Saturday, 31 July 2010

Summer Holidays: Jake Gyllenhaal on the move near you

Even though you, like me, are no doubt going through those last minute painful adjustments to your wedding outfit - I knew the hat was a mistake - I thought I'd make you fashionably late with a post this evening. Weddings are a reminder that this is indeed the holiday season and here I direct you to your dictionary: 'Holiday Season (Holl-i-day see-sun - noun): The time of year when Jake Gyllenhaal buggers off for weeks on end'. Tweets and facebook sightings (real or less real) have been placing Jake everywhere from Alaska to Martha's Vineyard to washing my car in Oxford.

In yesterday's interview (which I hope you will read if you haven't already), Jake said that one of the things he has to deal with in his job is that he can be in 6 countries in almost as many days. And over the years we've seen Jake use many an opportunity to bring up his jetlag problem - and his solution Rescue Remedy - which, I have on good authority (ie, my own), doesn't work half as well as a good gin and tonic.

I realise I'm digressing, but just as Jake spends almost as much time in the air as I do on blogger, the theme of this evening's holiday post is the diversity of countries that Jake Gyllenhaal finds himself in - as indeed do we. Recent comments on WDW have highlighted the great range of countries from which we, Jake's fans, hail. There's me in the UK and then many of you are across the US, across Europe, Australia, New Zealand - in each hemisphere and on a fair old proportion of continents. We're a globular lot (if you pardon the expression) and just as Jake broadens our worldly horizons, we too have contributed to the widening of Jake's. And may I just say, that Jake has some of the loveliest widened horizons that I've seen.

Obviously, we don't have pictures from all of the countries that Jake has travelled to and maybe some of this summer disappearing time is spent exploring areas that we never hear about, but there are plenty of occasions when Jake does get pictured. And so this post presents some of Jake's travels in no particular order.

Jake does seem to spend a fair amount of time in England - often through work but I think there's a piece of his heart left here too (and he queues at the Holes in the Wall like a naturally born Brit). Unfortunately, when he was here filming in 2008 on Prince of Persia he managed to wreck our summer weather and it was mostly lousy, but on other visits we've held our own.

There are two other countries where we have seen Jake rather a lot - France and Italy. Jake mentioned, when he was in Cannes in 2007, that he had toured much of France with his family (he knew all about the Provencal sausage - yes, he did). Over the years, Jake has been seen in Cannes, Paris and the Alps (Lance Armstrong dragged him up a mountain by bike when it would have been so much easier by car).


The Alps:


Jake has also been seen on a bike in Italy - and on a boat. Venice Film Festival has welcomed Jake with open arms but he has also been in Italy for Rendition and Maggie and Peter's wedding. He also popped over to Rome to see me and I appreciate that. He just didn't know it at the time.

Jake has also been a frequent visitor to Canada. In fact he told one interviewer during the Rendition publicity days that there had been a time when he would even pretend to be a Canadian when travelling abroad. Jake has filmed three movies in Canada - The Day After Tomorrow, Brokeback Mountain and Source Code. He's also been to Toronto Film Festival to publicise Brokeback, Proof and Rendition. He also saw me in Toronto and that puts it in my top five list of Jake places.

My only decent pic of Jake (in Toronto):

Other places include Spain, Japan, Germany, Morocco and places across the breadth of the United States. One of these days, we'll even get him over to Wales. Enjoy the pictures of Jake across the world.






Washington DC:




New York City:

Martha's Vineyard:



San Francisco:

Includes pictures from IHJ, JJ and WDW.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal does not want to compare his films to fast food and making medition work

With everything being quiet on the GyllenFront (who knows - maybe as we speak Jake is ironing his suit for Chelsea's big day tomorrow?), this is the perfect opportunity to post an interview that Jake Gyllenhaal conducted with German OK back during the PoP frenzy days of May. But as a responsible blogger, this post has been certificated R and comes with an advance warning: This post is not suitable for those of a delicate disposition or a sensitive nature. In this interview, Jake makes wanton and gratuitous use of the F word - yes, it's worse than you think. He says 'fart'.

Q: In your new film you are almost unrecognisable. Were you tired of sensitive dramas like "Brokeback Mountain"?
JG: The choice of film has the same principles behind it as eating out - sometimes one has an appetite for haute cuisine and then sometimes it might be for pizza. Although I wouldn't compare my films with fast food! (Laughs) So a role like "Prince of Persia" hadn't come my way before. The little boy in me, of course, was immediately hooked when he heard that he also had to do swordfighting, horseriding and must save beautiful women from nasty villains.

