Monday, 31 May 2010

[Updated] It's all in the details: Jake Gyllenhaal on life, cooking, being a good listener and creating Dastan

** Update: Prince of Persia overtakes SATC2 at the holiday box office! **

Thanks to the photographic team of USA Today we have proof of that fine age-old adage: 'Nothing sets off a brick wall quite like Jake Gyllenhaal'. Photographer Robert Hanashiro describes the background to the fabulous photo of Jake that adorned the front page of the newspaper last week. When faced with the option of taking photos of Jake in the basement of the El Capitan theatre against an Alice in Wonderland backdrop, Hanshiro took the risky decision to move to a brick alley. The results are stunning. You can read all about it here.

Pictures from USA Today.

We've seen the cast of Prince of Persia take the Gyllenhaal Spelling test - and largely fail. Today the cast has a go at the PoP Movie Quiz. It is spoilery so you may want to wait until you've seen the fim but otherwise enjoy seeing how bad Jake is. Not that the others are much better, mind you. When asked how many times Dastan and Tamina kiss in the film, Sir Ben Kingsley slips into character and asks would Nizam care? Possibly not.

I must thank those who have been sending me interviews and features from all corners of the globe for Prince of Persia. Many thanks to Linda for this scan from the Mexican TabascoHOY. You can read the article here.

A feature from Brazil (with thanks to Monica) contains a lovely snippet about Jake's set companion Atticus, who is truly a Hollywwod dog. Please excuse my poor translation: 'The interview with Jake Gyllenhaal was amazing. The guy is a family man. The actor spoke of his father (Stephen) and his actress sister (Maggie) more than the movie. He said he loves to cook, goes to the market to select ingredients for the dishes. He has a dog that accompanies him to film sets. On the set, the dog, very playful, has learned the codes and he makes no sound when you hear 'Shoot', coming back to life at 'Cut', when he runs into the scene to try to knock over the good guy from Brokeback Mountain.'

In a German interview with, Jake confirms that Atticus is his companion on set. He also says that cookbooks fill his bookshelves and they are his obsession. [Well, I've got lego and a veritable Prince of Persia library on mine...] Jake says that 'If I'm in a strange city, I ask first when the market days are.' This seems like a good point to tell Jake that Oxford's market is on a Wednesday.

'I like to cook, grow my own vegetables and it's nice to sit comfortably with friends at a table and chat. I am a good listener.' Jake also owns up to his Martha Plimpton crush. Jake admits that he was never so proud in his life as when Maggie was nominated for an Oscar and he sat in the audience. He also says that the ring he is often seen wearing these days says 'Carpe Diem' or 'Seize the Day'. 'This is my life motto.'

Intriguingly, this interview begins with a suggestion that the keys were lost for this interview at the Dorchester and Jake had to break in, ala Dastan. My German is too rusty and so updated to add a translation from my good German friend Uli (no doubt still celebrating Germany's Eurovision win on Saturday...): 'In the posh London hotel, The Dorchester, Jake breaks open the door to the interview room - much to the horror of the staff - because the key is missing and then, during the "Gala"-Interview, made his cool Princeof Persia-Barbie [ie, action figure] climb over glasses and through the flowers on the table.' Thanks Uli!

There is another fine interview from DigitalDVD in Germany. Jake talks again about how proud he was of making his first big jump onset and that he took a photo of himself afterwards. Jake says here that he's thinking of making it his screensaver. [Something else Jake and I have in common!]

Jake's favourite scene in the movie is one of mine for sure: 'The fight scene with Asoka. Asoka followed me on a horse. He has a spear in his hand and he gallops behind me while I run before him and he comes closer and closer. I run into a small tunnel, I jump high at the end, then up the wall and get him out of the saddle. The Parkour here is very smart and cool.' [Again, my rusty German.]

