Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's opening night!

Break a leg to everyone involved in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet!

Al Hirschfeld is no longer here to draw his famous theater portraits, but the tradition continues:

Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal is hitting the U.S. stage for the very first time in Nick Payne’s dark family comedy, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. Set in rainy London, the new play tells the story of Anna (played by Annie Funke), an overweight 15-year-old who, after getting no support from her preoccupied parents (Brian F. O’Byrne and Michelle Gomez), develops an unlikely friendship with her wild Uncle Terry (Gyllenhaal). resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robinson took a seat at off-Broadway’s Laura Pels Theatre to watch the story unfold, then sketched a wistful family portrait of (from l.) O’Byrne, Funke, Gyllenhaal and Gomez. Check out Squigs’ latest masterpiece, then see the Roundabout Theatre Company production in a limited engagement through November 25!

The AP gives us a great look at the relationship between Jake and Brian:

Jake Gyllenhaal and Brian F. O'Byrne don't seem to have too much in common.

One is a 45-year-old Tony Award-winning Irish-born character actor and stage veteran. The other is a 31-year-old A-list movie star making his U.S. stage debut. But spend some time with them and you might swear they're related.

"He's like my older brother — that's how it feels," says Gyllenhaal, sitting beside O'Byrne in a comfy downtown cafe. "It feels like that in the scenes and it feels like that when we come offstage."

During the course of lunch, there is absolutely no ego on show. The actors goof on each other, share compliments and food. Gyllenhaal instantly worries about his co-star's comfort when the Irishman arrives at his outdoor table slightly sweaty.

"You guys want to go inside? There's a beautiful table over there. It would be cooler," Gyllenhaal asks. He then proceeds to expertly carry four filled water glasses to the new table and makes sure everyone is satisfied with the new area.

"He likes organizing things," O'Byrne teases.

"To have a first is a really wonderful thing. And to have a first with someone who is so wise and experienced is a blessing," says Gyllenhaal of O'Byrne. "It's an honor working on the stage with him."

O'Byrne responds with a mock insult — "He's a one-trick pony, beard or no beard" — and makes fun of Gyllenhaal's luscious head of hair. "Look at that hair! I mean, have you ever seen anything like it? I could eat it."

Eventually, the laugher dies down and O'Byrne grows earnest, asking Gyllenhaal to cover his ears while he says nice things. "To have somebody who's obviously at the top of his game, who comes to the stage with the freshness he does? You don't often get that," he says. "It's great fun."

"It's been a really wonderful thing to have Brian there to be able to guide us. Not only in scenes. Not only as a tremendous actor. But as somebody who I can turn to and say, 'Is this supposed to happen?' And he'll go, 'Yes, it's supposed to happen. And later it will be like this.'"

They've also since learned that the first show each saw on Broadway was the same — "Anything Goes" with Patti LuPone in the late 1980s. ("I, by the way, was 8; he was 40," Gyllenhaal jokes.) And they have learned that they are both actors who revel in the reality of scenes.

"He listens to my rants and he guides me and calms me down and also jacks me up," says Gyllenhaal. "It feels safe even within the danger of the moment."

Spoilerific video from the play:


UltraViolet said...

Yesterday's tweet from the writer of the pice on Jake and BOB:

Just saw jake gyllenhaal's American stage debut and was SERIOUSLY impressed. I await our off-Broadway reviewer's thoughts!

Also An Anon said...

Thanks for all the new information.
Especially LOVED the sneak peak from the play - Jake looks really at home on that stage and the accent is perfect. Also really enjoyed the radio interview.

UltraViolet said...

Just a note to everyone that I had intended to try to do a nice, special, thematic post, but there is too much going on in Jake World!

So break a leg to everyone in the cast and crew tonight. And watch for more updates throughout the day, on the play and the movie.

And you're welcome, anon. He really does seem at ease up there. Thanks for letting us know what you enjoyed. It's nice to get reactions.