Q: For this role, you had to physically transform yourself...
JG: I gained about 15 pounds and for that I had to drink so many protein shakes, that just the thought of it makes me shake. But there was no choice. It wasn't for aesthetic reasons. I didn't work on a film for a year just for a pin-up contest. But because I wanted the role. I had to be extremely athletic to do my stunts myself. Sure, I could have had a double for everything but that would have been cheating the audience and myself.

Q: In particular, the female audience would appreciate it that you've trained so much.
JG: Maybe, but I hope that they see more than just a beautiful illusion. When I play a soldier, I shave my head bald, and for an action movie, I just kill myself to get into shape. This is pure craftsmanship and on the last day of shooting I said goodbye to all the training. Who has the time to maintain that constantly? For me, life is just too short to concentrate six times a week on the biceps.

Q: After separation from Reese Witherspoon You are now together with Rachel McAdams...?
JG: Could we please leave this issue out? Thank you. The more you talk about your private life, the more often you'll see your own face at the supermarket. This overkill is the greatest threat for young actors.

Q: How do you spend your free time today?
JG: I prefer to meditate regularly. Especially in my business, in which I sometimes have to travel half a dozen countries in a month, it's hard to separate yourself from the fast paced world around you. You can be swept away and have to force yourself to pause, to listen to your inner voice clearly.

Q: Is it hard to learn this distance from the outside world?
JG: I thought at first that it would be impossible. In my first experiments, my thoughts still raced and I wanted to give it up. But at some point it's like jogging. From time to time, to overcome the baser instincts, the body learns how to do it increasingly faster. Meanwhile, even after the greatest stress I can turn off within fifteen minutes. It's only stupid when one has eaten too much and gases form in the stomach... if you understand what I mean (Chuckles.) The thought of a fart every now and then pulls me from my concentration.

Q: You have studied Eastern religions before. Would you describe youtself as spiritual?
JG: No, that sounds presumptuous. I'm looking more for connections and want to understand better how we humans, despite different beliefs, are all linked. My father is a Christian and my mother's Jewish, while I'm interested in Buddhism.

Q: In previous interviews you were always extremely serious, and you seem very relaxed now ...
JG: I'm glad to hear it, because I feel the same way, but sometimes the environment doesn't behave the same as one would want it. I think I am generally more relaxed, not only from meditation, but because of getting older and experience. Before, I wanted to change the world with every film, I bit off too much in my roles and made my life difficult with ambition. Today I just let things take their course.

Q: Is it true that you had a dispute with your sister, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who also had film roles?
JG: Maggie's been in the world a few years longer than me and all the love I have is sometimes measured by that. That was detrimental to me at the beginning of my career, of course. But in a creative environment, there's always competition and although I admire her work, I was probably totally jealous. It's complicated between siblings. But all that was long ago, and though each of us has gone our own way, we help each other when we can.

Very interesting. Just imagine the feeling of saying goodbye to training after so many months of dedication. I'd have been straight down the pub for fish and chips and spotted dick and custard. The translation, of course, is mine and all errors are also mine and not Jake's.

Source. Wonderful old new pictures from IHJ from one of my favourite photoshoots!

A post on MovieBrit tonight on Sacred SciFi Cows - please don't reboot me...!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Love and Other Drugs: 'Smart, Sexy, Raunchy and Hilarious'

A couple of nights ago an advanced screening of Love and Other Drugs took place in Olathe, near Kansas City, and, judging by a review of it posted yesterday, it was a corker! The review is spoilery to some degree and so you might not want to read it just yet, but it gives nothing away to quote the summing up:

'This film was by far the best romantic comedy I have seen. It’s smart, sexy, raunchy, and hilarious. The chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway worked very well, and their relationship was very believable. Josh Gad’s character added the raunchy ‘Hangover-esque’ guy type of comedy needed to keep the male half of a couple interested. Writer/Director Ed Zwick’s interpretation of Jamie Reidy’s novel Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagara Salesman translated extremely well to the big screen and made me want to read the book. I know, the movie is never as good. Overall, the film worked, the cast including Platt and Azaria were perfectly picked, and I would totally recommend it.'

'Hopefully ‘Love and Other Drugs’ does well at the Box Office and causes a trend toward ‘rom-com’s’ that work for both members of the sexes. I give ‘Love and Other Dugs’ 4 1/2 Stars.'

The pairing of Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway for a RomCom has to be inspired casting. Fine actors, sexy and gorgeous, likeable, funny and good friends in real life - how could it not succeed in drawing both men and women into the theatres? Obviously one shouldn't be put off by the fact (as revealed on IMDb today by someone else who's seen the film) that Jake's bum does indeed get an airing in the film.

