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.)