Friday, 31 August 2012

End of Watch - Dating and working together

The premiere of End of Watch is looming. On 8 September it opens in a Special Presentation at TIFF. We can therefore expect more clips and chats as this and the US release approach. Jake Gyllenhaal is slightly tied up with a certain play and so Michael Pena, his co-star, is on duty. Today we have a new clip and an interview with Michael that includes a discussion of his working relationship with his partner. Unfortunately, the clip doesn't work in the UK but you may have more luck:


'MTV: How did you and Jake build a strong relationship on set?
Michael Peña: David Ayer was really adamant about us spending time together and talking about the characters and what we want to do and plan it out. He has an older sister, and I have an older brother. We just remembered how they'd fight and bicker. I was like, "I remember that totally," and he says, "But you still love the person." In a way, we just kept talking about it and designing how we were with our siblings. We were getting to know each other, but at the same time designing the friendship and the brotherhood. At the end of the day, you have to believe these guys are real partners, and they spend a lot of time together and they have each other's backs. Instead of saying that, showing that is what's really exciting about the script. When you have the action sequences, it really pays off. You're like, "I really don't want these guys to get hurt. I don't want one of them to get hurt."'

'MTV: Did that relationship make shooting action scenes more intense?
Michael Peña: It [was], in a way, because we put in a lot of work. Every time I was rehearsing a scene that was a shootout or whatever, I wanted to make sure that my partner went home safe and alive. Secondly, I wanted to make sure that my wife and my newborn baby weren't left fatherless. Every time we rehearsed a scene, we would talk about, "Dude, we have to do this for the family." It felt kind of like a sport, where you have these mantras that you keep talking and talking it through so you remember the motivation, why we're playing this thing.'

And finally...

Wouldn't mind a pair of these!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Jake Gyllenhaal Backstage and On stage

What a week! Jake Gyllenhaal has been making the NYC stage his own during this week of previews for If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. I do recommend you look back over the comments for the last couple of posts. A number of WDW readers have been lucky enough to see the play and they have been filling in some of the details for those of us an ocean or more away.

Jake also appeared on the Late Night with Letterman Show - the video can be seen in the last post - and so we have some photos from that as well as a stunning portrait of Jake to go with the play.

Jake graces quite spectacularly the cover of the Fall issue of Backstage. In the magazine he talks about the importance of doing something for five months which would have his full attention. He also reaffirms his long broken promise to himself to do a play for every three movies. Hopefully, this time, this will happen and in more cities too.

“To feel like you’re a part of a family that is truly relying on each other to stay afloat—that idea is what drew me in,” he says. “I had no real explanation for not doing a play for essentially a decade, but I intend not to make that mistake again. Hopefully, ideally, it will be three plays for every movie.” 

Jake also explains to Backstage about how and why he moved from LA to NYC: '“Somebody was trying to get an angle on why I moved to New York, and I was like, ‘Because my family is here and I love them. And I want to be with them and they mean everything to me.’ This is the best possible place for me to be, to be near my family, doing a show about the mess of a family, and then maybe having my family come watch it.”'

Many thanks to WDW reader Adele for her thorough and brilliant account of seeing If There Is this week. If you're going to see the play yourself then you might want to wait until afterwards before reading it, but for the rest of us it's packed full of the details we want to read - about the set, this water that we keep hearing about and the humour. Here's a quote from the review but I urge you to read it in full. I love the references to Wetherspoons - I heartily approve of their megacheap veggie breakfasts (served with beer if you want it) and I'm delighted to hear its fame is spreading!

'Jake Gyllenhaal plays Terry, who returns from his vague and mysterious travels, presumably attempting to outrun his somewhat troubled past, and lopes into the family home in Adidas shell-suit, slicked back hair and baggy jeans, all rangy physicality and blackly comic one-liners. (His very convincing English accent, if triangulated, places Terry somewhere between Shoreditch High Street, Super Hans, and Ricky Gervais. It’s flawless and hilarious.) His body language swings between self-protective and endearingly casual as he breaks apart the tightly-strung lives of a pre-occupied family and forces them to re-evaluate what is important. Jake masters the comic timing and Terry’s endearing likeability and undermines it with flashes of anger, drunkenness and helplessness as George accuses him of being just a “scared little boy”.'