Love and Other Drugs may be getting a screening in Kanas City but it doesn't look like Venice will be as lucky. Today, the lineup for the September festival was announced and I'm afraid to report it's Jake Gyllenhaal-free. So that leaves London...

Jake inspires

A feature with Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Centre of the Earth) shows that the teenage actor continues to holdup Jake Gyllenhaal as his idol and inspiration. This follows on from other interviews over the years. When Josh was 14: 'I want to act with Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s a great actor and he’s made so many great choices with the movies he’s done in his career. I want to model my career after his.'

And also in 2007: 'I really look up to Jake Gyllenhaal as an actor. Because the roles he chooses aren’t based on the biggest blockbuster movies. They’re based on being diverse roles, and that’s how I like to do it. He has a very similar career route as I’m hoping to take. And he seems like he’s a very grounded nice person too!'

After hearing Jake talk about some of the actors who have influenced him - such as Harrison Ford and Paul Newman - it's great to know that, in turn, there are younger actors driven on in their career by emulating the example set by Jake. Here's hoping that Josh does achieve his goal of acting alongside Jake.

This post is illustrated with great new old pictures courtesy of IHJ, including pictures from the Day After Tomorrow photocall in Berlin and photos of Jake and Kirsten in London in 2003, with Paul Bettany, on the set of Wimbledon.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Duncan Jones on Jake Gyllenhaal: 'incredibly gracious and talented'. Source Code is on the way!

Our good friends at ManMadeMovies have done us all proud and published an interview with young Brit director Duncan Jones, providing us with a much welcomed update on Source Code, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. As we've seen, Jake has enthused about SC and Duncan Jones throughout the PoP tour and so it's great to hear more from the man himself, especially when he has things like this to say: 'fortunately I was supported by the incredibly gracious and talented Jake G, who really got behind me and trusted my instincts'. It is good to learn that SC continues Duncan's habit of working closely with his actors, as demonstrated so wonderfully with Sam Rockwell in Moon. It gets great results.

We learn that SC will be out early next year, and that 'Source Code is very different than Moon… its quite a bit different from a lot of films, to be honest, and I'm hoping when we are ready to show people, the patience will pay off.'

'I know that performance-wise we got some great stuff from Jake, Michelle, Vera and Jeffrey [Wright]. I know that the script was always tight, and the film has a hell of a fast pace to it. I know that I did my best to inject some humor where I could.'

Read the full interview at ManMadeMovies - and it's a goodie. I'm more excited than ever about Source Code and it's great news that it's moving along quickly. And Judge Dredd?

Pictures from IHJ.

New post on MovieBrit on Women, RomComs and The Rebound.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal and a Molina PoPfest (I got to 'speak' to Alfred today!) - and no TIFFin for LAOD

This morning local time, the organisers of the Toronto International Film Festival announced a lineup of 51 galas, premieres and special screenings. Despite expectations, which were quite raised, there wasn't a sign of Love and Other Drugs in the lineup. While it is possible that additions may be made to the list through August, it's now not looking likely that we'll have a repeat of 2007. However, there are other film festivals to come, notably Venice and London. At the risk of sounding just like myself when we were waiting for Brothers, there is still a chance of some Festival Jake Gyllenhaal. A full list can be seen here.

On a brighter note, I had some fun today when I joined in a LoveFilm live chat with Alfred Molina and was able to tell him - laptop to laptop - that I enjoyed Prince of Persia and An Education. I asked him if he preferred to play fantasy or real life figures, to which he replied: 'Oooh... They're both interesting to do... Fantasy character are much freer'. I did make a brief mention of ostriches. It was a real thrill to be able to engage with a much-admired actor (I did the same with Maggie years ago) and it certainly added a touch of flavour to my porridge and water lunch. This is LoveFilm's picture of the occasion:

Therefore, it's only fitting that this post is a bit of a Fred Molina post, or a Fred Molina and Jake Gyllenhaal post, with some Peter Sarsgaard happily added to the mix. There's a bit of a PoP lovefest going on too...

Alfred on Jake: ''"Jake brings all the qualities the part needs: he’s goodlooking and talented, has a very attractive personality and is very bright," said Molina. "I’m also really impressed by his willingness to just jump in. It can be very easy for an actor in his position to sit back a little bit and play the star and let someone else carry the weight. He has never done that."'

