Sunday, May 30, 2010

Let's have some fun

Updated with an interesting look at the logistics of a photoshoot, this one involving Jake.

Jake Gyllenhaal was a fun to work with, displaying a great sense of humor — he said he was “starring with May 28″ - making reference to the date of the release of “Prince of Persia” played huge on all of the posters and billboards around town — making a 10-minute shoot easier than usual.

We've definitely been on a Jake Gyllenhaal high the past few weeks, as Prince of Persia premiered across the globe, unleashing a storm of publicity. And while the U.S. box office returns for PoP are below expectations, the news overseas is much better. Fingers crossed that good word of mouth will keep PoP going in the States. It's a very fun movie, and Jake carries it beautifully - both literally and figuratively.

Though I'm sure he's disappointed that the movie is not a smash, Jake worked so hard to make and then promote PoP that I hope he is satisfied with a job well done. And I hope all of you have gone or will go to see the movie. It's a fun move and you will have a good time. Ignore the critics and the box office watchers and just have a good time. And please feel free to share your impressions.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ruled the international box office this weekend with an estimated gross of $59m. And Sex and the City 2 made a strong international start with big openings in the UK and Germany.

Prince of Persia took its weekend haul from 47 markets, ranking top in 41 of them, said distributor Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI). The $59m take pushed the fantasy adventure’s running international total to $87.5m, 39% ahead of National Treasure in the same group of markets and time frame, 1% behind Iron Man and 24% behind Clash of the Titans.

The performance took Disney past $1bn in aggregate international grosses for the year, the earliest the company - which has now passed that mark for an industry-record 16 consecutive years - has ever achieved the feat.

Prince of Persia opened in Russia with an estimated $9.7m, topping the opening of Iron Man 2 by more than 30%, said WDSMPI, and almost doubling the opening take of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

In China, Prince opened with $8.1m, the second biggest opening (after Alice in Wonderland) Disney has ever had in the territory.

Prince opened top in France with $5.5m, beating the openings of 300 and Troy by almost 10%, according to WDSMPI, and that of Prince Caspian by nearly 20%.

The film’s chart-topping $4.3m opening in Korea almost matched the debut of Alice in Wonderland and beat the openings of 300 and Troy by 15%.

Mexico produced a chart-dominating $3.7m opening, 20% ahead of Troy but 25% behind Prince Caspian, which was a major hit in the country.

Australia produced a number one opening of $2.9m, matching the start in that market, said Disney, of The Mummy 3.

Prince was down only 20% in its second weekend in Germany, taking $2.3m for a total to date in the country of $7m. And it was up 9% in its second weekend in the UK, taking $2.2m for a territory total of $5.6m.

Yes, this interview is in Polish (I think), but you can sort of hear Jake underneath the translation. "Let's have some fun!" he declares and proceeds to amuse/frustrate the interviewer by insisting that Disney made a real dagger of time. He also answers the question of whether he's going back to school (not right now) and talks about kissing on screen, but I couldn't really make out that part. Jake thinks it's a good question whatever it was! Any Polish GBers out there?

Jake is a Maniac:

You have to go a few minutes in, but Jake also has some fun with this "reporter:"

Now that it's officially Celtics v. Lakers in the NBA Finals, Jake is going to have to keep his word and be true to his team. You can hear Jake asked about his basketball bigamy, as well as other topics in two ESPN podcasts.

In the second one, Jake talks a little bit more about the Damn Yankees project - one of the interviewers is especially enthusiastic and knowledgeable on the topic. You can also hear how ABC commentator and former coach Jeff van Gundy mocked Jake's PoP hair.

Jake is apparently back in LA and instead of taking it easy on this holiday weekend, he hit the gym. Rest up, Jake - you deserve it!

(Photos courtesy of IHJ)

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Prince arrives

The day is finally here. Prince of Persia opens in the US, and we finally get to see Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan. This moment has been a long time in the making. Remember back when all we had was our imagination?

