Friday, 31 December 2010

MMX - A review of 2010, a fine GyllenYear Vintage

As 2010 draws to a close, it's time to look back at a momentous year. Never mind World Cups, new governments, royal engagements and the Ashes, 2010 gave us in the UK at least a grand total of three Jake Gyllenhaal movies, almost one per season. It's been a year to remember. For me, I'll always look back on it with a big smile because I came face to face with Jake twice. So time for a quick jaunt down memory lane.


January began with Jake's return to LA (with beard) and the beginnings of publicity for Prince of Persia, although there was some disappointment over a cancelled pingpong tournament in NYC. Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan signed on for Source Code and we got the first good look at Lego Jake. Jake partied with Marion Cotillard and we had more interviews with Tobey Maguire and Jake. On 22 January, Brothers was at last released in the UK.


Damn Yankees got a director in February, Todd Graff, upping our expectation. As happens so many times, there was no more news after that. A highlight of February, though, was Maggie Gyllenhaal's Academy Award nomination for Crazy Heart, an experience that Jake shared wholeheartedly, at the cost of his reputation with pancakes. Towards the end of the month, Jake headed off to Montreal to begin filming Source Code.


On 7 March, the Oscars took place and we had our first look at Jake on a red carpet for quite some time. The featurettes started in earnest for Prince of Persia, including intervews in which Jake took questions from fans. PoP also got its song - Alanis Morisette's I Remain and, at the end of the month, Brothers was released on DVD.


The big highlight of April was without doubt WonderCon in San Francisco. We had our own reporter there who gave us a full account! Jake went on display alongside Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Newell and Jordan Mechner to present PoP to the world's gaming fans, leading to all sorts of admissions from Jake concerning his favourite games. Zelda, anyone? Jake also used the opportunity to raise interest in Source Code. Production on Source Code itself moved to Chicago. Jake also covered GQ in April and it included a revealing interview not to mention photos of Jake bringing Times Square to a standstill. A main theme of the month was, however, the mighty ostrich...


What can one possibly say about May? Prince of Persia arrived in a blaze of red carpets in London, Moscow and LA. Rather unusually, the London premiere took place in Westfield shopping centre, What this lost in atmosphere it gained in convenience and comfort and it was a pleasure to see Jake in person again, the first time since November 2007.

He had a big grin on his face - as can been in the superb picture by Ruby below. It stayed there through Moscow and LA. Gemma Arterton was a lovely sight at Jake's side throughout the month.


June was a month off for Jake and he seemed to spend much of it with Mumford and Sons and Adam Levine or doing Wing Chun Kung Fu. Jake also spent more time doing charity work, this time publicising the work of New Eyes for the Needy. More details emerged of Jake's killer fitness and diet regime for PoP alongside Jake's return to the Medical center.


Jake spent much of the summer in Martha's Vineyard, but he was linked to Stand Up to Cancer and appeared in adverts for the charity, not to mention SU2C hoodies and hats. We also got some of the first details and Love and Other Drugs and Source Code.


The two big highlights of August were the release of the Love and Other Drugs trailer and the first sighting of Jake on his Triumph Bonneville. This did indeed distract me from my pasties and moules in Cornwall. Towards the end of August, Jake and brother-in-law Peter Sarsgaard were seen in Colorado for the Leadville 100 foot race and rumours abounded about the possible filming of Bornn to Run. Since then, Peter appears to be more linked but it still remains foggy... A highlight for me was seeing a Q&A with Duncan Jones at the BFI in London.


We got the poster for Love and Other Drugs in September and it certainly caught everyone's attention. Meanwhile, we were all sightly distracted by Sasquatch Jake. The beard it did grow... and grow... On WDW we were a little concerned about the lack of news on future projects and so we conducted a poll and told Jake what's what. Jake spent much of the month in NYC and, at the end of it, amid the earliest screenings of LAOD, we got a report from BBMISwear of a screening with a Ed Zwick Q&A.


