In the spring of 2002, Jake Gyllenhaal made his West End debut in Kenneth Lonergan's "This Is Our Youth," along with Anna Paquin and Hayden Christensen. A video of Jake and Anna presenting at the Evening Standard Film Awards has shown up on youtube:
It's funny to see Ben Kingsley in the audience. Of course, Jake would later win the Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer for his TIOY role.
Jake has said many times since then that he'd love to do more theater, but he hasn't appeared on stage again. While we wait for news of a new project (play, film or world record for facial hair), let's take a look back at Jake's award-winning turn on the boards:
I don't think Pilot would approve of this technique.
It looks like Jake is making Reagan talk!
This is sort of an RDJ look to me.
That's more like Jake!
Some reviews of Jake's performance:
A classic of times past
Laurence Boswell directs this marvellous trio of actors with both confidence and an illuminating attention to detail. Gyllenhaal seizes all his chances as Warren, a beautiful and befuddled loser. But he also movingly suggests a lovable, vulnerable character just beginning to grow into maturity.
As a result, the focus in Laurence Boswell's production is very much on the performances. Hayden Christensen, looking like a taller Martin Amis, exhibits a fine rangy sulkiness as Dennis. Jake Gyllenhaal as Warren is naturally comic and engagingly defenceless. And Anna Paquin as Jessica combines prim formality of speech with an argumentative sexual ardour. All three are highly talented, instantly beguiling young actors even if Lonergan's study of subsidised social rebels leaves you wanting more.
Take a bow, Mr. Gyllenhaal!
For one, Jake Gyllenhaal (Warren), this is his stage debut, all the more hard to believe as he gives such an accomplished and secure performance. ...
Tousled haired Jake Gyllenhaal is immensely likeable as he conveys Warren's tendency for a rather naïve honesty. He can only tell the truth in response to Jessica's question, "Do you want to mess around or do you want to have a serious discussion?" Gyllenhaal gives Warren all the fidgetting mannerisms of gauche youth. It is Warren who becomes more assured in the course of the play, when he is able to bite back at Dennis' put downs.
Theatre Guide London:
But it is Jake Gyllenhaal who really serves as the play's emotional spine, letting us watch Warren grow through his love for Jessica and gradually making us realise that this hapless shnook is actually the most nearly-balanced and potentially successful adult of the three.
The scenes in which his bumbling sincerity worms its way through Jessica's defences, or in which, silently listening to Dennis insult him, he lets his face show a half-understood awareness that he is outgrowing his buddy, are marvels of sensitive underplaying.
Moving to the present - lt's end with the L&OD poster - a cleaner version though we still don't have HQ:
(Some photos courtesy of IHJ.)