Then we got some glimpses of the man in training and the sets in the making:

And then the first on-set peek:

And then a peek of a different kind:

And the first behind-the-scenes videos:

Then came the first official photos:

Leading to a long, steady stream of gorgeous pictures and exciting featurettes:

All of which culminates this weekend, as American audiences finally get their chance to see Jake in action. Let's root for a big hit. Jake worked hard making the movie and promoting it. And he seems very proud of it. Bravo, Prince Dastan!

We can't have a post this week without some videos. Here's the final installment of the PopSugar "Date with Jake" feature. He's adorable and Amanda is so lucky. And sweet - both of them.

Jake on his accent - it's a little different take - and on not knowing what to expect in life:

A scan of Jake's Elle interview:

Video footage of Jake in Times Square for the GQ photo shoot:

(Some photos and Elle scan courtesy of IHJ.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pop Week, Day 5: Exhaustion sets in

No, not for Jake Gyllenhaal, for me! I can't think of anything witty or fun to say for this post. Jake does not have that problem, as you know from witnessing the multitude of interviews and appearances he's done. Last night it was Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and it was a classic.

Here's the Karate Hedgehog dance

Thanks to the amazing Stephanie, here's Jake on The Early Show. A bit of a flat interview, but Jake looks good, as always:

Jake on KABC, doing some comedy:

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Not sure if anyone will upload this to youtube, but you can watch Jake's appearance on The Hour. Jake is on in the second half. Some familiar territory covered, but some fun stuff, too. Including a fun game of True or False.

Here's another Canadian interview. Not much new but a nice shout out to Canada at the end. Jake interviewed by G$, for the gamers.

And another installment in the PopSugar Huge Fan series. The interview with Jake should be up tomorrow.

Look: Jake without The Jacket!

A shot of Jake in Boston:

And in Toronto:

(Fallon video and some photos courtesy of IHJ.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dude, where's my raucous sex scene?

As the Prince of Persia promotion goes into the home stretch, we're finally getting interviewers who ask some fun, different questions. Witness the great interview from the last post and reposted below. It's fun to see interviewers taking a chance and seeing Jake roll right along with it.

Shortlist, a UK men's magazine, got Jake to open up about past auditions and one unique sex scene:

Are there any other big movies you missed out on?

These are horrible stories. So many, man. I’ve been acting for 15 years, since I was pretty young, so there have been tons of different things. My flummoxed audition for Dude, Where’s My Car?

You really auditioned for that?

Oh man, I gave such a good audition. Such a bummer. It was so good.

Be serious, because we’re going to print this...

I’m serious. Totally serious. I came in and they were like, “We don’t want it to be like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, we want it to be different.” I was like, “I got it. I got it.” I’d worked on it. I knew exactly what I was going to do. And I was like [puts on dorky accent], “Dude, where’s car?" That was the character. That was who I was going to be. And they were like, "That's, can we try it again without the accent?" And I was like, "That's all I got...That was what I've got for it." That was a movie I would have loved to have done.

Donnie Darko was your big breakout. Can you explain it to us?
What do you want to know?

Well, it’s one of the most brain- boggling films ever. Can you reveal what it’s actually about?

Yes. I mean, I can tell you what it’s about to me. To me, it’s just about a young boy trying to find himself and discovering that the world is a much more dangerous place than he thought. And that in every day and every hour and every week and every year, we have different deaths and we have different rebirths.

Do you believe that?

I do. I feel it. Don’t you? Aren’t there things where you’re like, “Oh, I’ve let go of that part of myself and I’m somebody new”? Like different incarnations all the time.

Your next movie is called Nailed. Other than the fact it’s about a woman with a nail stuck in her head, can you tell us why we should watch it?

Yeah, there’s a pretty raucous sex scene with me and Jessica Biel. It’s so brilliantly shot, crazy camera moves and a lot of choreography on our parts. That was all from the mind of [Three Kings director] David O Russell. I think it took maybe 40 tries to get right.