At the beginning of October we had an exclusive report from reader Xanne of Jake's appearance at the New Yorker Festival, including video and pictures. These captured the last moments of the Beard. Jake was seen doing more goodworks for the Edible Schoolyard before heading back to LA sans the Face Pet. Jake also covered Esquire in the UK.


Love and Other Drugs was released in the US over the Thanksgiving weekend. We had a full report from BBMISwear who was at the premiere in NYC. Also in November, Jake and Anne Hathaway visited London briefly and I was so fortunate to attend the press conference and screening, with many thanks to Bleeding Cool. The Source Code trailer arrived in November, causing a great deal of a stir. We also had a synopsis and the first pictures. In November, Jake stepped out with Taylor Swift and this also created just a little bit of a stir...


In December, the couple that we have grown very much attached to, for their humour and charisma and ease together, Jake and Anne Hathaway, moved on to sunny Sydney. The premiere on 6 December down under (a date once mooted for a London premiere) was an enormous success with Jake and Anne winning over audiences and media alike. They also took time to visit a children's hospital. Interest grew in Jake's approaching 30th birthday on 19 December and Jake revealed his plan to scare himself by diving with walruses and killer whales in the Arctic. He wouldn't do it alone - his family would be going too. It now seems that this may have been postponed. The year has ended with the release this week of Love and Other Drugs in the UK and with Jake and Anne's nominations for Golden Globes for their terrific performances.

So, on the last day of the year, I must thank you all for the birthday wishes and for keeping me company for another year on WDW! Thanks to that treat of the year, Prince of Persia, there have been many additions to the community in 2010 and that has been a pleasure to see whilst savouring some old and loved friendships. Every year brings us all something new in Gyllendom and 2011 will be no exception. Source Code is a certainty but you can bet there will be some unexpected delights thrown in the pot as well, plus who knows how many adventures. After what has been a truly fantastic year, here's to 2011!

Cheers to you, Jake and one and all! Happy New Year!

Many thanks for all the kind birthday wishes!

Includes pictures from IHJ and Ruby.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal talks LAOD and primal, animalistic sex... ahem...

It's not everyday that we get an interview in which Jake Gyllenhaal casually talks about casual sex. So let's pause, take a moment and savour the thought... Here's the snippet, courtesy of the Press Association.

"I think casual sex some people are into, I definitely have been in my life at times," he admitted. Before hastily adding: "I think you find other things more important as time goes on... I feel people might be tired of the normal cliched typical movie and so we put our minds together and I think we raised the stakes... We decided it was going to be two characters that both really couldn't be intimate and so we both went to sex as a way of avoiding things." This meant some quite saucy scenes for the pair. "The movie does start off with the two of them sort of primal and animalistically having sex," Jake laughed.' I think I'll have to see the film again...

In the interview below (thank you, Mermon!), Jake and Anne Hathaway reflect that Annie's mother expected little else from a film that paired her daughter with that Jake.

Meanwhile, Anne and Jake have been talking a little more about their motivation on set. Apparently, Jake's habit of googling himself caused something of a delay... 'Annie did the movie because she wanted to be in bed with me and I can't blame her I was the 45th actor to be offered a role as no one wanted to get naked with Anne but I needed the work. I felt sorry for her,' Gyllenhaal teased. But she retaliated by joking that it was difficult working with him, because of his constant self-obsession. She told reporters: 'The thing is - working with Jake is hard because you have to wait for him to stop Googling himself for anything to be usable.'

I love Jake's expressions as he listens to some of Anne's classic and very funny Jake put downs. But, just in case of said self-googling, one feels like one should tidy up and dust off one's blog...

And finally...

Michelle Williams has been telling Angelino about how the day will come when she will sit down with her daughter Matilda to watch her father in Brokeback Mountain: '"I was just an actor who happened to be lucky enough to be in the right place, and it was the place where I met Matilda's father, and that is a lot," she said. "It was a lot. And it will be a lot for Matilda too, when she gets around to watching it. I will watch it with her, when she's ready. It is hard to imagine what that would feel like, but one day, yes, we will watch it together."'