'Terry’s presence is a final catalyst for troubled, bullied, overweight niece Anna, and their slightly uneasy, sometimes awkward, yet affectionate relationship provides the heart of the play. Anna’s dramatic breakdown after a disastrous date (at the local Wetherspoon’s, no less – a reference to a ubiquitous chain of British pubs which I wondered if anyone who hadn’t been subjected to them in the UK would truly appreciate) ends up throwing all the tensions between George, Terry and Fiona into sharp relief, and leaves Anna drowning in plain sight. Fiona, distracted by struggles with her elderly mother and George’s manic preoccupation, loses sight of how to help her daughter. “She means the world to me,” Fiona laments, and this is where we see Terry’s point that “saving the world” might not be so far removed from saving the family.'
Thanks so much Adele!

Finally, do watch through to the end of this video with Anna Kendrick talking about filming End of Watch with Jake. Thanks to BBMISwear for the links! Thanks to IHJ for the pictures!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Update! Jake on Late Night with Letterman! WDW special report on If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet - Part 2 (with pics!)

For all US readers, Jake Gyllenhaal is scheduled to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight. Here's hoping a) we get to see something of it over here and b) Letterman asks better questions and c) he doesn't mention the Jellyfish Incident or d) anything to do with growing up in the Palisades.

Very few of us are able to go to NYC to see Jake Gyllenhaal in person as Terry in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, thank heavens then that at WW we have our very own Special Agent on the ground doing all the hard work - BBMISwear! Admittedly, there are some perks to the job, not least saying hello to Jake outside the Roundabout Theatre. And grabbing a picture or two. We are all grateful to you, Lisa!

Lisa has also given us some more information about the play, which I'm mixing it with her wonderful, none earthquakey photos of Jake and of the theatre. Lisa was back to the theatre on Saturday and saw some changes from Friday.

Lisa spoke to Annie Funke (who plays the teen) and told her 'how fabulous she was and she seemed genuinely appreciative of many of us telling her this! My friend spoke with Brian O'Byrne and he said we should expect a lot of changes during the course of the previews. I'm so glad I saw it now and can compare! There were a few slight differences on Saturday from Friday.'

'We saw Jake again when he exited the theater - I got a nice "Oh Hi!" from him which made the guy next to me say "he obviously recognizes you now" which made me laugh! I had told the guy a few of my Jake stories earlier! :-) Jake said no photos [with him] and we had to respect that. We saw him again when he returned which was a fluke as we were planning to head right to Brooklyn from there but my friend saw someone she new outside the theater and we stayed a bit to talk and back Jake came - he walked in quickly almost with blinders on which got us talking to the security guy out front. He told us Jake has been a really nice guy (I agreed and shared how he has been the other times I've met him). He said it looked like he has been trying to stay focused and that is probably why he is not wanting to stop and talk to people while going in and out (I agreed with this also and told him I understood and made sure I said it loudly as some people around me did not feel that way).'

'I forgot to mention from Friday that Jake's character has tattoos - one big one going up the right side of his neck that you can see coming out above the collar of his tee, one large one on the inside of his right forearm and one small one on the front of his left hand. I thought after seeing him outside that I can't recall if they were still there or not - some of us were discussing if they would be removed or stay on between the afternoon and evening shows. I guess when seeing him one locks on to his face and things like fake tattoos go unnoticed - ha ha! I will say when he walked away we very much enjoyed the real Jake Look of tight dark blue jeans and well fitted white tee vs. the Terry Look of very loose faded jeans and loose tee. Jake is looking real good right now!!'

Thank you Lisa! 

The photos are all by Lisa. If reused please acknowledge and link to WDW. Thank you.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The curtain opens! Opening night report for WDW from If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet and Jake Gyllenhaal's NYC stage debut

Last night, Jake Gyllenhaal made his debut on the NYC stage in the 145-minute play If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, which began its previews at the Roundabout Theatre. I'm delighted to report that we had our own eyes and ears in the audience (at the front, of course), in the lovely shape of BBMISwear, who has managed in all the excitement to send us some notes on the play as well as the production flyers from the theatre. With many thanks to her, here is what she said in a mixture of her words and mine, but I think I should begin with a warning. Should you be lucky enough to sit in the front row of If There Is, you might want to be prepared - it is a Splash Zone!

Needless to say, if you wish to remain spoiler free, you may wish to skip the following section of the post...

*Update* There are further reports in the comments!

The Play

It's fair to say that BBMISwear/Lisa loved the play, which is an intense ride - there is no intermission. But what was a big surprise is how funny the play is! 'It is very,very funny - I don't think the audience expected to laugh that much but most all did and did so a lot!' but 'It is also very intense and sad and one particular scene is heart wrenching - I was not the only person who shed tears.'