Jake is pushed to answer the Celtics v. Lakers question, and also discusses some of his activities at the Celtics game last week:

Have to go do some work now, but check back, as we tend to add to the posts these days!

PoP Week: Canada Day

And another flashback - to yesterday. Jake being interviewed by, and it's a great one. Did you ever wonder whom Jake would pick for a celebrity Amazing Race partner? Now you'll know!

Flashforward update: Jake on Regis and Kelly - thanks to Stephanie!

Canadians celebrate it on July 1, but for Jake Gyllenhaal and the Prince of Persia promotional express, Tuesday was Canada Day. Jake made appearances on the CBC, MTV and a few other outlets.

According to one blogger, the MTV spot was a little wild:

Repeatedly throughout the program, girls would call out inappropriately, "Jake, show us your abs!", which later escalated to "Jake, show us your snake!" after he described the process of working with a Snake Trainer. Taking the situation in stride, he responded "Well played. I like your style". The show's frustrated hosts eventually had to silence the rowdy audience, which again saw girls interrupting Gyllenhaal as he was trying to thank Canadians for their support. Jokingly, he pointed at his abs, stating "I realize that this is a big weekend for the ladies.... but this (pointing at his abs) is Sex in the City. Why see Sex and The City 2 when you can watch Prince of Persia twice?". Charmer.

The eTalk appearance provoked a lot of happy tweets from audience members and participants and jealousy from those left out.

One after another, my friends bombed my Blackberry with Jakey love. And all of them noted first that it was his charm, his personality, that came before the hotness. He is funny and dorky and really nice and sweet with the bluest blue eyes and the sexiest sh-t eating smirk, all of it enhanced by that elusive “star quality”. Jake Gyllenhaal is a Movie Star. A true Movie Star. And remember, this isn’t coming from superfan losers and stalkers. This is observation from people who work with celebrities every day, they see it all the time. For jaded television people, the default position is to dislike. Somehow Jakey G swept through that building and won them all.

Here's a clip from The Hour:

In case you missed it in the last post, Jake also did some roundtable interviews, which were recorded. Worth a listen, as there are some different questions.

USA Today talks about Jake's "deferred childhood" and the familiar theme of taking himself less seriously. The director has a nice summation:

But Newell says that Gyllenhaal was not only the film's muscle, but its emotional core.

"With video (game adaptations), you're always looking for the human equivalent," Newell says. "You need an actor who can almost breathe emotion. I knew from Brokeback Mountain (Gyllenhaal) could do that. And it didn't hurt that he could build that kind of physique and look good on a horse."

No, that does not hurt, Mike!

Speaking of Jake on horseback, Moviefone asked Jake about one of Oscar's biggest blunders:

It seems like everybody looks at "'Brokeback Mountain' vs. 'Crash'" as one of the biggest Oscar upsets. Do you ever get flustered over that, or do you feel like those events are out of your control?

The irony is we made that movie for 12 million dollars. And I know that's a lot of money, but in the world of making movies, compared to something like 'Prince of Persia,' it's very small. And it had this massive success financially [and] critically. To me -- and I really don't mean to seem like a cliché -- but I have people come up to me on the street daily who say that a movie like 'Brokeback Mountain' changed their life. Award or no award, it doesn't matter. What matters is an audience has seen it and has been moved. Yeah, I think there's a want in everybody to say, "I want to win this, or do this." But I think in the end, we won so many times with that movie, it's amazing. That experience I know will be with me for the rest of my life, in so many ways.

I'd never heard Jake asked specifically about the Oscar upset.

In a bold time-traveling maneuver, Jake also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel "Live" Tuesday night, where he discussed pancakes, photo bombs and princes, all in a Russian accent:

Traveling back in time to last week, here's Part 1 of the Popsugar video of the special fan screening. Just a few glimpses of Jake, but lovely ones:

(MTV Live photo by amandavc. Other Canada photos courtesy IHJ.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How Jake Gyllenhaal Spent His Moscow Vacation

Update: Audio of Jake's roundtable interviews in Canada this morning. In two parts.

