. See ya. And that was it." But it wasn't. Three weeks later, under the urging of New York casting director Avy Kaufman, known for finding actors their breakthrough roles--like Haley Joel Osment in "The Sixth Sense" and Tobey Maguire in "The Ice Storm"--Pompeo auditioned for writer-director Brad Silberling's "Moonlight Mile" (at the time tentatively titled "Baby's in Black") and found herself reading with none other than Gyllenhaal. "I walked into the room and he turned pale. Then I turned pale. It was so bizarre," Pompeo says.'

'"In walks Ellen to the room and I was like, no way," Gyllenhaal says. "I guess she had burned her forehead with a curling iron. It was just like this big scabby thing on her forehead and she was trying to hide it the best she could. But finally she was like, 'I know it's really stupid but I was trying to straighten my hair.' And she blew the audition out of the water. She walked out of the room and Brad turned to me and said, 'There's our movie.'"'

Ellen says that she became used to being confused with Renee Zellwegger but she has Jake to back her up: '"With Ellen, besides that voice and the sense that people might think in a cliched way--God, I don't know. If you put Renee and her in the same room, I don't know who would come out standing."'

One can't forget Brad Silberling. His terrible personal tragedy tied the cast together and all of the actors endeavour to do it justice. Brad said of Jake (Star Tribune 2002): 'As young actors go, he's alone in his field. He's really open and sensitive. And he's passionate. He has his eye on doing things he can be proud of.'

Includes pictures from IHJ and articles from WDW archives.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Jake Gyllenhaal takes off from LAX 27 April

Yesterday (27 April), a very smiley Jake Gyllenhaal was seen leaving LAX. It's not known where he's heading but one has to wonder if it has anything to do with the rumour that Maggie and Peter may be about to tie the knot during the second weekend of May in Italy and/or the Med. This would be quite a Mother's Day weekend. Many thanks to IHJ for the pictures.

Hopefully the Medical Center has arranged cover during Jake's absence...

Monday, 27 April 2009

A step closer - Brothers' US distribution deal signed

The rumoured deal between Lionsgate and Relativity Media has been signed according to Variety and this means that Brothers has a US distributor and it means that Brothers will be the first film to be released under this new agreement. Who knows - maybe this means we will get a date relativity soon (sorry, couldn't resist).

Another indicator may also be on the way. Natalie Portman, the girl caught between brothers Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire, has been at Tribeca promoting her new website MakingOf, which aims to provide a guide to working in movies for professionals and fans alike. It was revealed that Natalie has interviewed Brothers' director Jim Sheridan for the site. It's not on there yet, but it's clearly a site to watch.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Jake Gyllenhaal on Jack Twist - 'caring and simultaneously rugged'

It looks like the Brokeback Mountain opera is back, but now it will be Madrid audiences who will hear the results in 2013. Composer Charles Wuorinen's recent interview makes plain that Annie P has been very closely involved in putting Jack and Ennis' story not only on to the stage but also to music and both the original short story and the film will influence.

'Annie Proulx herself wrote the libretto which is already finished. I feel it does not bear much relation to the film. It has the same characters, but unlike the story, however, women play a slightly bigger part in it, as in the film. But I have not contacted Ang Lee and I have contacted Annie Proulx. I just finished working with her when she came recently to Nueva York to add the last touches.'

Not surprisingly, Ennis will not find his voice as easily as Jack: 'Jack will be a lyric tenor. Ennis is a bass-baritone with several spoken parts. He only sings in some passages. There is a quite marked difference between the two personalities.' 'Q: People who go to the opera are not used to seeing love scenes between men … CW: Well, they will have to get used to it.'

The problem of how to distinguish Jack and Ennis musically is rather intriguing. Instead of the black hat and blue eyes of Jack and the pale hat and brown eyes of Ennis, Jack's emotions can more easily be translated into song, whereas Ennis' voice is not only deeper, it is less musical and mostly spoken not sung.

In a fascinating and quite candid interview Jake Gyllenhaal conducted in 2005 with the Atlanta Journal, Jake revealed: 'I always assumed I would be playing the Ennis part when I read it. And then [Lee] cast me as Jack. It made me see myself more as an open and expressive actor than I've ever been before.' It surprised me, who obviously sees Jake from an entirely different perspective!, that Jake had always assumed he would be Ennis when he is so clearly and brilliantly Jack, not even needing words, just with a look. And Heath, with even fewer words, is Ennis.

This interview isn't available freely so I'll quote some extracts. On the loneliness of filming: 'I guess you could say in a way it was difficult on a movie set, yet at the same time it's also not. It's just inherent. The topography of where we were shooting was pretty isolating. And when I'm really, really, really looking forward to the [real-life rodeo and fair] Calgary Stampede and it's coming in a month and a half, then you know you are pretty isolated. Especially since I grew up in Los Angeles. I didn't even know what a stampede was 'til I was doing this movie. The first two weeks, we were living in trailers right by a river in the middle of nowhere. Flat land for as far as we could see. We shot in one town where it was so windy it had the highest suicide rate in all of Alberta.' [Interesting corrolation between windiness and suicide...]