Jake also suggests that he may have been a bit hasty in running away from the ostriches... and gives some interesting detail about his costume. 'From the beginning, Jerry Bruckheimer said that this character must be a real person, and must not be a cartoon. I worked with our costume designer Penny Rose for how Dastan's clothes should look. Behind every piece of clothing lies a story that is not necessarily told in the film, but I know it. At the beginning of the film I wear this one jacket. If you look closely, you can see some things that hang down on this jacket. We came to the conclusion that these were pieces of hair from women that he had courted earlier, perhaps, and later Dastan had attached them to his jacket.'

'I love Morocco, I've shot two films there. Overall, I have spent four to five months in Morocco, I traveled everywhere - Marrakech, Erfoud and Ouarzazate. The Moroccans are lovable, generous and full of life. The country has a wonderful culture and an extraordinary history... I've eaten a lot of tagine. I love this stew. Just great, in fact I have eaten nothing else. And so I stayed in shape. Do you want to know my secret of how to stay fit? it's the tagine diet.' There is much more to read so do take a look.

But may the last word rest today with Sir Ben who is again insisting that Dastan has a northwest London accent. '"We [Jake and Sir Ben] discovered each other while filming, and that's one of the delightful things about what we do," says Kingsley. "No day's the same. No film's the same. No cast is the same... His accent is impeccable," Kingsley notes of the Los Angeles native. "I can tell you what street in Northwest London that boy comes from. I can tell you what school he went to. It's a very accurate accent."' I lived in NW London for years (NW3 to be precise) and I can honestly say it definitely wasn't my street.

The Independent reports today on Prince of Persia's success across international box offices this weekend, beating SATC2 soundly into second place, and good to read that PoP opened top in another country today, Australia!

Pictures from USA Today and Disney.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal works out with Austin Nichols and Sophia Bush - and PoP tops international box office!

All this talk about Jake Gyllenhaal's incredible workout regime for Prince Dastan appears to have given Jake a bit of a nudge... Yesterday (29 May), Jake spent a couple of hours down the gym in LA with Austin Nichols and Sophia Bush. He then went home to eat a piece of dark chocolate and have an occasional glass of wine (please see earlier post this evening). Please note how I'm not mentioning Austin's socks...

I just updated this evening's earlier post with the great news that Prince of Persia has topped the international/foreign (ie, not the US but the rest of us) box office! According to THR: 'The Disney film drew $59 million from 7,100 screens in 47 territories for an early international cume of $87.5 million. Taking second place on the weekend was " Sex and the City 2," which opened on the foreign circuit with $27.6 million from 3,700 screens in 17 markets.' Things may have been slow in the US this weekend, but this is great news! I would like to point out that I am not responsible for all of those cinema tickets, just a healthy bunch of them.

Source: JJ.

[Update] PoP is top grossing film outside US this weekend! Jake Gyllenhaal is not your average person. The Prince Dastan Work Out and Diet Plan

Update: Prince of Persia was the top movie outside the US this weekend, beating both SATC and Shrek. According to THR: 'The Disney film drew $59 million from 7,100 screens in 47 territories for an early international cume of $87.5 million. Taking second place on the weekend was " Sex and the City 2," which opened on the foreign circuit with $27.6 million from 3,700 screens in 17 markets.' Things may have been slow in the US this weekend, but this is great news! I would like to point out that I am not responsible for all of those cinema tickets, just a healthy bunch of them.

No doubt many of you have now seen Jake Gyllenhaal as a Prince of Persia and it is possible that once you have finished feasting your eyes on the stunning panoramic scenery, the beautiful kasbahs and palaces, the exotic creatures, the fine weaponry, the splendid costumes and extraordinary horseriding displays, you may have noticed that Jake Gyllenhaal is bloody hot in it. If you haven't, please go and see it again; if you have, please go and see it again. Jake's trainer, Sam Waterson, has been talking some more about how he got that body into shape (admittedly, some of the credit muust go to Jake).