I liked the audio interview because Jake was more relaxed and informal.

Mary said...

Great interview. Thanks

Good luck tonight to every one involved with the play.

bobbyanna said...

Really enjoyed that article about BOB & Jake. Always glad to see that Jake's hanging with his fellow cast members.

Yes, UV, Michael Pena tossing the balls into the bucket at the Bozo the Clown carnival game was pretty funny.

Jake told a hilarious story on Kelly & Michael this morning about three "older" women sitting in the front row at the play, sharing a sandwich and passing it back & forth.

Anonymous said...

I loved the sneak peek. Unfortunately I'll be seeing Jake on the big screen for now. But I await hearing what our group members, who will see it, think (the ones about to see it)

I like what Jake and Brian said about each other.


Anonymous said...

This is mean but I like the beard on the cartoon more than Jake's own. But that hair is so yummy. a man with thick dark hair wow. He is Al Pacino's kid in that picture from the magazine.

He and Al should do a movie together.

bobbyanna said...

You know, it's really enjoyable to see Jake seriously discuss his acting process in such detail, and how he interacts with other actors. I've learned so much about him. And acting in general, and filmmaking, etc. etc. etc. : )

UltraViolet said...

Agreed, Bobbyanna.

And anon, apparently Brian O'B likes the hair, too, lol.


Jake Gyllenhaal... I don't really need ovaries anyway #loveyou #kellyandmichael

Like YA novels, want to see a play in NYC? I recommend If There is I Haven't Found it Yet w/ Jake Gyllenhaal. Moving, funny, very YA story.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena on Power 106 on behalf of #endofwatch as I sit in my car next to a bus that has a #EndofWatch banner #work

Jake Gyllenhaal's accent is spot-on in the press footage. Can dialect coach Ben Furey discuss their process? @RTC_NYC #IfThereIs

That End of Watch tweet was from someone who works for Open Road, the film's distributor.

Also An Anon said...

I hope the Live with Kelly/Michael interview makes it online soon.

Good luck to Jake et al with the premiere tonight. Guess we'll be reading a lot of professional reviews in the coming days - I'm really not sure what to expect as the viewer comments have been so mixed during the preview period. Fingers crossed.

Mary said...

Stephanie at IHJ has the kelly/michaels interview with Jake up

Extra said...

I'm so excited i'm about to burst! I haven't been this so excited about Jake's project (s) in awhile. So much is going on , it's hard to keep up.

Love the interviews, good luck to Jake and the rest of the cast!

Also An Anon said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Mary.

just watched the interview and quite enjoyed it. Jake looked very good.

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the dancing scene in EOW. I mean it's funny and cute but every time I watch it I just keep wondering where all that cheering and clapping is coming from when all the guests are sitting still?!
I've really enjoyed a lot of the other clips though - actually after watching all the various clips and trailers I kind of feel like I've seen the movie already (it's good!).

Also An Anon said...

Another interview from TIFF - this one's a bit different as it focuses more on BBM (I don't even think Jake says "ride along" once... but could be wrong!):

Anonymous said...

sairbear ‏@sairbear

Spotted Jake Gyllenhaal in Nolita just now. Doing his best to look uncelebrity.. cap, sunnies, beard. Sorry, no pic. I am not the paparazzi.

Chica said...

What a fantastic theater illustration of Jake and the rest of the cast, I always loved those portraits!

Anxiously awaiting all the official reviews of the play, and thanks again UV for providing all these incredible updates!!!!

bobbyanna said...

If I could "teleport" I'd be right outside that theatre, sitting on a bench, taking photos, video-taping, etc. I hope he has a wonderful first night audience!

UltraViolet said...

I agree, Chica. It's so cool that Jake has one of these illustrations.

Also an Anon, I am not sick of the dance scene yet. But it is time to see the movie. They've released so many clips, it feels like the whole movie.