That's quite a thought - imagining Heath's daughter watching her dad in a movie that has changed so many lives and also, in a very real way, created her own. How incredible is that?

Thanks to Eureka for the lovely Hi-Res Spanish poster for Love and Other Drugs. Includes pictures from IHJ.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal: Top Ten Sexy (in and out of the kitchen)

I realise that this post will not be read by any Britishers because they're all in the cinemas as I speak adding pounds to the Love and Other Drugs box office. My own attendance today will have done little good because I was accidentally sold a ticket to Little Fockers. At least, they did play the right film this time, unlike my cinema visit yesterday when I was treated to an unexpected snippet of MegaMind.

No doubt, those people who have seen the film today will now be able to add comment on the inclusion of The Kitchen Sex Scene among MovieFone's top 10 sexy scenes today. While I might quibble with the labelling of the location as a 'kitchen', I do not argue with the inclusion of this scene in what is a slightly mancentric list. It has also got me thinking - rarely a good thing - about some of the other hot and sexy moments that have sexily landmarked Jake Gyllenhaal's sexy movie career over the last sexy ten years or so.

As the Kitchen Sex Scene shows, sexy does not necessarily equate with lack of clothing, as is proven by Exhibit A.

Sometimes it does...

Source Code delayed in the UK

I'm getting rather used to reporting delays in the release of Jake's films, especially in the UK, and I'm sorry to say I have to do it again. Originally scheduled for release in Britain on 11 March, Source Code has now been postponed to 22 April. This was inevitable following the announcement of the film's premiere at the SXSW Festival on that same date of 11 March but I'm disappointed that it's been pushed back as far as 22 April. The US date of 1 April remains unchanged at this time. Let's hope that this time Britain gets a premiere...

Love and Other Drugs catchup

The interviews continue to flow thick and fast, plus there are still videos that I have to catch up with. So here are a few. We must enjoy this doubleact while we can. If the video below doesn't work for you, you can see it here.

Thanks to IHJ for the caps! Sexiness courtesy of Jake Gyllenhaal.

I've done a review of the new Peter Weir move The Way Back at MovieBrit.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal and Brokeback's ladies, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams

If you happen to live in Britain and are an appreciator of a certain blue-eyed, intelligent and gorgeously funny actor with an awful lot of vowels in his surname, then you don't need me to tell you two things tonight: a) it's so foggy out there consider yourself fortunate if you don't walk into a wall or step on a cat and b) Love and Other Drugs is out tomorrow... FINALLY. To get you in the mood for your trip to the cinema tomorrow, here is a video in which Anne Hathaway says that getting naked with Jake Gyllenhaal left her feeling ..... [just fill in the dots].

Not quite the word I would have chosen. 'Eurphoric' and 'trying hard to stay professional' and 'flirty' may have been my words.

Source Code is next and in this video Jake compares this scifi movie to what he describes as one of his favourite movies, Groundhog Day. But different. Jake's not alone in hailing this as one of his favourite movies, it's certainly one of mine, and it's good to know that Jake enjoys it too. Jake is also asked here about whether there is a sequel planned for Prince of Persia.

Jake and Anne are not the only Brokeback actors nominated for Golden Globes - Michelle Williams has also been given a nod for Blue Valentine. Among those paying tribute to this fine actress in USA Today, is her friend and Brokeback co-star Jake: "People tend to box her into a vulnerable corner, but what's lurking underneath is severe strength and a sense of humor... There's a tendency in our business to emphasize the business or get caught up in hype. Michelle has never, ever done that. She genuinely prefers her life over her work, and as a result her work is better than almost any other actor out there."

Monday, 27 December 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal on being dipped in glue and sparkles, and why you should eat bakchoi

There are a couple more great interviews with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway today. This no doubt proves that the Loving and Other Drugging Duo must have gone without food and water throughout their brief stay in London last month in order to keep us happily amused while they open pressies, contemplate a (veggie) turkey and dig a car or two out.

