Jake Gyllenhaal: Sea, sex and 'Source Code'

The actor discusses his new movie, 'Love and Other Drugs'

Jake Gyllenhaal certainly likes a change of scenery. Since flitting from the icebergs of ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ to the high country of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and the deserts of ‘Prince of Persia’, he’s been barely recognisable as the sensitive young star of ‘Donnie Darko’. Now, in ‘Love and Other Drugs’ Gyllenhaal plays a womanising Viagra salesman who falls for a sickly artist (Anne Hathaway).

You’ve worked with Anne Hathaway before on ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Did this bring you closer?
‘Definitely, we learned a lot about each other. Being naked together is intimate, but less so than being emotionally intimate. She had a tough time sometimes and I would have to guide her through and vice versa. Anne is a very serious actor; she played a woman with early-onset Parkinson’s and she may have taken her character Maggie’s struggles into the process. A lot of it was me saying, “It doesn’t matter if it’s any good.”’

It doesn’t matter if it’s any good?
‘It doesn’t! You can’t really be worried if anything’s going to be good. I think worry is the stupidest emotion – there’s nothing you can do about it.'

Your character, Jamie, is very cocksure. Did playing him bring out a different side of you?
‘It did for a while. I found myself being a little more adventurous. But Jamie has an obnoxious and manipulative confidence, and it seems embarrassing to me to walk up to somebody and to lean in and try and sell something. Essentially what my character is doing in the movie is avoiding his feelings and I try not to do that.’

You had a two-week rehearsal process. Did the movie’s focus evolve during that?
‘It used to be a movie about a guy who meets a girl then is changed by the girl. Then Annie came in and I was like, “What are you talking about?” This has to be a love story. It’s about two people who come together and their lives are changed. You know, my character says you can meet a thousand people and none of them moves you and then you meet one person and your life is changed forever but you don’t know why.’

Do you believe that one romance can change your life?
‘I do, yeah. You can meet hundreds of people and you can have an amazing time, an interesting time and learn something, but every once in a while there’s someone that comes along and you’re just: pouff!’

You’ve spanned many different genres and roles in your career. Is this a conscious decision?
‘Yeah, that’s how I work, even in a take. I never do the same take twice, It’s something that frustrates certain actors. Maybe it’s an issue of trying out different corners of my mind. I love my audience and I try to make movies they haven’t seen before, explore something that hasn’t been explored before. Sometimes work is work and you just show up but I feel more and more an obligation to listen to what I believe in.’

Where do you see your career going?
‘I’d love to explore other aspects of the film industry. I grew up in a family who told, wrote and directed stories and I’d like to move in that direction. When you’re writing, you can come up with all different ideas, and when you’re directing you have power over different elements, not just one. I see the future in creating not just performances but hopefully whole stories.’

i5-LOD-090.jpg

Any directing projects in the works?
‘I have a number of things that I’m developing. That’s probably where the future is for me. I mean, I’m not gonna quit my day job; I’d like to see how it goes.’

Which genre would you choose to direct?
‘I love stories of family and relationships, but I do love sci-fi, because sci-fi gives an opportunity for so many elements to come into play and the ability to look at reality from any angle and let your imagination go wild. I have quite an active mind.’

You’re starring in a sci-fi  soon, ‘Source Code’.
‘Yes, with Duncan Jones [‘Moon’] directing, about a man who wakes up on a train who is not in his own body and has to figure out why. We had great fun coming up with all the ideas. That was thrilling. Some people find great comfort in context. I find great comfort in variation.’

How about your time off – how will you spend Christmas?
‘We have a family Christmas. We all get together and spend time with my niece [daughter of sister Maggie] and just deal with all the wonderful complications and love that is my family.’

Before that, you’ll be turning 30. How are you going to celebrate?
‘I was thinking about scuba diving in the Arctic with the walruses and killer whales – seriously! I was thinking about doing something that scared me and that freezing cold water with huge sea creatures sounds kind of scary. I’d like to mark the time by doing something frightening and then something that deeply comforts me, being with my family and friends and the people that have surrounded my life over the last 30 years.’

Read our review of 'Love and Other Drugs'



Author: Interview: Anna Smith





Top Stories

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.

Oscar predictions

Oscar predictions

The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards

January film highlights 2013

January film highlights 2013

Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow

October film highlights

October film highlights

Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.

Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'

Martin Freeman interview

Martin Freeman interview

'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.

Sam Mendes interview

Sam Mendes interview

Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.

Ang Lee interview

Ang Lee interview

The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'

Michael Haneke interview

Michael Haneke interview

The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.

Read our interview with Michael Haneke

Thomas Vinterberg interview

Thomas Vinterberg interview

The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.

Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.

Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us

On the set of 'Sightseers'

On the set of 'Sightseers'

Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.

Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set

Tim Burton interview

Tim Burton interview

The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.

Read our interview with Tim burton

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.

Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'

What's your film guilty pleasure?

What's your film guilty pleasure?

Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.

Read 'Film guilty pleasures'

When teen stars turn serious

When teen stars turn serious

Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.

Read 'When teen stars turn serious'

50 years of James Bond

50 years of James Bond

From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.

Read '50 years of James Bond'

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.

Read the interview

Hilarious horror films

Hilarious horror films


Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.

Read 'Hilarious horror films'

Martin McDonagh interview

Martin McDonagh interview

The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.

Read the interview

Autumn horror films

Autumn horror films

We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.

Read about this Autumn's best horror movies

On the set of Skyfall

On the set of Skyfall

Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.

Read 'On the set of Skyfall'

Bond: then and now

Bond: then and now

Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?

Sally Potter interview

Sally Potter interview

The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.

Daniel Craig interview

Daniel Craig interview

'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’