I have that interview ready to go in another catch-up video post. I thought it was odd that the guy's questions revolved only around BBM for Jake. Plus, I'd love for Jake to talk about what it really has meant for his career, and not just a generic answer about how extraordinary it was.

Because I don't think it has all been positive. There are too many people who can't get past it, and I believe a lot of them are in Hollywood.

Extra, the level of activity is insane! All fingers crossed for tonight's performance and tomorrow's reviews.

Speaking of reviews, Richard Roeper loves EoW. He gives it an A- and really praises Jake's performance.

UltraViolet said...

Hee, Bobbyanna. Teleporting would come in quite handy tonight.

Also, I watched Anna Kendrick's Conan interview, and she tells a hilarious story about her first day on set. She says how David Ayer is a real badass and Jake transformed himself into this badass cop. When she arrived, they were in an intense conversation about their horoscopes and compatible signs. And she laughed at them and said, "But you guys are like grown-ups, right. You don't really believe that."

Oh, no," they said. "It's really all about your moon sign."

Her delivery was priceless.

UltraViolet said...

I know we've seen so many reviews, but this one from Salon is amazing:

Pick of the week: An all-time cop-movie classic

Cop movies, and specifically Los Angeles cop movies – set against that vast, horizontal landscape of blue skies, palm trees and crap two-story architecture – are such a vital part of American cinema that I didn’t realize how much I missed them until the void was suddenly filled. “End of Watch,” the electrical, pulse-pounding new action drama from cop-obsessed writer and director David Ayer, will no doubt be presented in certain quarters as pro-LAPD propaganda – or, if you prefer this phrasing, as a paean to heroism and patriotism in the face of lawlessness and disorder. I’m not much interested in those interpretations, which try to boil down this mythic, thrilling and brilliantly made motion picture to a political point system. It’s at least the best cop movie since James Gray’s “We Own the Night,” and very likely since Antoine Fuqua’s memorable “Training Day” (which, not coincidentally, was written by Ayer). ...

Gyllenhaal has already shown tremendous range as an adult actor, way beyond what could have been predicted from his “Donnie Darko” youth. While I think he was terrific, for example, as the feckless male lead in the underperforming rom-com “Love and Other Drugs,” his performance here as Taylor might be his best since “Brokeback Mountain,” and pushes into a new direction. Taylor is a practical joker and a bit of a cowboy, whose Achilles heel as a cop is his headstrong, ambitious nature – exactly what makes him so appealing. He has wonderful chemistry with Peña, who has spent his whole career (or so it seems) playing upright Latino cops, but never one as complicated and well-developed as Zavala. His self-assigned role is to be the more level-headed of the duo, the straight man who feeds Taylor his gag lines, the married man who has to convince his wayward bro that his latest girlfriend, Janet (Anna Kendrick), is the for-sure, must-marry real deal and not just another you-know-what.

Mary said...

I saw her on Conan too she was delightful and Jake was great on Kelly/Michael loved his story about the 3 ladies sharing the sandwich.

UltraViolet said...

I haven't watched Kelly yet, Mary. Sounds like another goodie.

I don't know if this counts as an official review, but yay:

Thumbs Up: Don't Miss Jake Gyylenhaal's Irresistible Off-Broadway Debut

Since his breakout role in the cult hit Donnie Darko, Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal has been known for his stellar screen work—but the chance to see him deliver a moving, top-notch performance in a small off-Broadway house is a spectacular treat. In If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, Gyllenhaal stars as Uncle Terry, a rolling stone who moves in with his troubled niece and her family while trying to pick up the pieces of his failed relationship. From the moment he steps onstage, Gyllenhaal is irresistibly compelling, conveying a mix of humor, sensitivity and emotional turmoil that proves he has not only star power, but star quality. Most moving, however, is Terry’s tender and unlikely friendship with his 15-year-old niece, Anna (played with heart and dexterity by Anna Funke). Be sure to catch Gyllenhaal in his off-Broadway debut at the Laura Pels Theatre through November 25.