In the first interview, parts of which were broadcast on Edith Bowman's show on BBC Radio 1 today, Jake and Anne actually do receive a present, as does their interviewer James King, allowing Jake to utter the thought that how we unwrap presents reveals a great deal about ourselves. Personally, I think how we wrap them reveals much more. But it is extremely amusing to hear Jake describe why the gift of a luggage label in the shape of a chunk of bakchoi is such a wonderful gift. Not least because it rhymes with 'Don't knock joy'.

As for the sparkly purse that Jake receives (his 'murse' or man's purse), Jake says how it reminds him that sometimes for his roles he gets dipped in glue and covered in sparkles. If you're in the UK you can see an extended version here.

Jake and Anne have also made it to the Other Channel - ITN:

On the morning of the Golden Globes nominations, looking gorgeous but weary, Jake talked a little about what it means to turn 30 and the future.

Jake and Anne feature on the cover of the new issue of Stylist magazine in the UK. You can have a look at the article at the magazine's website on the second page.

And finally...

Thanks to BBMISwear for the heads up, at last we know when Jake's Shalom Sesame DVD will be available - 8 March 2011.

And finally, finally...

Last month, I was thrilled to be able to attend the Gulliver's Travels press conference in London, thanks to Bleeding Cool. I had an incredible time, sitting in the front row, enjoying a very funny cast, including Jack Black, Billy Connolly and Jack Corden. You can read my full report at Bleeding Cool, including a couple of my photos.

I'm also grateful to Bleeding Cool for publishing my review of Gulliver's Travels.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Peachy Jake Gyllenhaal on BBC Radio 4 on LAOD's attention span

At the risk of interfering with frenzied Boxing Day shopping for sofas, beds and fitness DVDs, I thought I'd do a quick post this evening so that we can catch up with Jake. On 23 December there were very enjoyable mentions around the social networking sites of Jake Gyllenhaal visiting a children's hospital in NYC for a couple of hours. At Rockstar Ronan there is a wonderful account of Jake's visit and a taste of what it meant to children and parents at such a time. Jake's excursion to the Sydney children's hospital earlier in the month clearly had quite an affect.

Back in Britain, with Love and Other Drugs opening on Wednesday, attention continues in the British media. On Christmas Eve, Jake appeared on the Film Programme on BBC Radio 4. In Britain, you can listen to the interview on the BBC iPlayer until 1 January. Interviewed by Francine Stock (who can now pronounce Jake's surname correctly), the main criticism directed at the film popped up for Jake to answer - its similarity to the ADD that Jake's character Jamie suffered as a child. How the film presents 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that'.

Jake: 'That's been the main criticism I believe of people who... there's an expectation for movies and I think there's an expectation particularly when you're watching something you think... When I think about my mind – it might be partially mine and Ed's fault because the way my mind works is not within one coherent structure and I don't just take myself seriously all the time or just have a crude sense of humour or just feel romantic. I have those within a span of 15 seconds sometimes and I think it's true to that and I think the power of this is the relationship between these two characters and I think that's pretty consistent and not very ADD like.'

Jake had some difficulty trying to describe the energy of Love and Other Drugs, requiring several false starts before 'When I first read the script, I remember getting fifteen pages into the script and realising somewhere, maybe cosmically or something, that Ed had written this film for me and he didn't know it. And that has rarely happened in my career. I mean a few times but this was a pretty special one. It's kind of inexplicable to be honest, which is why I'm having such a hard time... but I know it has energy as I felt it and I felt it everyday and every day when I came to work and I never had a day that I was tired.'