There is a lot of swearing. A LOT. Jake swears 'every 3rd word...seriously, every 3rd word!!' His character of Terry also doesn't hold back. Jake says and does and discusses 'all sorts of things you might not expect'. He wears the 'drifter look' throughout and apparently his British accent is very good (although personally I'm interested to hear how that holds up over the run and also what kind of accent it is).

After the Play

At the end of the play 'the cast and crew filed out of the theater in dribs and drabs over the course of two hours but Jake took the longest to leave. A fair amount of fans waited to see him - some gave up after waiting an hour or more - some stayed the full 2 hours and 10 minutes (yes, I was one of them)! He was good about pictures and autographs but not real talkative and looked pretty wiped out! (And for good reason)!

I mostly hung back as people really swarmed him and I've done the picture thing with him a couple of times already!' 'He had 2 guys escorting him away and I did catch up with them for a minute as they were walking away and said "Hey Jake - I just wanted to say hi" and he looked up and said "Hey, nice to see you" which was nice of him. I then told him he did a great job tonight and he thanked me and off they went! There was one pap taking pictures as he walked away and lots of fans taking pictures with him when he came out of the theater so I'm sure there will be plenty to see online in the coming days!'

Not surprisingly, Lisa focused on Jake's performance during this visit but she will be back so we can expect more!


 While we wait for the paper reviews to come in, there's time to take a look at Jake's appearance in the September issue of Playbill. As well as talking about how his appearance on Man Vs Wild came about, Jake also talks about why he did If There Is and how difficult it is for him to do the British accent.

'"I fell in love with the character at the start," he says. "He brings a sadness to the play, and I'm drawn to that darkness. He's a real avoider, like everyone in the play. Perhaps that disconnection is what connected me to him. I love his techniques of avoiding, how he speaks in short sentences and unfinished thoughts. The way each character talks looks differently on the page. I love the architecture of the words."'

'"I've played British characters before," says Gyllenhaal. "I've spent, accumulatively, about two years in London, and a majority of my very close friends are British. It comes somewhat naturally. I gravitate toward roles with accents. The voice is a wonderful way into the eternal life of the character."'

Thank you BBMISwear!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

With a day to go til his NYC stage debut, Jake Gyllenhaal talks about acting, directing and surprising his fans

I am delighted to say that I am back! No longer are the walls around me canvas; the little flickering candles and lanterns are now bona fide lights, and instead of moths and mosquitoes I have a fridge full of beer (admittedly it has no food in it) for company. I also have a lot of catching up to do. I thought I'd get things started with the most obvious bits and pieces from the last few days, with thanks to everyone for the emails and tweets - especially BBMISwear, Susan and Mermon.

With If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet kicking off this Friday, it's not surprising that it's attracting attention. There is 'A conversation' with Jake in BroadwayWorld. I was interested to see that Jake mentions again the influence of Danny Kaye on his acting ambitions. Jake also talks about his character Terry: 'I love the way he talks, how he moves through the world. He is desperate to pull the truth out of everyone around him, but he is unable to face his own. He is a constant contradiction and like this broken, beating heart with legs.'

Especially intriguing are Jake's comments about his relationships with directors: 'If I have an idea, I will always share it – I’m not shy. I don’t believe in a dictatorship, but in the end it’s the director’s decision as to what will be suitable to their production. I like a director who has a clear and simple sense of what they want to say.' And, then, how about this? 'Variation keeps me inspired. I always like finding roles that are different from the one I played before. And I love playing intentions in scenes differently every night on stage and in every take on a movie. I always try and challenge myself and surprise my fans. It makes it fun for everyone.' It really does.

Do read the rest here.

Jake is also featured large in today's New York Times, which also includes a photo of Jake in rehearsal for the play. The interview shows how Jake has been reflecting on his career's direction, something so many of us do around these key birthdays: '“Around the time I hit 30, I asked myself if I was respecting acting as a craft,” he continued, frequently brushing his fingers through his thick hair, free of its black-on-black Yankees cap, “and if I was doing the right projects that deserved my attention and where I’m learning in a way that you might not feel at 15. So now it’s like I look at acting more as building little delicate cricket cages, with care and more thought.”'

Jake's young co-star in the play, Annie Funke, also talks a little about what it was like to work with Jake: '"I just reached a breaking point because I hadn’t quite realized before, until Jake was poking me, what it felt like to be picked on and bullied and how all of that must make Anna feel,” Ms. Funke said. “I was just completely overwhelmed. And Jake grabbed me and hugged me, and we finished the scene. He has looked out for me completely.”'