'"I made sure he trained when he need to train. He was fed when he needed to be fed. And rested when he needed to rest. You have to bear in mind, this was an intensive four months of training. He was living an athlete's life... The average person isn't going to be climbing walls and running through sand wearing a suit of armor. Jake had to be conditioned in a way of being capable of doing those things while cameras were rolling hours a day on set."'

'Even at his peak, Gyllenhaal had a few moments of weakness, like anyone else. "Like anybody, you always have a little bit of self doubt," Waterson said. He did every exercise with Gyllenhaal. Set for set, rep for rep and mile for mile, he helped push the actor -- even when there were intense moments of throwing in the towel. "He was 110 percent committed. And I think I trained him too well, because he was a lot fitter than me by the end of it," Waterson jokes. "I have to give Jake a lot of the credit. Yes, I was his trainer, but for this part, he was very disciplined. I have a massive respect for him because at the end of the day, he is an actor and very committed to being the best."'

Here is Jake's diet, so you can emulate it next time you're 'climbing walls and running through sand wearing a suit of armor'.

► Pre-workout Snack: Half a banana, some nuts and an espresso.

► Morning Workout: An hour-and-a-half cardio workout while wearing a 20 lb. flak jacket to simulate the weight of armor. Interval training (10 minute uphill sprint, followed by abs exercises). Repeat sequence five times, then a 10 minute run, followed by stretching.

► Breakfast: An egg-white omelet, a small protein shake and an isotonic drink to replenish salts lost during training.

► Lunch: Baked potato with tuna and salad.

► Evening Workout: An hour of resistance training using cables to simulate sword fights; pull-ups, press-ups, abs exercises using weights; finish with stretching.

► Dinner: Soup and a protein shake

► Snacks/supplements: Two liters of water, protein bars, dark chocolate, supplements rich in omega-3, 6 and 9. No foods containing refined sugar, occasional glass of wine allowed. (Source: Simon Waterson)

Actually, I'm half way there - I already have plenty of dark chocolate and wine in my diet. The Entertainment Weekly scans here include a question put to Jake about whether he'd be willing to go through all this training yet again for a sequel: 'With a plate full of protein', replies Jake.

Kissing Jake

For a fun read about the complexities of 'Kissing Jake Gyllenhaal' please take a look at this article.

And finally...

The Pixel Project contacted me to publicise their first Voters’ Choice Celebrity Male Role Model Poll and Petition, which is part of their project to raise funds in a campaign to fight domestic abuse in the US and Malaysia. Jake is among the nominated actors and you can vote for him here, as well as find out more about the project.

Thanks to BBMISwear for EW! Scans by WDW, pictures by Disney.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal: 'I'm a loud dude!' He also speaks a lot - so lots more videos and interviews!

While everyone's off in the theatres getting their first good look at the Prince of Persia (today was my fifth look and I've just about taken my eyes off Dastan enough to notice PoP's set in the desert), I thought I'd grab the opportunity to catch up a little bit. This also seems a good time to thank everyone for all the scans, pictures, videos and links that I've received over the last few weeks - thank you! - I realise I've not included everything yet, but I will. If you've not checked out Ted, Lisa and Jake's Amazing Adventure in the last post, please do! Without more ado, because Jake Gyllenhaal's been extremely busy of late, let's get on with the post. And what better way to start than with this...?

Jake was interviewed by Cinematical at WonderCon and the interview has just been released. It is fascinating. Just listen here to Jake divulging that being an actor takes work and hours of training and practice: 'I was at Sundance Writer's Lab many years ago, and I was just an actor there so you would go in and they would have first-time filmmakers who have their script and they would have mentors who would come in – like my year, Katherine Bigelow was there and Ed Harris was there and they have like an acting guru, and Delroy Lindo was the acting guru. You would go and act these scenes out for these first-time directors and they would film them and they would get advice from their mentors. Delroy Lindo sat us down because a lot of the actors were saying, wow, they were like 'put your hand here' and 'do this' and we were like, jeez, they've never directed anything before and they're telling us [what to do].'

