Tuesday, 31 August 2010

WDW meets Duncan Jones!

I am a very lucky WDW - over the years I've met a fair few of the people involved in Jake Gyllenhaal's career, not least Jake Gyllenhaal himself! But tonight I was thrilled to meet Duncan Jones who has impressed audiences and critics alike with the originality and vision that makes up Moon.

Won over, not surprisingly, Jake has been filming Source Code with Duncan, a movie that Jake has described as 'mind blowing' more than once. Tonight, in the same theatre where I saw David Fincher in January 2009, I was lucky enough to see Jake's newest director and, afterwards, so pleased to be able to tell him how much I was looking forward to Source Code. I managed, somewhat illicitly, to film the Q&A and so that will follow but, in the meantime, here is Duncan and my very lovely autograph - my very own Gerty. Thank you Duncan for coming back to London!

Incidentally, and off topically, London was looking beautiful this evening in the late summer sun.

Pictures from WDW.

Monday, 30 August 2010

[Update] Is Jake Gyllenhaal Big Foot? Grizzly Jake heads for the woods

Update: Reports are flooding in that Jake Gyllenhaal may indeed prove to be the missing link - more details here and see below.

Jake 'You can call me Grizzly' Gyllenhaal left the city this weekend, heading for a friend's cabin outside Los Angeles (28 August). Aguably, this time of woody environment is more conducive to intensive beard growth. Fortunately, Jake seems to have come out of his bear wrestling relatively unscathed - although the same cannot be said for his trousers... and shoes.

In the picture below, Jake demonstrates another new disguise he's picked up in the woods - the tree pose. Please note how I'm not mentioning the tongue.

Many thanks to IHJ for the pictures - there are lots more there! Good to see you again, Jake!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Disney's PoP DVD promotion continues and Mike Newell on Jake Gyllenhaal: 'a devastating emotional actor'

Disney's promotion of the DVD and Bu-Ray release of Prince of Persia continues - making me wonder once more that the abundance of videos and behind the scenes snippets they've given us over the last year is the reason why there aren't many extras on the DVD. There can't be much left.... except for that gag reel? The video of Jake Gyllenhaal from the last post was just the latest in a series of featurettes released by Disney this month. Many thanks to Monica for the heads up!

In the videos you will not only enjoy Jake and Gemma Arterton, you will also find the gorgeous Toby Kebbell and Gisli Orn Gardarsson talking about their characters - in Toby's case: throwing Jake around the set.

Tamara Drew is about to hit the theatres and in this, of course, Gemma Arterton leads. Its release on 10 September in the UK coincides with the Prince of Persia DVD and so she has been speaking a little more about the film: '“The whole scale of Prince of Persia was out of this world. When we were in Marrakesh before we started filming they took me to visit the set for the kingdom where my character, Tamina, lives. It was unbelievable. There were streets you could walk around and palaces and fortresses and market squares. And I was thinking, ‘I’m playing the princess of this place, just little old me’. It’s humbling because after everybody’s done all this work, you think, well, now I really have to come up with the goods. The princess is a bit of a tomboy sometimes, and she even has to pretend to be a sort of fictional 6th century cocktail waitress at one point. I’ve also got some great costumes with henna tattoos and jewels in my hair and things like that. I’m the only girl in the film, so I have to try to look good.”'

'When told she had the part, she said: “It was surreal. I just sat there on my bed not quite taking it in. It’s weird to think you’re going to be a princess.” And she gets to kiss Gyllenhaal, saying: “My friends were always asking if I kiss him. And I say, ‘Yes, I do, so there!’ They’re all wildly jealous.”'

Back in the days of Rock'n'Rolla, Toby Kebbell talked to Little White Lies about his new project: 'I’m doing Prince of Persia, playing a Prince of Persia, head of the Persian army and I’ve got a brother who’s going to be the future king if our father dies. Then there’s Jake Gyllenhaal who’s the Prince of Persia (from the title). It’s great. We’re shooting in Morocco and it’s hot and continuous days. I’m in a full set of armour it’s tough, but it’s great too. I get to learn to ride a horse, it’s phenomenal. It’s the hardest work I’ve done – that’s like moaning about my diamond shoes being too tight – but it’s great fun to do. I do all the things you wanted to do as a kid – wear armour, scream around the place and so on. I’m loving it really.'

Richard Coyle, who, in the words of Jonathan Ross alone, played the other ugly brother (Tus), talked about how the pressure was all on Jake her: 'The pressure off aspect is clearly a part because I’m part of an ensemble behind Jake Gyllenhaal really. I just get behind his huge frame. No, it’s pressure off because it’s Jake’s thing but also to be honest the movie is the star of the movie. What I try to do, whatever I’m going into whether it’s a piece of TV or a film or a play, it’s very important to me to get the tone right, to know the tone that I’m going into. So I spent a lot of the time getting my head around that. Once I’d nailed the tone I knew that the movie was going to be the star of the movie, and Jake Gyllenhaal, obviously, and it did take the pressure of. But also it was a challenge – It’s an opportunity for me to make an impact so there’s a pressure that you put on yourself in a way, in that sense. But the whole question of pressure and who’s the star of the movie is a fallacy because these films are all about big business; it’s a big, huge business juggernaut and you’ve all got to come up with the goods – you’ve got to do the business. So there is a pressure regardless.'