Working with Anne Hathaway again, after a film such as Brokeback Mountain, was very special indeed. 'We only worked 8 days on Brokeback Mountain together but something about that movie, the idea of that movie, the bond we created when it came out, what it's become, sort of ties us all together for ever. And I think we feel safe with each other because we've told a story which, I think, was dangerous and embraced... As a result of that, we're close. So when it came time to make this movie, when it asked us to be intimate and when it asked us to share things that we would normally, I think, a little bit even more hesitant about sharing with someone we didn't know, we kind of just embraced it. Because we had been through something that only a select group of people understood within this circle of Brokeback Mountain.'

Back to Love and Other Drugs: 'I don't think what I'm saying is that it's dangerous or groundbreaking but what I am saying I think it's refreshing because I don't think you've seen movies, particularly in this genre, deal with sex in a way that is actually dealing with intimacy. Some romantic comedies or comedies that are emotional or whatever, to see an actress – to see an actor – but to see an actress with sheets covering up her top and not really seeing these two people actually be intimate physically with each other. The physical intimacy between a couple is like half the relationship in my opinion and also an important aspect. I've rarely ever seen people have sex with boxers on but I see that in romantic comedies all the time. They getting out of bed with like boxers on. It doesn't make any sense! The wonderful part about falling in love is the time spent naked! The times spent intimate like that. We should see them sharing their bodies with each other and that means ultimately sharing their bodies with the audience too in this story.'

Anne Hathaway is interviewed in today's Observer and she has something to say about the relentless focus on the film's nudity, comparing the subject to being repeatedly asked if she had ever dreamed of being a princess: 'The question that I dreaded answering in interviews was 'Did you always dream of being a princess?' I felt like saying 'No, I dreamt of being an actress! That was a role I played!' It was frustrating because, like constantly being asked about the nudity in Love and Other Drugs, it kept the conversation at the surface'. Here, Anne talks about how Love and Other Drugs has a message without being preachy - such as showing the long journeys that the poor, sick and elderly have to undergo in order to fill their prescriptions.

Normal service is resumed in the Mirror: 'The pair strip for a scene in their latest flick Love And Other Drugs and they can't stop talking about each other's bodies. Jake revealed: "It was a very tough role - so many others before me turned this role down because it meant getting naked with Anne Hathaway and no one wanted to do it. It's not an easy job, I felt bad for her so I agreed to do it. I took one for the team. She has a great ass!" Anne pitched in: "Not as peachy as Jake's." And it sounds like Anne's a bit jealous of Jake's effortlessly hot looks. She says: "Jake has this annoying habit of always looking healthy and really great."

Jake's next appearance on the radio is on tomorrow's Edith Bowman Show on Radio 1 from 10am.

And finally...

The Big British Freeze continues, with temperatures so low that many houses have been transformed into giant icicle holders, looking almost as if they are enormous candelbras with transparent wax dripping from roofs, windowsills, ivy and wisteria. On today's journey from the frozen north to the even more frozen south, we took the time to feed some rather despondent ducks. In return, they posed.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

After one of the coldest, chilliest, most shiveringly freezing nights Britain's had since Friday 4 January, 10,000 BC, it's a warming pleasure to put the mulled wine on the stove, eat yet more bloody cheese and wish you all a very merry Christmas!

I hope that in between playing with pressies and watching adverts for Toy Story 3D, you fit in a little bit of Jake today.

Merry Christmas! See you on the other side...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

UK trailer for Source Code gives us nothing new but Jake Gyllenhaal reveals much in an excellent new interview

Source Code now has a UK trailer which, albeit a little shorter, seems extremely similar to the previously released and excellent US trailer. Nevertheless, I'm never going to turn up my nose at a new trailer and so I've spent some time trying to spot the differences. Thanks to my good friends at Bleeding Cool for posting the trailer.

What I can tell you is that interestingly there isn't a single new scene or moment in the UK trailer. Instead, about 24 seconds of plot has been removed (Vera Farmiga's description of Colter's alterego Sean Fentress) and some moments of extra clips of Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. No more 'He is now you'; no 'concentrate on the passengers' and no '8 minutes and I blow up again' (in a rather fedup voice). Here is the US trailer again for comparison.