Yay! Did I say that already? :)

Monica said...

End of Watch received certified fresh on RT

Thanks for all informations.

bobbyanna said...

Damn, UV. That Salon review was on a whole different level. Brilliant.
Made me think of Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness," with it's allusions to Dante, etc.

I'll admit I have a lot of anxieties going into this movie with it's talk of an "Achilles heel" stalking, and the "hallucinatory climax," etc.


UltraViolet said...

You might need to read spoilers so you know what happens, Bobbyanna!

A couple of tweets I meant to post earlier:

Happy Opening Night to the cast of "If There Is, I Haven't Found It Yet." You're all the "salt of the F'ing earth."

Highlights from IF THERE IS I HAVEN'T FOUND IT YET starring a supreme Jake Gyllenhaal & Brían F. O'Byrne

The second is from a tweeter for Playbill. The line in the first tweet, as I understand it, is from the play.

bobbyanna said...

LOL! Yes, the "salt of the f'cking earth" was a line Terry said to his niece, as I recall it. : )

UltraViolet said...

And this from a theater critic:

Jake Gyllenhaal's accent is spot-on in the press footage. Can dialect coach Ben Furey discuss their process? @RTC_NYC #IfThereIs

UltraViolet said...

Thanks, Bobbyanna!

The Roundabout FB page asked people to post messages to the cast. Here are some:

80 people like this.

James Cubby Break a leg guys.
7 hours ago · Like

Stefanie Picard Congrats everyone in the production the play truly is fantastic. Good luck on opening night!!
7 hours ago · Like

7 hours ago · Like

Perry Medlin Break a leg guys! So excited to make a trip up and see the show!
7 hours ago · Like

Heidi Seidl Bald seh ich das Stück selber!!!
Soon, I see the piece itself!(Translated by Bing)
6 hours ago · Like

Hannah Tinker Anika Murray hmmm???
6 hours ago · Like

Christine Killian Dunham Break a leg! Keep On Dancing*
6 hours ago · Like

Jenn Smith I saw it during Previews. It's amazing! Go see it everyone! I know I already bought tickets to go again in October!
6 hours ago · Like

Amanda de Souza Saw it in previews, beautiful story, beautiful message, be proud, congratulations to everyone involved.
6 hours ago · Like

The Performing Arts Project Break big legs and thank you for continuing to make wonderful theatrical events!

Just saw that the play went on at 7:00 tonight, which is early. I hope those legs are breaking!

UltraViolet said...

First review and it's a rave for JAke. Yay.

Plus good reviews in the NY Times and Movieline, which makes a sport of deriding Jake.

What an exciting week this is.

UltraViolet said...

From that review:

It’s clear that Nick Payne has a keen understanding of the minefield that is the human heart. His “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” offers a rigorously unsentimental yet deeply empathetic portrait of a loving family in crisis. Director Michael Longhurst’s inventive abstract staging supports Payne beautifully, and the terrific Jake Gyllenhaal, sporting a flawless working-class regional English accent in his American stage debut, eschews a star turn to take his place in a top-flight four-person ensemble. It all makes for a riveting evening of theater.

UltraViolet said...

Also LOL:
Spotted @HysteriaMovie's Maggie Gyllenhaal at the opening of "If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet". She and Peter came running in late.
8:07 PM - 20 Sep 12

UltraViolet said...

Not a rave from The Hollywood Reporter:

Jake Gyllenhaal had a London stage success in 2002 with Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, but until now the actor has never done theater in New York. It’s a pleasure to see him apply his mellow charisma to a minor-key ensemble role rather than marching into town full of star swagger. But Gyllenhaal’s choice of British playwright Nick Payne’s unremarkable If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet to make his Off Broadway debut is perplexing. ...