To finish with the words of director Mike Newell about his star: 'I thought Jake was perfect for the main role from the very beginning because he is such a devastating emotional actor. He is so open and available, especially in movies like Brokeback Mountain. I’d actually known Jake since he was a little boy. I knew his parents very well and I had worked with his sister, so I kept my eye on him growing up. I knew he had a wonderful sense of humour and he’s got a zany laugh. I also thought he looked right for the role. He’s not a royal-looking guy, but a street kid in the wrong costume. I thought that would be a great thing to have in the film.'

Here is a link to the entire playlist.

If you want to see more of Gisli, here is an interview with him on the PoP set:

And some Toby while I'm about it:

Friday, 27 August 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal's promotion for PoP's DVD release, Jake and Barefoot Ted, and LAOD: The chemistry is 'enormous'!

Despite having told sister Maggie that there was nothing at the end of it, I always knew that Jake Gyllenhaal liked rainbows. We know this thanks to Disney who've posted a video from that fabulous golden elephant set to publicise the fast-approaching DVD and Blu Ray release of Prince of Persia (the film with the 'really cute prince'). This appearance on Leo Little's Big Show includes a fine performance by young Amy who gets to utter those five magical words, which we must all utter at some point in our Gyllenhaalic career with - and I'm pronouncing this with a Mike Newell voice as you can tell - GUSTO: 'I love you Jake Gyllenhaal!'

This video serves as a fine reminder of those days when Jake's face had yet to be kidnapped by The Beard. It also promises interesting things from the Blu Ray interactive segments.

Barefoot Ted

Many thanks to runner and writer Jessica who kindly got in touch with me to clear up the mystery of just who the man with no hair was in That Picture from last weekend's epic trail run in Leadville. Jessica knows the people concerned and so was able to tell us that he is Ted 'Barefoot' McDonald from Seattle. Some years ago Ted discovered that, just like the Mexican villagers who inspired Chris McDougall's Born to Run book, he can run for miles, free of pain, without shoes, or just wearing his luna sandals.

It took Ted over 27 hours to finish this epic endurance event of 100 miles and, writing on his blog, he recalls the last few hours of it were spent running and chatting with McDougall: 'We turned the last 3 1/2 hours into a time for catching up...hearing about all the exciting things happening including a possible film adaptation of BTR. Very cool stuff.' In other words, confirmation that the film adaptation is indeed a possibility and not just a rumour. Many thanks again to another runner Brandon Fuller for the picture that is helping to solve the puzzle. And thanks to him for linking back to WDW.

One potential difficulty for me in all this is a) my phobia for feet and b) my passion for Nike. If the movie goes ahead then Jake must do all in his powers to distract me from the feet.

Another runner and blogger has given some more background information: 'Jake Gyllenhaal and another big star that my non-movie-star, non-fanboy head can't identify, and a small crew of others who seemed to be producers and/or directors and movie technician guys showed up and followed the race. And I mean they really followed it. They lived in Leadville for a few days before the race, they didn't sleep much or at all during the 30hr race, and even at night, I ran into them again at Fish Hatchery aid in the middle of the night. Mostly they watched, but I think they helped at times too.'

They didn't seem to be filming any final footage of anything. It seemed to be tons of snippets. I was standing around with a random runner and friends at Twin Lakes. Jake G's star-friend was taking photos of us with a huge camera. It was only later that I noticed he had a small shotgun-mic attached. So he was taking movies and over-heard everything we said!'

Love and Other Drugs - 'This movie is sexxxxxxy'

Film Experience
has posted another early review of Love and Other Drugs from a recent screening. We have had a few of these now and they continue to glow: 'The movie is well above average in the world of romantic comedy, and rest assured, that's what it is. As you could clearly note from the trailer, it has all of the usual romcom trappings and succeeds primarily due to the strength of Jake & Anne's chemistry - which is ENORMOUS and immensely satisfying. I must admit, and then dodge anything you might throw my way, that I'm not a big fan of Rachel Getting Married, or Anne's performance in it. So, given that, I'd have to say that this is her best performance. It's really a perfect role for her, as it's mostly comedic (which is where she excels) with tinges of drama.'