Time Out has a feature on Jake Gyllenhaal today, in which it sounds as if the scub adiving with walruses may have been put on the backburner. ‘I was thinking about scuba diving in the Arctic with the walruses and killer whales – seriously! I was thinking about doing something that scared me and that freezing cold water with huge sea creatures sounds kind of scary. I’d like to mark the time by doing something frightening and then something that deeply comforts me, being with my family and friends and the people that have surrounded my life over the last 30 years.’Sounds sensible to me - if Jake fancies doing something scary and challenging, he could do worse than Christmas shopping in Oxford in the snow...

Here's the rest of the interview, which includes the very intriguing news that Jake has more of an eye than ever (possibly that's not a real phrase) on directing in the future. Not that he plans to give up on his dayjob... But what beats all is this answer Jake gave about why he's done so many different types of role in his career, a topic that has fascinated me:

Q: 'You’ve spanned many different genres and roles in your career. Is this a conscious decision? ‘Yeah, that’s how I work, even in a take. I never do the same take twice, It’s something that frustrates certain actors. Maybe it’s an issue of trying out different corners of my mind. I love my audience and I try to make movies they haven’t seen before, explore something that hasn’t been explored before. Sometimes work is work and you just show up but I feel more and more an obligation to listen to what I believe in.’

I love this: 'I love my audience and I try to make movies they haven't seen before'.

On working with Anne Hathaway: ‘Definitely, we learned a lot about each other. Being naked together is intimate, but less so than being emotionally intimate. She had a tough time sometimes and I would have to guide her through and vice versa. Anne is a very serious actor; she played a woman with early-onset Parkinson’s and she may have taken her character Maggie’s struggles into the process. A lot of it was me saying, “It doesn’t matter if it’s any good.”... You can’t really be worried if anything’s going to be good. I think worry is the stupidest emotion – there’s nothing you can do about it.'

Differences between Jake and Jamie: 'I found myself being a little more adventurous. But Jamie has an obnoxious and manipulative confidence, and it seems embarrassing to me to walk up to somebody and to lean in and try and sell something. Essentially what my character is doing in the movie is avoiding his feelings and I try not to do that.'

Q: Do you believe that one romance can change your life? 'I do, yeah. You can meet hundreds of people and you can have an amazing time, an interesting time and learn something, but every once in a while there’s someone that comes along and you’re just: pouff!'

The future: ‘I’d love to explore other aspects of the film industry. I grew up in a family who told, wrote and directed stories and I’d like to move in that direction. When you’re writing, you can come up with all different ideas, and when you’re directing you have power over different elements, not just one. I see the future in creating not just performances but hopefully whole stories... I have a number of things that I’m developing. That’s probably where the future is for me. I mean, I’m not gonna quit my day job; I’d like to see how it goes.’

Q: Which genre would you choose to direct? 'I love stories of family and relationships, but I do love sci-fi, because sci-fi gives an opportunity for so many elements to come into play and the ability to look at reality from any angle and let your imagination go wild. I have quite an active mind.’

Source Code: ‘Yes, with Duncan Jones [‘Moon’] directing, about a man who wakes up on a train who is not in his own body and has to figure out why. We had great fun coming up with all the ideas. That was thrilling. Some people find great comfort in context. I find great comfort in variation.’

Christmas: ‘We have a family Christmas. We all get together and spend time with my niece [daughter of sister Maggie] and just deal with all the wonderful complications and love that is my family.’

Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway were interviewed on Nemone on BBC 6 Music this afternoon. Interestingly, the interview was sandwiched between songs picked by Jake and Anne by Kings of Leon and Mumford and Sons. Jake and Anne were both asked about their albums of the year - Jake picked, not surprisingly,Mumford and Sons 'Sigh No More' plus Laura Marling. Anne went for Yeah Yeah Yeah and Karen O. Do keep an eye on the members section of the forum later.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

My review of The King's Speech is now up at MovieBrit.