'He said it's interesting with first-time filmmakers because if they've written it they'll say 'I've been sitting with this forever by myself; it's been 2D for this long' – and please don't read into the 2D, 3D thing I'm about to say – 'but then it gets up on its feet and it's living and breathing and coming out of someone else's mouth not the way you expected it to'. You always expected it this way and now it's this way, and it's hard not to feel because you have a sense of ownership to let something be created on its own because you've lived with it for so long.'

'So it's interesting because I've translated that now interacting with the gaming world and seeing how everybody has an intimate interaction with this character and this game and what it means to them, and now that it's basically become Jerry Bruckheimer's and he said 'now I'm going to try and put my idea of what a great, entertaining movie is' on it, people are going, 'wait a second!' So I understand that response, but I have always thought, I want to make those people happy. I want them to be psyched for this movie, so the bar has always been high, which is why when I was on set I would have the game on all of the time and I would come in the trailer and I would play a little bit. If there was a cool move, I would bring in the stunt guys and go, 'can we try this?' Because I would always think, we had a great story, but we've got to satisfy the way people see us, and there are many moves in the movie that came out of me playing the game and bringing the stunt guys in. So there was always that pressure.'

[Jake Gyllenhaal is interviewed in this 'odd' video below - eventually! Move those sands of time forward to around the 2:36 mark... and then there is a kind of French, kind of...]

'...When we were designing the wardrobe for the character, it was down to the last hour of shooting essentially, and I was like, 'I don't know if this buckle seems real,' and all of a sudden they would take to coat off and go running and they would have to run it up to there and back to this person and they would muck it up or take it off. You didn't realize what one little choice [impacted] – it had to be approved by this person and this person and 'was it like the video game?' 'No, it's not, but that's okay.' So that was definitely different for me, and to stay creative in an environment where there are so many people to appease.'

'But I really feel ultimately like my preparation was much different. I kind of tend to always start on a physical level; I always ask myself in what form would this character take shape, and how would he be successful in the world that he's inhabiting in a physical way. Like on Jarhead I did that, and on Brokeback our characters were smoking and we were riding horses and I just deteriorated, but on this I went, if he does parkour, because Gary said to me from the beginning he's going to do parkour, I'm going to have to learn how to do it, and then my body and my physicality just changed to do that. But it wasn't different.'

'Ben Kingsley is dramatically trained, traditionally trained, and a lot of British actors are, and as soon as I did the accent, it really did change everything. Because I recognized with a British accent that things become more ornate and humor becomes a different thing, so you don't have to do as much, and your voice translates so much more. I mean, look at me gesticulating right now; I wouldn't do that with a British accent, because you have to have the confidence of your voice. So I kept in my mind at all times that I was acting as if I was telling a child a story, which was so helpful for me. And then I would watch Ben, because there were moments at the beginning of this movie where I would walk around going, what movie am I in? What am I wearing and what is everybody else wearing?'

'But it became so fun and it became very theatrical, and actually I enjoy – it's funny when people say to me 'you're a very naturalistic actor' because I'm like, God, man, I'm loud! Ask anybody who hangs out with me, I'm a loud dude! So it played to that side...' Much more here.

This ABC interview is hysterical! I never thought flipcharts would sound funny... Thanks to a reader for the heads up. If the embedded video doesn't work, you can see it here, but I think I've fixed it...

This video, which I can't embed so just click here, takes us back to Jake filming at Pinewood - I do enjoy seeing Jake interviewed in full costume, now that I know the film. Now it's the American accent that sounds unfamiliar!

Director Mike Newell has been filling us in on some of the finer points of filming an epic in the desert with a huge number of hot and thirsty and sandy cast and crew. At last, along with lots of details about weather scouts, sandstorms and those 14 pesky ostriches, we hear more about Snake Dude.

