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On Saturday, Ang Lee appeared at the eighth annual Ebertfest. In a Q&A following the screening of his version of The Incredible Hulk, Lee was asked about working with Heath Ledger on Brokeback Mountain. He is quoted in several places as saying: “Heath was the perfect cowboy. I wanted Heath to carry the movie and Jake Gyllenhaal to steal the show.”
I think that's a wonderful way to view the movie.
Of course, Jake has shown himself to be a master show-stealing thief. Whether it's hosting a comedy show:
Presenting an award:
"The claps, the whistles, the screams. He was the evening's rock star."
Winning an award:
"One of the most popular awards of the night came with the presentation of ‘Best Supporting Actor’. Although George Clooney was nominated for two awards in this category (Good Night, and Good Luck And Syriana), and Matt Dillon and Don Cheadle were suitably perfect in Crash, there was a lingering moment when I do believe I wanted Jake Gyllenhaal to win. Not only for Brokeback Mountain, but for Donnie Darko and everything in between. To win an award to show that he was not merely another Hollywood heartthrob. And so he did… for the first time, in what has seemed like decades, an actor has looked genuinely shocked to have won. Gasping in terror as everyone burst into rapturous applause, Gyllenhaal made it to the stage but seemed too shell-shocked to make a speech. But like the respectable young man we know him to be, he delivered a genuinely thankful speech, full of praise for the BAFTAS. Isn’t it wonderful when an American seems just a little bit British?"
Working with more famous veterans:
"But it was Gyllenhaal I found most affecting. His performance is a largely interior one -- more so than in his earlier performances in pictures like "Donnie Darko" and "Lovely & Amazing." I suspect some people will think he's just not doing much, but for me, that's exactly the key: Joe is so immersed in grief that he's had to remove himself from it as a survival tactic -- he's drifting and paddling alongside it, like a cowboy who has dismounted his horse to ford a river."
Or wearing a Santa hat:
What are your favorite Jake scene steals?
FITS is at it again - new pics and trying to stir up trouble. But if they were taken last night, as they say and as the details indicate, then Jake certainly wasn't at a mall in LA yesterday.
(Pics courtesy of FITS)