Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Will the real Jake please stand up?
I guess sitting down works, too.
A very interesting take no the current state of Jake Gyllenhaal in September's Details. The article offers a glimpse into Jake at work and at leisure, though perhaps not relaxed. And the photos are gorgeous. Not the shirtless shots of July's cover boy, Michael Phelps. But arresting nonetheless.
The 31-year-old A-lister, who stars in End of Watch, can be spotted all over town—on a date, riding his bike, feeding parking meters for strangers—and yet his essence is nowhere to be found. Is he the smiling guy next door seen in so many paparazzi shots, the dark philosopher who buries himself deeper in each successive role, or simply a wily, charismatic chameleon? Take your pick.
Gyllenhaal's way of keeping it fresh can befuddle costars on occasion. The far more common result, however, becomes clear in watching his catalog. For over a decade, actors have been doing some of their best work opposite him—Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Aniston, Tobey Maguire, Heath Ledger. "It's no accident. Jake takes it all very seriously but also has a very light touch," explains Anne Hathaway, his costar in Love and Other Drugs and Brokeback Mountain. "On Brokeback, my final scene was on the phone with Heath, who was in Venice for Casanova. Jake offered to read Heath's lines. On the last take, he changed the line, ever so slightly. That kicked off something in me, and lo and behold, that's the take in the film."
"I grew up on the other side of the camera," Gyllenhaal says. "And yes, I do love making movies as much as being in them. I love actors, watching what they do, and I do love acting off-camera, and how it helps tell the story. But the camera eventually does turn to you, and then it's a very different question. I don't know if I have the answer to it yet.
"I guess you'll see up in Toronto," he says. "It's me acting against myself."
Cast and crew understood the commitment required for the film, no one more than Gyllenhaal. "Dave told me right off that this was going to affect my soul," he says. "'Friends are going to say, That's the Jake I've always known, but somewhere deep inside, you'll know otherwise.'"
The waiter who brings our fried-chicken main event has served Gyllenhaal before. A good-looking and extremely fit kid, he's apparently had trouble linking the bearded nerd before him to the sex symbol the waitstaff is buzzing about downstairs. He says he's seen one of Gyllenhaal's films. "No, I recognize you. I get it now," he says, but he still seems dubious. "And I still really don't know who you are, either," Gyllenhaal says, smiling. "But it's nice to see you again."
(Photos by Mark Seliger. Article by Ivan Solotaroff.)
Ayers has seen it before, in End of Watch. "That's Jake," he says. "He's a genuinely sweet guy, but he's also got this real darkness, this rage he's running from. All the great actors have it, believe me. It's what you do with it."