At the beginning of the glorious PoP mayhem we had GQ - remember the excitement of Jake being seen at the centre of a large and growing crowd in Times Square? Here's a video that sets the scene.

Paparazzi-Jake Gyllenhaal in Times Square from photoframd on Vimeo.

Great review of PoP in Time Magazine today!

Scans by WDW, many thanks to BBMISwear for Elle and People€!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Prince of Persia brings Ted, Lisa and Jake Gyllenhaal together again! An exclusive WDW report of an Amazing PoP Adventure

It's the day on the poster - 28 May - Prince of Persia is out! And we have something special to mark the day... In April 2008, Jake Gyllenhaal had an amazing adventure - Ted and Lisa had lunch with Jake on the set of Nailed in South Carolina and the story of their extraordinary day became the stuff of GyllenLegend. But who would have thought then that, a little over two years later, a Persian prince, a blunt dagger and an awful lot of sand would work their magic and the paths of these three would cross once once? Oh yes! Jump forward to 25 May 2010, a TV studio in Toronto, and behold the words of Jake: 'What are you doing here?' I don't think it was a coincidence...

In a WDW exclusive here is the full report from my dear friend and our very own BBMISwear Lisa and the much loved Ted (DontyouwanttosayGB on LJ), complete with fantastic photos from Ted and enviably steady videos from Lisa. Over to Lisa (I supply some stage directions).

The scene is set: 'With Lisa’s pushing, Ted spoke to one of the production people from the TV studio and mentioned that we spent some time with Jake on a movie set in South Carolina and hoped that, if she got a chance to tell him we were here, that she would do so. She thought it was great that we came up for the taping and took the copy of the picture of us with Jake to give to his publicist and mention we were there! (Note: After the taping she told us she saw that we talked to him during the breaks but gave our picture to his publicist anyway – it makes us laugh to think maybe Jake got to see this picture we have cherished for the last two years)!'

'Jake arrived at the ETalk CTV Studio at 5:15PM and stayed until close to 6:00PM! There were approximately 60 people in the live studio audience – a real intimate in the round setting. Lisa and Ted were 5th and 6th in line and got great seats facing the chair Jake was sitting in – literally looking into that face for 40 minutes straight! The two front rows of lowered seats in front of us were reserved for VIPs so were not a choice for us but our seats were stools and higher than the seats in front of us so the view was magnificent!'

'The audience was told that that we were not allowed to go up to him, or him to us so no photos “with” or autographs – the small intimate setting was obviously not set up for that type of chaos but it was fine with us as we got to basically “sit with him” in such a small space and crowd for 40 minutes! We could take as many pictures “of him” as we wanted during “commercial breaks” but these breaks are quick and spread out throughout the taping. If anyone was caught taking photos once told to put cameras away at the end of each break they would be escorted out so we of course followed these rules!'

'When Jake arrived the crowd went nuts – he was in a great mood – smiling and upbeat the entire time! During the commercial breaks he was very sociable and fun with the audience! The pictures here are self-explanatory and were taken throughout his time at the studio during those quick commercial breaks. He was usually rushed to get back in good position in his chair and ready to go but took the time to wave and say hello to as many people in the audience as he could during these breaks.'

If you take a look at this screencap from the highlights video I posted a day or two ago, you can just about make out Ted and Lisa to the right. Look for the guy in green. Always stand next to someone in green, or next to a photogenic blonde or a very tall person - if possible, combine all three.

Side note from Ted who does live in Canada and so saw the results. 'He thinks that this highlight clip is all that there was on the actual broadcast…if this is the case that is real short…there is tons of footage! They do sometimes put clips into future shows we were told. We’re still on the hunt for anyone in Canada who taped the actual show so we’ll see for sure soon I hope.'

