Tuesday, November 10, 2009
On screen, on set, on the Oscars, on an ostrich?
I have a feeling today is going to be like a Prince of Persia version of the Source Code. We're going to get many different versions of a Jake Gyllenhaal interview and set visit done last year. And we will dutifully make our way through each one of them!
Before we start on that, some Brothers info. The LA Times reports that the film got a standing ovation after Sunday's screening at the DGA:
The story also mentions possible Oscar buzz, while Moviefone suggests that Jake Gyllenhaal deserves an Oscar for his variety of roles. Hear, hear!
Certainly no one expected Jake's name to emerge as the Prince of Persia. As we see above, Jake makes a dashing and determined Prince. (Thanks to trekfan for the scan from AMC Theatres magazine.)
/Film visited Jake (as well as Gemma Arterton, Jery Bruckheimer and the rest of the gang) on the PoP set in London. The interview time was short (10 minutes) but full of wonderful GyllenBabble!
On why he wanted to do the role:
Jake Gyllenhaal: I think just on a personal front, it was just so unlikely and so unlike anything I’d ever played really, and any type of movie that I think anyone would expect, that I just kind of wanted to do it.
How did you develop the character or what did you bring to the role?
Gyllenhaal: 40 days and 40 nights of misery. (laughs) The most important thing for me always is just somehow playing against what’s there. The development of the character was massively physical at first, just getting in shape and doing all that stuff and learning Parkour, learning how to swordfight, learning how to get into the mentality of a warrior, somebody who as written is someone who can really fight. That was a big part of it for me, and I knew that if I got through that, then I knew I’d be halfway there. And then the rest of it is just being able to… we worked on dialect and I have a British accent in the film and everyday on set, I’m in my accent and I very rarely bring it out only for special occasions, my real accent. All of those things. I could go into really pretentious crap for you, but I don’t like doing that. I’m going to lay off of it, but there’s just a lot of it.
What has been the most fun part of making a movie like this? Is it the battles? Is it riding the horse across the desert in 103 degree heat? What’s the best part?
Gyllenhaal: The best part of the movie I think is… God, I mean, you play like this when you’re a kid. This is how you play when you’re a kid, and you go outside and I remember specifically many times I would go outside and be like, “I play him and you play him and let’s fight!” And we’re just like doing that every day. (laughs) So the best part of it for me is because I’ve never done a lot of fighting—sword fighting, hand-on-hand, any type of combat that there is and any type of evasion and persuasion. More than that also I find really fun is being able to get humor and performance in the middle of it all, which I find so difficult. I have utter respect for people who can put that kind of thing, a performance or any type of feeling while you’re battling someone, because that’s like chewing gum and walking at the same time and that’s really tough for actors. (laughs) It really is difficult, and it’s a fun mindwork to say, “Okay, at this point, we can put that piece in.” That’s what I enjoyed the most. I actually enjoy the heat, so I did enjoy that and I think Morocco was unreal. We were shooting as if we were shooting an independent film. You know we were moving, moving, moving and I just love to move quick, so we were running around and picking it all up really quickly.
Oh, Jake - we know you can walk and chew gum at the same time!
So you weren’t complaining about the 130 degree heat?
Gyllenhaal: The one promise I made to everybody on this film, ’cause most of them are British and I’m from Southern California, is that I would not be complaining on this film about the heat. And I didn’t. I do, I enjoy it. I think the desert is actually a place of clarity. It’s a wonderful place to be I think, when you’re equipped with lots of water and food and making a massive big budget movie. (laughs)
Who's complaining? :)
On the film's real stars: I remember there’s a whole scene with ostriches in the movie and there are real live ostriches, not CG ostriches. There’s not a CG’ed ostrich in this movie. They’re all real ostriches, highly paid, and we were all briefed on them for weeks before like “They’re these massive destructive creatures that can tear your heart out with their claws.” (laughs) I swear to God I never thought of an ostrich this way! And I was shaking in my boots when they finally brought them out and they’re (does an ostrich impression) and I walked up to it and one of my stuntmen was in the ring with them, and finally, I was like, “When am I going to be in a f*cking cage with ostriches again in my life? I gotta get in here!” So I got in there and they were the sweetest things. I did everything with them, I eventually did that, but every day is like that. You gotta get in there and you gotta do it and that is an experience I’ll never be able to… well, hopefully ostriches will come back again… either in reshoots or hopefully in a second one. That sort of sums up the movie. (laughs)
So which is scarier, Jake - an ostrich or a toad?
There's a lot more at the sources. In addition to the interview with Jake, there's one with Gemma, as well. And the sites all describe the set visits - basically, the English verisons of the set report we brought you en français a few weeks back. It's good to have the English version to decipher some of the finer points.