Funke’s emotional nakedness and Gyllenhaal’s warmth and immediacy make their scenes together the production’s best. But none of the four actors onstage is consistently able to mine the wry humor beneath the domestic discomfort.
Terry is the kind of unapologetic screwup role that actors love, allowing for a lot of shuffling physicality as well as the accent, attitude and profanity-laced dialogue of an eternal lad. Gyllenhaal spends most of his stage time shifting back and forth on his feet, twitching nervously or raking his hair, his arms in near constant motion. The performance is still a little too studied, suggesting that the actor needs to relax into it. But there’s a sense of damaged vulnerability there that gives him a natural allegiance with Anna. However, when Terry exits, the play fizzles.

Mary said...

Its not too bad UV makes it sound like Jake is the one that is carrying the play.

UltraViolet said...

Also, Michael Pena is there. Aww.

And new friend JErry Seinfeld.

bobbyanna said...

THR reviewer seems kind of ignorant, UV. Truly. He just doesn't "get" the play.

As for being perplexed about Jake's choice of an orginal work Off Broadway, how can anyone possibly find fault with that!

Would they rather he do a stale revival of someone else's so people could compare him to seven other actors who did the same damned thing?

Those glitzy, expensive Broadway productions? I'm not denigrating people like Mike Nichols or philip Seymour Hoffman who do outstanding work. But the Movie star headlining a Broadway play everyone is familiar with, is such a cliche'!

Sheesh there are politics no matter where you go. Theatre/Hollywood, WTF ever.

Anonymous said...

"Sheesh there are politics no matter where you go. Theatre/Hollywood, WTF ever."

Agree,I guess that THR critic thinks all HW actors have to have bigger than life parts. The critic seems jaded.

UltraViolet said...

A lot of regulars on the two theater boards expressed similar sentiments. Others pointed out that actors are criticized when they seem to demand a big star turn.

Updates: EW and AP both liked the play and Jake.

bobbyanna said...

I don't mind informed, legitimate, balanced criticism, but these superficial, arrogant, dismissive creeps piss me off. I'm reminded of the sportswriter character Robert Duvall played in "The Natural." Remember? There's a scene where he's all preachy & smug, and Robert Redford looks at him, and asks, "Have you ever even played baseball?"

Anyway, glad EW and the AP liked it. AP reaches a lot of people. I'm hoping the New Yorker will reciew it, too.

Monica said...

Michael Pena ‏@realmichaelpena
Just saw #jakegyllenhaal kill it tonight in his play #ifthereisihaventfoundityet check it out and our movie #endofwatch

ID ‏@IDTweeps
Jake Gyllenhaal makes his New York stage debut in "If There is I haven't Found it Yet"!

Mary said...

Yea for Michael glad he was there for Jake along with Maggie and Peter.

UltraViolet said...

Yay, Michael! That's so cool.

And it looks like Marcus Mumford was there, too.

bobbyanna said...

Wow, I'm imressed with the people who were there. Many were or will be in productions at Roundabout this season, but also F Murray Abraham, Jessica Chastain, and of course Marucs Mumford, Emma Watson, and Michael coming out to see Jake, along with Jerry Seinfeld and his wife.

The playwrights Terrence McNally and john Guare were there too. In fact several playwrights were there. A producer or two as well. I'm gald they came out to support the play!

Theatermania had some pictures.

Monica said...

I love Jessica! She's great!

Anonymous said...

Keiko Lynn ‏@keikolynn

Scarlett, Emma Watson, AND jake gyllenhaal at abc kitchen tonight? Yowza.

tanya ‏@tanybrown

@keikolynn ps I'm still here, drooling in my wine as Jake courts Emma.

Mary said...

I just realized something Jake and Michaels names in EOW are Brian and Mike I have brothers named Brian and Michael and my brothers Brian birthday is Dec 19 just like Jakes:)

UltraViolet said...

Looks like Jake went to ABCZ for his post-play celebration. I think there was also a party - not sure if he went there before ABC.

Thanks to everyone for posting all the links and tweets. New, long post with photos and reviews.