'Molina’s own role is that of a vicious villain, who controls huge parts of the deadly desert. "(Sheik Amar), he's a lovable rogue I’d say! Or at least he’s a baddie who ends up as a reluctant ally of the hero," said Molina. "He starts off and he’s venal and self-centred and he describes himself as an entrepreneur and businessman, but he’s really a con-man and a small-time gangster with a capacity for violence. So he’s not sweet and cuddly, but he’s cheeky and a good talker and has a bit of an edge and some charm to him, and there’s also a part of him that deep down wants to do the right thing."'

Mike Newell: 'What I do think is, I think that most people don't know how to talk and certainly most people don't know how to talk to actors. There may be a slight difference. Above everything else, people don't listen. They don't listen to you. So you get a sense of an actor's potential, what he can do and what he can't do, and sometimes what you want to do is to nudge him into what he can do. Other times you want to say, "You know what? You do that really, really well. Let's do that again, but slightly differently." Fred Molina who played Sheik Amar whom I'd worked with before. He played a very straight-laced London lawyer for me, but very very funny. Now he's playing this loose disreputable stinky desert... We were talking about it and he said, "What do you think he's like?" I said, "Well, I think he's like Arthur Daley." Arthur Daley is a very famous character in this country. He comes from a TV series. He's a guy who sells dodgy cars, and I said, "I think Sheik Amar sells dodgy cars." So you start to have fun talking to them. I don't know why it is. I've always like them. I just like them. I wanted to be one. I was desperate to be one, but I was so bad. I was hopeless.'

'Just like I don't get the chance to make movies like this every day, because they just don't make 'em anymore, these guys don't get to act in them because they don't make them anymore. The opportunities in it are absolutely great. I mean, again, it's a story about Fred Molina, but when do you ever get the opportunity to raise your arms to the heavens and shout at the top of your voice, "Behold the mighty ostrich!" which is a God-given comedy line. It's wonderful. When do you get to actually kiss an ostrich?'

Jake in USA Today: '"The scariest scene in the movie is when Alfred Molina kisses an ostrich," he says. "They are terrifying animals. Anything with a brain the size of a pea and claws that can tear your face apart is really scary." The ostriches left a big impression on the animal-loving Gyllenhaal. "I've worked with wolves in movies (on The Day After Tomorrow), and on this set they treated ostriches like wolves," he says. "They literally told us they've been known to rip off people's faces. So when Fred kisses the ostrich, to me that performance is braver than Robert De Niro in Raging Bull."'

Jake spoke to Cineplex of his fear of speaking in an English accent to the English: 'When I finally got it, which was, uh a few months down the line, which I had done a lot of work to get to - it felt great. I mean, I remember sitting there with the actors for the first day I really felt like I nailed it, because at the beginning of the rehearsal period, Mike Newell, who was our director, would say to me: [adopts grandiose British accent] 'Don't worry my boy, just say the accent. Be confident!' So I'd walk in and be like you know, doing this horrible accent...I think the first time I did it, Ben Kingsley like puked into a trash can... Alfred Molina [who plays Sheik Amar in the film] was like calling his agent, 'Can, there any way you can get me out of this?' [laughs]'

In this interview with Aint it Cool, Jake and interviewer Quint admit to a shared appreciation of Alfred and regret that he doesn't feature in the footage showed at WonderCon.

Molina also, of course, played Jenny's increasingly sympathetic father Jack in An Education, giving him a chance to play opposite Peter Sarsgaard in some of the most satisfying and enjoyable scenes in the film. There's a report from the set here. 'I don’t think the Brits have got a monopoly on dysfunctionality', Alfred says - that's a relief.

To finish with Prince of Persia, Alfred Molina told the writers of the Destiny book: 'I think it's rather presumptuous of us to imagine that audiences are going to come out of watching Prince of Persua and be better people for it... If an audience walks out thinking that their ten bucks have been really well spent, then we've done our job. If they come out entertained and uplifted in some way... if it makes them curious about wanting to find out more about history... that's even better.'

Alfred: 'I don't think we've seen a member of the human species being quite so emotionally linked with an ostrich... I think we're breaking new ground here.' Alfred had thought that the ostrich he kissed was an Anita but it turned out to be an Alan. 'So I think we did the first sort of gay, interspecies kiss on film. Hopefully, they'll create an MTC Award for that category.'

Jake: 'There's not a single person on this movie who can find a bad thing to say about Fred Molina... He's just great, an actor's actor who adds light and life to the movie. Fred raised the bar, and he's just a lovely man.'

I know that a couple of these clips don't feature Alfred, but they're amongst my favourite PoP clips and I can't resist them! Pictures from Disney (via IHJ) and LoveFilm.

Just posted my enthusiastic thoughts on Toy Story 3 at MovieBrit.