The video clips! I admire Lisa's professionalism when it comes to recording Jake. I could certainly learn a lesson or two (I have a video still to show you in a few days and you'll see just what I mean). Over to Lisa for a DVD commentary on Video Clip 1: 'In this video clip you see Jake and ETalk host, Tanya Kim, pose for the professional photos we've seen on the internet. At approximately the 40 second mark I yell out (twice) "Hey Jake...South Carolina...remember?" - he hears me the second time and says "South Carolina?" and seems unsure (at this point I'm hand gesturing to me and Ted so he can take a good look and maybe remember - ha ha)! Then he says "That's right, that's right" (pretty loud in there so hard to hear). I love the big smile and hand gestures as he remembers!! Then he adds a surprised "What are you doing here?" and I told him I flew up from Boston to see you and he says "Oh yeah" like he figured as much (not surprised to see me following him out of the country I don't think - LOL)! Right then one of the production people (you will see on the video) comes over and cues Tanya to get ready to tape again and a production off camera tells everyone to be ready so this conversation ended quick - but I loved every second of it while it lasted!!!'

Lisa's DVD commentary for video clip 2: 'In this clip Jake is hanging between taping and says at one point “It’s gonna get hotter in here”! One girl yells out “Jake you’re so hot I love you” – he looks uncomfortable at first with that but is nice and there is a funny exchange but I have no idea what was said! It quiets down a bit and I figured I have to ask if he really remembers us or was just being nice so at the 50 second mark I asked “Jake do you really remember our lunch, or not?” – again he uses his hand gestures and says “Ya, what are you guys doing, what are you guys doing up here, you working?” and Ted responds “I’m working here but she’s up from Boston” and I say at the same time “I’m visiting”.

I love how he is so matter a fact talking to us – just shooting the shit! Love that!!! He nods and at that point my video ran out of space (1 minute intervals on this thing) but at that next moment a production person put it all to an end anyway as we were moving into taping again!'

Lisa sets the scene for Video Clip 3: 'In this clip things are winding down...they're getting ready to do the sign off, etc. Their going over with him what to say - will probably use for future promos, etc. He does a quick little dance cute!! You'll see my camera goes vertical showing the state I am in - LOL!!!!!' Now that's a camera move I appreciate.

This is Boston Lisa we're talking about and so we have sportstalk. I have no doubt that Jake took one doubletake at Lisa and realised CelticsGate would pop right up again. 'Toward the end of the taping of the interview, after the "do you remember us" "what are you doing up here" exchange Tanya tried to get him to talk about Hockey (of course...we're in Canada!) and it was obvious how little he knows about the sport though said he is just getting into it and Jerry Bruckheimer is a huge hockey fan and got him into it. He said "I'm an NBA guy and there's something going on with two teams right now" and does a hand gesture of going back and forth like teetering. I, of course, knew exactly what he meant and yelled out "CELTICS"! And he pointed at me and said "Ya, she's from BOSTON"!! Everyone laughed! I may never see this on a tape (unless I get an in with someone at CTV) but I absolutely loved it!! I even talked to him DURING an interview...I was ballsy, huh?! LOL!!' With a capital B, my friend.'

Mind you, we are talking here about the person who hurled herself through the postoffice hatch in Gloucester in a vivid re-enactment of Moonlight mile. If we'd have had the dog with us, the match would've been perfect. And a cat.

And most definitely not finally!

It's Prince of Persia day! Yes! 28 May has arrived - the day on the posters - and one of the many aspects of this film that I will always rememeber and love is how it brought so many of us fantastic Jake experiences, thinking of Lisa and Ted in Toronto, my roving reporters and friends in San Francisco and LA, and myself and my good friends in London. I was thrilled to be sent a special tweet this morning, just for me, from Jacky in LA, who got to see Jake at the LA premiere and had a perfect moment. Jacky described it to me as 'an hour & 56 minutes of heaven'. This was the result and many thanks to you, Jacky.

Photos by Ted and Lisa and Jacky. The big smile on my face is all mine :)