After a couple of NYC appearances, the Prince of Persia promotional circus rolls into Toronto on Tuesday. Jake Gyllenhaal will be making appearances on MTV and the CBC. Monday night, Jake appeared on the David Letterman show.

Jake gave Dave a lesson in Russian etiquette - as we saw and heard on the photo call, the PoP folks were told not to laugh or smile.

Jake took that advice to heart:

I hope the Canadians don't mind if Jake busts out the laugh and smile!

A German interviewer quizzes the PoP cast. Jake and Ben need some after-school study, I think!

More from the E! London session with Jake, an extended version of the "loincloth" interview:

I just like the image of Jake with the London Eye in the background:

A few more Jake interviews. This one can't be embedded. Here's one from the PopSugar screening, but in clearer form. But here's one with French subtitles!

Members of a dance class from Nebraska got to meet Jake on their trip to NYC:

Not only were they noticed, they were ushered inside to join the studio audience and got a surprise bonus — meeting the guest celebrity Jake Gyllenhaal, there to promote his new movie, “Prince of Persia.”

During commercial breaks he walked around to greet the studio audience and posed for photos with delighted fans. Desiree reported that he was genuine and gracious, and her group was thrilled to meet him.

Thanks to Stephanie for the full Letterman video!

Monday, May 24, 2010

PoP Week: Day 2

Sunday was apparently a day of rest for Jake Gyllenhaal and the Prince of Persia promotion train. But Monday morning, it was back to work! Jake made an appearance on Good Morning America, where Elizabeth Vargas deviated from the predictable script and asked Jake funny. incisive, thoughtful questions.

Got ya! It was the usual pablum, but Jake was also his usual charming self. The crowd seemed happy to have him, and so did Elizabeth!

MSNBC has an interesting rundown of Jake's career. Instead of the shallow treatment given by the NY Post (I know - that was redundant!), they talk to a few movie types who confirm that Jake has made a career of eclectic choices:

“Gyllenhaal’s a real 21st century leading man — the guy who doesn’t play it safe,” said Mary Elizabeth Williams, film critic and contributor to and other publications, as well as the author of “Gimme Shelter,” an amusing look at the home-buying process.

“In a lot of ways,” she added, “he’s like Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., or to name one of his peers, Christian Bale. They’re all charismatic, handsome stars, and they can carry a big action movie whenever they want to — but they know the key to longevity is to keep challenging audience expectations of them. To look at the guy, he’s made to be on movie posters.”

David Kagen is one of the top acting teachers in Hollywood. He said Gyllenhaal possesses rare qualities for an actor, and as a result his career options are many.

“There are a lot of actors I’ve worked with where you talk to them and they open up and this wonderful personality comes out,” Kagen said. “All this stuff that’s particular to them that’s interesting. Then you hand them a script and a lot of that goes away. And that’s really bad. One of the things they need to learn is to use themselves, and then get out of the way.

“When I see Jake doing interviews, and then watch him in something like ‘Brothers,’ there’s no change. It’s like this wonderful seamless transition into whatever role he’s playing. Everything seems to be available to him, his sense of humor, his toughness. There is a sort of an ease. … There are just some people who have that.”

That was also apparent to cinematographer Steven Poster, who shot “Donnie Darko” in 2001, featuring a 20-year-old Gyllenhaal. “There was such intelligence with his characterization of Donnie,” Poster said. “You knew from the beginning he would be big. Plus, he was a gentleman. There wasn’t a moment of ego or narcissism.”

[Holofcener] said she chose Gyllenhaal for the part of Jordan in “Lovely” because “he had innocence and sexiness, a great sense of humor and an earnestness. And he was just so damn cute. That’s what it boiled down to. Everybody in the room during casting was blushing, so I figured that was a good sign.

“I’m thrilled for his career. I’m not surprised at all at where he’s at. When I cast him there was this feeling that he was going to be really big.”

Quick update with some photos from Jake going into the Letterman show:

(Photos courtesy of Splash and IHJ.)