This post includes two video features on Jake from the Hollywood Reporter. If you're unable to see the videos, try here and here. There are also photos from the screening of End of Watch in the Hamptons last Sunday with Gwyneth Paltrow and the Seinfelds (with thanks to IHJ).

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Emergency post - a brief catch up with Jake Gyllennhaal while in a tent...

I'm speaking to you this evening in the south west corner of a field being stared at by a bunch of brown cows no further than two foot away. After five days and nights of camping, it's unlikely my own mother would recognise me. There is also a very annoying little bird that has followed us around through Dorset, devon, Cornwall and back to Devon that we have named The Wakey Wakey Bird. I may be a vegetarian but I would quite happily broil it with potatoes.

All this means that I have missed a great deal in Jake Gyllenhaaldom and I don't have the internet access of battery power to do much until I'm back home in a couple of days. If this post breaks off midword then you'll know to blame my phone. I hear though that Jake was helicoptered into the Hamptons on Sunday night for the End of Watch screening with Gwynnie. There are photos here and more information here.

The excitement builds for End of Watch with a new trailer, which you can see here if this link below doesn't work.

This coming Friday Jake's NYC theatre debut takes place in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet.There is much more to say on that and much else - thanks to all those who've sent me emails. I look forward to catching up with all the news and with you too in a couple of days. Expect  an Interlude or two!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

New project! Jake Gyllenhaal to star in Mississippi Grind? And Gwyneth Paltrow screens End of Watch

No wonder Jake Gyllenhaal's not doing much sport at the moment, how on earth would he find the time?! Previews of If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet start next week and today we learn that Jake will be attending a special screening of End of Watch on Sunday hosted by Proof co-star Gwyneth Paltrow (you remember, the co-star that cried a lot).

To top it off, we have news that Jake may well have signed the dotted line on his next movie project - Mississippi Grind, written and directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. Both were responsible for a film that Jake has named as one of his favourites, Half Nelson starring Ryan Gosling.

The Hollywood Reporter broke today's news and tells us: 'The story centers on a down-on-his-luck gambler facing crushing debt who teams up with a younger gambling addict (Gyllenhaal) in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what has been lost. The lead character would be a plum role for Hollywood's fortysomething set. WME, which reps Fleck, Boden and Gyllenhaal, is packaging the project, which would fall in the less-than-$10 million budget.'

Several things to note here: a) less than $10 million budget? It's fair to say then that it won't feature aliens or battleships; b) at long last I might learn to spell Mississippi; c) who would you cast as the 'fortysomething'? I would definitely like to see Robert Downey Jr in the role but it's quite possible that any and all of the Avengers may be ruled out by the (tiny) budget.

So, as they say, watch this space!

My review of The Hunter is now on MovieBrit.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

End of Watch's new redband trailer!

End of Watch has a new trailer! And it's the x-rated, r-rated redband trailer and so that means if you're under 17 you must leave the room immediately and not be tempted (there will be random checks of ID and I may ask questions about current affairs in the mid 1990s). I recommend that you drink a very sugary drink and have some sweets first because you're about to get quite an adrenalin rush. If the link below doesn't work for you, you can find the trailer here.

Off in search of a darkened room...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Jake Gyllenhaal still sporty? And a catch up

The Olympic Games is over and while this means that life in Britain can return to something approaching normality, one also hopes that it won't lose all of the magic and happiness that has transformed the place over the last 16 days or so. Great Britain has been a wonderful place to live and it's quite possible it won't be the same place again. The Olympics has rather got in the way of blogging, however, and so that is one thing I can put to rights. So thank you for your patience!

Jake Gyllenhaal of course, speaking of sport, told Details magazine that his days of working out were behind him. Fortunately, Jake must have been crossing his fingers because the tweets have been in full flow (here is another one) about how Jake has been distracting the Soul Cycle devotees of NYC. Would his presence in the class make you spin faster? Or would you just freewheel?

Jake has also been spotted walking around NYC. According to the NY Daily News 'Jake Gyllenhaal's famous face did not get him special access to the set of “Smash” Wednesday night. The hunky movie star was strolling down Mercer St. in SoHo with a mystery woman when the pair stumbled upon the set of the hit NBC show starring Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing. The street was closed to the general public, and when Gyllenhaal, sporting black gym shorts and a hat, and his pretty brunette babe tried to walk down Mercer they were stopped by security. According to our eagle-eyed spy on the street, after inquiring what was going on, Gyllenhaal was told by security he had to take a detour, and the actor complied humbly.'

