Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fit for a Prince

Update: The LA Times has a story about Jake's move into potential franchise territory. There's some good stuff:

On a recent trip to promote the Disney adventure film, Gyllenhaal seemed wide-eyed but also amused by his career detour into blockbuster madness. He grinned at more than 4,000 fans who cheered him at a pop-culture expo called WonderCon but also kept an ironic detachment from the scene; during a question-and-answer session, a fan asked the actor what moment in history he would visit if he could turn back time (as his character in the move can do), and after a pause he answered with a straight face: "I would go back and watch my birth."

Clearly, Gyllenhaal is not taking himself or his new movie too seriously, although he gushes about the movie's dazzle, adrenaline and vintage movie-serial soul. "I actually jump out of a window and land on the back of my horse, just like in the old movie, Zorro-style," he said with the expression of a teenager who just hopped off, like, the best roller coaster ever. It's no surprise that the athletic actor, who was nominated for an Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain," finds himself going from indie-spirited work into the Comic-Con cinema zone; that's the template after the success of Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale and Tobey Maguire in summer franchises.

Newell, who has known Gyllenhaal since he was a youngster, said the actor is ideal for the role because he has an aura of effortless charm around him and an almost boyish sense of wonder. "He puts a human heart in the middle of a movie that will absolutely need one to connect with the audience," he said.

He says his time in the desert was, on one level, really just a wardrobe experiment. "I grew up with filmmakers and I consider myself a filmmaker, sort of, but as an actor taking on a role I know that I'm just a piece of a situation. What I mean by that is you become part of the story that will be up there on the screen and that makes you want to try a really wide variety of situations. You try on a coat, you wear it for a while and you give it back. That's what acting is.... Sometimes as an actor you just want to try something on."

Or take something off :) These photos of a shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal filming a scene for Prince of Persia have made their way around the internet. But even if you've already seen them, I think they deserve a post of their own!

Found some photos of Jake at the post-WonderCon party. More of Jake and his bevy of admirers here:

Posted this in the last post, but if you haven't read this Daily Beast story on Nailed, it's definitely worth a look. Depressing but informative. In other non-uplifting news, an early and middling PoP review. Good words about Jake, at least, though some of this could be seen as faint praise:

Of the cast, Jake Gyllenhaal does an admirable job as the titular Prince Dastan. To avoid the furore that would doubtless have enveloped the film had this Persian Prince spoken in an American accent, Gyllenhaal delivers his lines in an accomplished (if equally out of place) English one. As an action hero he neither fits the type of the muscle-bound bore (like say, Sam Worthington or Gerard “charisma vacuum” Butler) nor the weedy, pretty-boy (like Orlando Bloom) and therefore manages to avoid being hateful as the film’s conventional, in-offensive protagonist figure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Over the wall, Beautiful Man!

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in The Notebook. No, not a remake of that treacly movie. The Notebook is a local London magazine, and Jake is the May cover boy. It's a recycled picture, but there are some fun tidbits in the interview.

Q. It seems like Dastan has a bit of Indiana Jones in him. Was that your intention?

A. Oh yes, definitely, along with Dennis the Menace and all the rest. I like that Dastan’s a mischief-maker, a bit of a curmudgeon, that he nearly always thinks he’s right and that he’s quite sarcastic and wry and above all very cheeky.

Q. You’ve played characters based on real people, but where do you begin with a fictitious 6th century Persian prince?

A.There’s lots of pretentious research I could tell you about, but it really did start with the accent and also with projecting my voice. For a movie like this to be successful, you need a grand scale to everything, a bigness, something theatrical. I worked with a voice coach, and she brought in these ancient texts. I would stand at one end of the pool in Los Angeles, she’d stand at the other end, and I would shout things like, 'Over the wall, men! Over the wall!' It was like doing theatre. It put a bit more fire inside, made me feel a bit more like a warrior. There was a lot of physical work too.

Q. You never thought about getting a stuntman to do the difficult bits for you?

A.[Laughs] No, I always want to do as much as I can myself. And I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to fight sequences. I want to get every move down perfectly, and I refuse to accept anything less than that.

Q. You’ve made some big films, but it seems like Prince of Persia is on a different scale…

A. I just thought, 'Wow!' Even during the rehearsals, when I got to see pictures of what the production designer was planning, it has just blown my mind, everything from the amazing costumes to these huge sets and the locations in Morocco. And it’s not just the size of the film and it’s not just the scope, it’s also the detail in the costumes and sets.

Jake also made People Magazine's Most Beautiful People list:

He plays the adventurous – and buff! – Prince of Persia this summer, but off-screen the actor, 29, is a regular guy who doesn't need much to make him happy. "I feel my best after a home-cooked meal with family and friends," he says.

New behind the scenes featurette, this time showcasing Gemma Arterton's Tamina:

(PoP photos courtesy of IHJ.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Surfers up

Updated to include a new picture from Russian GQ:

Japanese poster for PoP:

Stephanie posted a second Prince of Persia featurette from the Disney surfers. Jake Gyllenhaal talks about preparing for the role of Dastan and his love story with Tamina.

Nice still :)

It's hard to remember, but I think there are a couple of new snippets in this one.

Enjoy your Sunday!

(Stills and video courtesy of IHJ.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Au revoir, Montréal!

Now that Jake Gyllenhaal has wrapped filming his role in Source Code in Montreal, he's leaving the city. but before his departure, we got some snapshots of him on set in uniform and out of costume with Atticus.

More press for PoP: IHJ has some scans up from Sci Fi Magazine.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Behind the shirt, er scenes: Dastan and Tamina

Still not sure if this is fan-made or official, but there are a few new moments in this behind the scenes Prince of Persia video featuring Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal shirtless. Jake, that is. Gemma is a perfect lady throughout.

This is Disney, people!

Gorgeous stills courtesy of JustJared.

Jake attended the Montreal Canadiens game last night. They played the Washington Capitals and lost. No word on whom Jake was rootiong for, but he did get a nice reception from the crowd.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sexy through years and centuries

Disney continues to feed us a steady diet of Jake Gyllenhaal/Prince of Persia stills. Soon we'll all be able to make our own stop-action version of the film all these photos :) But when they are such beautiful shots, who can complain?

Looking at the thumbnails at IHJ, I almost didn't download these two photos: I thought they were pictures of the McFarlane dolls. But no, that's Jake!

They definitely need to work on the face, but the figure itself is a good likeness. Nothing matches the original, of course!

Entertainment Tonight has a fun feature: "Sexy Through the Years: 'Prince of Persia' Stud Jake Gyllenhaal!'" We've seen most of the photos before, but it's fun to flip through them. And also to wonder why ET chose certain photos!

What's your best or worst from the above? Is there a photo you'd include in any "Best Of" Jake montage? Hmm... there's an idea for a future post...

Jake on the cover of Russian GQ:

My Russian is a little rusty, so I'm not sure what the headline says!

(PoP photos courtesy of Disney/IHJ.)