'Jake pulls off the smarmy-but-charming almost George Clooney-esque character incredibly well, and his character's transformation as he becomes more involved with Anne is not necessarily written as well as it could have been, but he's great. And he ultimately sells one of the rather cliché romcom moments far better than anyone had any right to. It's really all about the two of them, so the supporting cast's screen time is quite limited, although Oliver Platt steals every scene he's in. P.S. Jake & Anne spend like half the movie completely naked. This movie is sexxxxxxy.'


Many thanks again to Jessica, Brandon Fuller, Disney and IHJ for the help and pictures.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Love and Other Drugs: 'So. Much. Skin.' and Jake Gyllenhaal 'is everything'. And then there's Anne.

Yesterday, another test screening took place of Love and Other Drugs, this time in New York City. I'm hoping that they're working through the alphabet, in which case Oxford must be next. Fortunately, thanks to the power of Twitter, we have the opinions of a member of the NYC audience and, not unexpectedly but definitely pleasingly, there are some more good words for the film and for Jake Gyllenhaal. And yet again there are warnings of large amounts of naked skin or, as the Tweeter put it: 'So. Much. Skin.'

Here are the other 140-letter reviews: 'LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS was actually quite hilarious, and SO fucking sexy. Hathaway bares all, and except for full front, Gyllenhaal does too.'

'I always like Jake, but after this movie... damn. He is everything. Too bad it got all movie of the week in the end, but still solid.'

'It's refreshing to see a rom com with characters who don't act like utter idiots for sake of a stupid plot. Real people with good acting.'

'So. Much. Skin. Worth if for that alone. And it's really the antithesis of every dumb Aniston/Heigl shit Hollywood shoves at us.' [With apologies to Jen for that last comment because, as we've been discussing in the comments to the previous post, Jen isn't what's bad, it's some of the roles that she's taking.]

So, while I mull over the idea of an intelligent, funny and well-acted romantic drama that includes lots of sex and bare flesh - takes a breath and continues - I thought I would take a look at some of the things that Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway have said about each other since those days of Brokeback Mountain.

Just after Anne finished filming Brokeback, she recalled to an Australian film site (the site is now gone but I posted it here a couple of years ago) how her friends reacted to knowing she was to kiss Jake: '[Excited] Kissing Jake Gyllenhaal was great! I’ve had all good experiences when it comes to on-screen kisses. I’ve had a really good legacy of on-screen kisses. They’ve all been wonderful! Who was the best kisser of all? I don’t have to answer this… [Thinks for a second] But it was definitely Hugh Dancy, my co-star in Ella Enchanted!' (I believe that Maggie will be playing opposite Hugh in her forthcoming vibrator movie!)

'Q: Did you hang out with Jake much after the cameras stopped rolling? 'Well, we hung out together with other people. Jake and I never really hung out one-on-one, but we’d go out in groups of people. The thing that is great about Jake is he’s really, really intelligent so he’s really fun to talk to.' Q: Were your mates really jealous of you? '[Excited] Oh my god! Both guys and girls alike were so jealous when they found out. A lot of my friends are people who I met at college and so they recognise that he’s a really smart guy – and that’s something that gets them very excited.'

'Q: Can you tell us a secret about him? 'Ooh, what do I know? I can tell you that he’s such a funny joke-teller. Oh, and he does accents better than anyone I’ve ever met.' Q: What’s his best impression? A gay man ordering a drink. Trust me, it’s hilarious!'

And Jake's memories of those days: 'Annie and I had been through a lot together during the filming of Brokeback Mountain. I was still struggling with the separation from Kirsten Dunst and Annie heard my whining for hours and comforted me. We know each other so well now that the love scenes for Love and Other Drugs were in the can after a day. I play a pharmaceutical spokesperson, who fell in love with a woman, played by Annie, who suffers from Parkinson's disease.'

When Anne confirmed to The View that she was to star opposite Jake in Love and Other Drugs - way back in June 2009 (just showing how fast the whole thing came together) - there was a bit of a muddle between Jake and Joaquin Phoenix, which is completely not justified (despite the rate at which Jake's beard is growing).

In October 2009, we actually got some video of Anne and Jake on set - not necessarily at the same time.

And then there was the business of the merkin - a very memorable component of the publicity for Brothers during November and December of last year. If you don't know the full history behind the merkin now, shame on you...

The results of the first screenings back in February suggested that Anne burnt up the screen (Note: many of these early reviewers have been male).

During WonderCon and the publicity for PoP, Jake was keen to talk Duncan Jones and Source Code because, understandably, this project was newer and fresh in his mind. But he did have this to say in the Italian magazine, Nick: 'The film is about a Viagra salesman who happened to meet this wonderful woman who is ill with Parkinson's, that Anne Hathaway plays with absolute tenderness. The director is Edward Zwick, whom I have admired since the days of Glory'.'