Anna Kendrick has been promoting her film Paranorman and took the chance to speak about what it was like to improvise on the set of End of Watch: 'Actually, in places, it was difficult to remember that, because we were improvi[s]ng so much for so long. And there would be times where we would allow a real conversation to just bleed into a scene. So there would be times when Jake [Gyllenhaal] would be telling me that something happened in his home town and I'd think, 'Wait – YOUR hometown or Brian's hometown? But that was exciting. Then it's trying to remember, ‘Okay, once we are in a scene I am this character and I am not myself.’ Because, yeah, the line started getting really blurry. But that was exciting.'

Thanks to IHJ for the picture.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

An interview with Jake Gyllenhaal and a WDW Olympian Interlude

Details magazine has published its full interview with Jake Gyllenhaal from its September issue - and it makes for interesting reading. Jake is clearly in character(s) as An Enemy takes shape and the duality of his roles is extremely intriguing. Also, though, this is a very different Jake from the one we know from Prince of Persia and Love and Other Drugs, to name but two. Jake is now not running and cycling as much as he did - in this new persona, he is black and white, bearded and smoking. Interesting. You can read the full interview here. There is also a video of the photoshoot (if the video below doesn't work for you, you'll find it on the end of the previous link).

I was fascinated by the revelation by Anne Hathaway that it was Jake at the other end of the line as she acted out her last scene in Brokeback Mountain, the scene that tour my heart out: ''It's no accident. Jake takes it all very seriously but also has a very light touch," explains Anne Hathaway, his costar in Love and Other Drugs and Brokeback Mountain. "On Brokeback, my final scene was on the phone with Heath, who was in Venice for Casanova. Jake offered to read Heath's lines. On the last take, he changed the line, ever so slightly. That kicked off something in me, and lo and behold, that's the take in the film."

Do read the full interview with Details. I can't wait to get hold of a copy.

WDW Olympian Interlude

If you've been on Mars with Curiosity than you might be forgiven for missing a certain sporting event. The Olympics has grabbed hold of Great Britain and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been transported into a parallel world off glittering golds and silvers over the last couple of weeks. It's been incredible. Like many people, I've been largely unsuccessful with the ticket hunt but I did get one of the tickets for the Men's Triathlon. And I was lucky - half a million people applied for the 20,000 tickets. I was one of the ticketed standing. This meant I couldn't see the medal ceremony but I could hear it and I could sing along. Just as well because brother Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee won the gold and bronze respectively for TeamGB. What an unbelievable achievement for them and an extraordinary experience for me.

It's fair to say the crowds went wild. It's quite possible I'll not be able to speak tomorrow what with all the cheering for each and every athlete. The only beings not to be too bothered were the noisy quarrelsome geese behind me on the Serpentine.


The Brownlees: Alistair ran in for gold while Jonathan had to take 15 seconds out for penalty. This made no difference to the result and he claimed the bronze. Spain won the silver. There were many Spanish in the crowd as well as people from all other nations. I enjoyed cheering for the lot.

Other things seen today, the Brit gold medallist rower Greg Searle (the recipient of a fair amount of awe) and a regimental goat.

A wonderful day I will never forget. Proud.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena's chemistry in End of Watch didn't come naturally, and Won't Back Down screens in NYC

It has been one of those weeks - extremely slow on the Jake Gyllenhaal News Front but as speedy as you like in the World of Sport. Fortunately, while Jake is busy learning his lines for If There Is (not one of his favourite activities judging from reports during his stage appearance in London - his father was so worried about Jake forgetting his lines he wrote a poem about it), we have that little sporting event the Olympics to enjoy. I'm now an expert on sports I didn't know existed a fortnight ago.

End of Watch draws ever nearer - and even more so too with the suggestion that its release may be moving forwards in countries other than the US. It has a page in Total Film's September Buzz section, which you can see here. There is a fascinating segment in it about how Jake and Michael Pena had to work at that essential chemistry. 

Michael: 'There was not much we had in common... Jake grew up in Hollywood, his mum's a screenwriter, his dad's a director. My parents were farmers. I'm sure he worked really hard too, but I had to work hard just to get enough money to go to Hollywood.' In the end, though, chemistry and mutual respect won out, perhaps even more so because each of them had to work on it. Thanks to IHJ for  the picture.

Won't Back Down

Meanwhile, Maggie has a whole line of movies in the offing. The latest is Won't Back Down and last Friday there was a premiere screening in NYC. There are lots of pictures here - the one below features Maggie with co-stars Viola Davies and Rosie Perez.

Now where was I? Oh yes..... GOLD!!!!!!!