Nudity: 'I believe if it's toward the story and there's a reason for it, I'll pretty much do almost anything that's not really harmful. Obviously, I was nervous at times, but you gotta get through those things. Got to push through certain fears.'

The sheep: 'Well, they're dirty and they're dumb. And they make you look good though, I gotta say. Especially when you have no experience with them. They pretty much just herd the way you want them to herd. They make you feel very tough and empowered because they are terrified of you. Then again, they are terrified of anything. [Q: They also make you look good because, like you did in the movie, you can put a little lamb in a sack attached to your saddle. It makes you look caring and rugged at the same time.] Jake: (Laughing) That was actually written in the script. But it does, and that may be the intention --- caring and simultaneously rugged.'

The aggressive love scenes: 'I think that's the thing that's really interesting about this movie. You know, the difference between the fight scenes and the love scenes are kind of . . . like in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," when there's a fight scene everybody is so eager to say, "Oh, it's so beautiful. They're like love scenes." But with "Brokeback," some people who see it haven't been able to go there completely yet --- you know, a love scene like a fight scene. But the love scenes really were like that. They were really aggressive and that happened [Ledger almost breaking his nose] by the stairs. And it's written that way, you know. It's like they grab each other and squeeze the air out of each other. And say, "Son of a [expletive]." It got rough. It just got rough. I think it was a kind of place where both Heath and I felt more comfortable going. We know how to fight. So that was easier for us.'

'[Q: Talk a little more about what's behind the aggressiveness.] Jake: These characters are just full of ambiguity. I don't think there's one clear way of putting it, you know? The whole movie is filled with questions. What really happened with my character? What were the intentions at the beginning? Were they drunk? Is it they are just lonely? I couldn't answer that really.'

Jarhead, Proof and Zodiac: 'When Sam cast me for "Jarhead," I think he recognized a real aggression in me. Just pieces of my personality that I don't think had ever been seen before. And it changed my life. And with John [Madden, who directed "Proof"], I think he recognized a kind of older attitude in me than I thought I had at the time [that allowed me to] play against Gwyneth. Also, I was really bad at math and he made me feel like I was good at math... "Zodiac" was a place I was scared to go to. I mean, it's a scary story. It's a true story and the themes of it kind of freaked me out. It's such a seedy world. It scared me. And I wanted to go to that place and see what it was like and how scary it was. The movie itself is just totally, completely terrifying, and I've never made a movie like that before.'

Talking of sheep, thank heavens this didn't happen: 'According to actor Jake Gyllenhaal, director Ang Lee was going to delete a scene in which Gyllenhaal and co-star Heath Ledger kissed because the filmmaker felt 'two men herding sheep was far more sexual than two men having sex on screen.''

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Jake meets Stephen Gaghan - Time to speculate!

Proving true the old adage 'You can never visit Caffe Luxxe too many times in one day', Jake Gyllenhaal made two known stops at the Santa Monica cafe yesterday (24 April). One was for a meeting with fellow Nike appreciator and Oscar winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. And when Jake meets an Oscar winning screenwriter that can mean only one thing... Speculation!

Stephen Gaghan is best known, and very awarded, for Syriana and Traffic and he is currently working on the adaptation of novel Dead Spy Running. The result could be a trilogy of films, which 'aims to reinvent the spy genre by telling the origin story of a newly trained spy in a tone that mixes the grittiness of "The Bourne Identity" with the wittiness of John Le Carre's oeuvre. "Spy," to be published in June, begins with the protagonist running the London Marathon, where a fellow racer is strapped with explosives. The scenario leads to a globe-trotting adventure to clear the name of the man's father' (Hollywood Reporter). If any actor looks like he's up for running the London Marathon (which, spookily, is tomorrow), that would be Jake.

As we endure this Jake Movie Hiatus, speculation and rumours hinting at an abundance of future roles eases just a little the impatience and the frustration. Whether they're true or not is an entirely different matter.

The other Luxxe visit

Jake's other visit to Luxxe yesterday was his first of the day and he left not only with one of the cafe's famous delectable pastries but also wearing The Sandals. The saving grace of these sandals and socks is that they hint at Jake bendiness at a preceding yoga session.

Many thanks to IHJ for the new pics - you can find more there.

Friday, 24 April 2009

WDW makes two! Brothers and Nailed, however, don't make Cannes...

Wet Dark and Wild is two today, which I'm afraid means that the site has entered into the terrible toddler phase. This means lots of craving for sweet drinks and an irresistible urge to pull things off shelves, spill perfume and spit out sprouts. Before WDW grows out of this phase, I thought I'd celebrate the beginning of a third year (one which should have at least one film in it...) by indulging in a bit - and I'm not saying which bit - of cheeky Jake. Talking of whom, Jake Gyllenhaal wrapped in gold paper and a red bow would be a perfectly acceptable present, if someone could arrange it. A big thank you and cake all round to everyone, including Jake, for making the last two years very busy and a lot of fun. A lot of fun.

Meanwhile, the list for Cannes has been announced and, maybe not surprisingly, Brothers and Nailed are not on the list. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus will premiere in Cannes, outside of the competition, while in it will be Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if we see Brothers and possibly Nailed at a festival in the Autumn.

Includes pictures from IHJ.