But now, as we wait for Love and Other Drugs, you've got to wonder how could there not be such chemistry between the two leads? They share so much, as photographer Henney Garfunkel recalls: '"I shot Jake in Toronto in 2005. He was there for Brokeback Mountain and there was alot of buzz around him," Garfunkel remembers of a playful Gyllenhaal. "Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams were all in the room while I was shooting and someone came in and told them they had just won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. They were all jumping up and down."' You'll find two of the pictures below.

Includes photos from IHJ and links.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal - a local work of art


Two new pictures today from the race at Leadville at the weekend. Jake Gyllenhaal - aka Local Art Gallery - decided to take pity on the world and display his arms in their fabulous entirety. This is a sight to be savoured as the beard continues its mission to cover Jake's whole body. And, as you can see, that would indeed be a shame...

In this second photo Jake watches and learns as a pro demonstrates the method behind how to hold a tape, while Peter Sarsgaard continues to hone his own disguise skills.

And the trail for Jake continues! The last possible sighting was yesterday when one person tweeted that he met Jake Gyllenhaal in the Home Depot at Scottsboro in Alabama.

And speaking of arms (and chest), there are some fine photos over at PoPsugar today as Jake has made it to the final shirtless four.

Pictures from running blogger Brandon Fuller via IHJ.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal Flip cameraman, and Jake's 'incredible desire to do comedies'

We've been given our last glimpse of Jake Gyllenhaal in Colorado from race day. Not only was Jake there to comfort the suffering and wounded in the Aid Station, he was also there at the beginning to wave people off with his Flip. Running blogger Brendon Fuller who has kept us well informed throughout while still managing to run in the killer event himself reminisces: 'Actor Jake Gyllenhaal was standing in front of me on the start line with his Flip camera shooting some video. Another crew was over further with some big lights. I gave Jake the head nod…what’s up. He responded.' One has to wonder if this other crew was connected with Jake, meaning some serious pre-movie research.

The obvious thing to note from this observation is that Jake must have been so impressed by my handling of my own Flip at the Prince of Persia premiere in London that he rushed out to buy his own.

Jake's fondness for photography is well known and he has been captured on camera several times while taking his own photos. He has also commented on how he videoed Swofford and Robert Graysmith in preparation for his portrayal of them on film and Jake appeared to have a mobile film studio in the boot of his car. Jake's 21st birthday present from his mother was an old Polaroid camera. I did a full post on this some time ago and you can read it here.

From Donnie to Dastan

In another Prince of Persia interview, which I'm only now getting around to posting, Jake spoke about how it shouldn't be a surprise to audiences and critics that he took on Dastan - Donnie Darko should have been a clue. Ten years ago 'maybe I would have assumed that it wasn't unreasonable [to play Dastan]. After all, back then we'd made Donnie Darko, a very promising movie that everyone had seen and had loved.'

Was it a curse or a blessing that Jake had been commected with more dramatic films? 'No, I associate so many wonderful experiences with Donnie Darko that I would never say that the film is a curse for me. If I should complain, it would be at a higher level, then it would be a complaint to the producers... Because often they don't have imagination. They would often blindly hire me for dramatic films, without asking me what I'd like to do instead.'

Had Jake been waiting all this time for Prince of Persia? 'Not specifically for that. But for something that reminded me of this little eight-year Jake, who saw himself as being Indiana Jones and who even then dreamed of acting in such a film.'

So Jake didn't have any concerns at being hired for a blockbuster? 'Not at all! This was the fulfillment of a child's dream. I could let off steam, I was on a giant playground for months, with great people around me to play with, like Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley. So why should I hesitate?'

Because Mike Leigh and Lars von Trier might have seen Jake at the beginning of the decade and now said that he does too many commercial films? 'I don't think that masters in their field would every say such a thing. If they have a desire to work with you then it shouldn't matter what you've done recently. I once had a phase in my twenties when I took everything to do with my job too seriously. That was anything but healthy. No, I don't feel that this wild ride will mess up my future.'

'This is a film for all eight year olds in the world who still haven't forgotten how to dream!' And for the older ones, and the girls in particular? 'I had exactly six months to prepare myself for the role. What we see on the screen, is exactly what's possible if you torture your body for six months. But, when it comes to the outside; yes, I'm in good shape. But it disappears again. It's this form of vanity, that we all have, and noone can explain it. Do I find it good,what I look like now? Of course! Do I forget about who I am deep in my heart? No way!'

And on the media's headlines 'Jake is hot!' 'I make sure that this wave doesn't carry me along and I laugh about all the things people come up and say to me about myself. The most important thing in this industry is to keep a certain distance. And I've trained myself long and hard to keep this distance.'

What could happen in the next few years? 'I have an incredible desire to do comedies... Now I've done a wacky comedy starring Anne Hathaway. Then there are other offers in that direction. And maybe at some time Mike Leigh and I could make a good comedy together. That would be great!' More here (and all faults here are mine not Jake's).

Includes pictures from IHJ.