Here is but a brief sampling of things that have happened to Jake Gyllenhaal in his recent movies: He was gunned down by gang bangers in End of Watch. He investigated a string of child kidnappings in Prisoners. He skulked around bloody crime scenes in Nightcrawler. His wife is murdered, his child gets taken from him, he fights drug addiction, and gets punched in the face repeatedly in Southpaw. (And next, he’ll climb Mount Everest. NBD.)
Damn, doesn’t he ever just want to do a rom-com?
“You know what, to me it’s just all about whether or not you can give your all to a role,” Gyllenhaal told ETonline after a thoughtful pause on the red carpet at the New York premiere of his boxing drama.
The last time the Oscar-nominated actor came close to a romantic comedy was 2010’s Love & Other Drugs...and even then, Anne Hathaway’s character had Parkinson’s. Or maybe, half a decade after being burned by Disney’s Prince of Persia video game adaptation, Gyllenhaal could try his hand at real superhero-dom in some fun Marvel outing?
(Maybe as Black Bolt, the silent leader of the upcoming Inhumans?)
“It doesn’t really matter what genre it’s in or what the story’s about to me,” he explained. “Sometimes those things touch you and you go, ‘All right, I’m down to do it.’ Whether it’s funny, or it’s moving, whatever it is. I’m down as long as there’s commitment involved.”
Commitment like, say, two-a-day workouts for five months to gain 15 pounds of muscle, which he did for Southpaw. His transformation for this roles goes beyond simply getting buff, though. He fully becomes Billy Hope, in his ticks, in the way he talks, in the way he walks.
“I like to try to stay, at least on set between takes, in character,” he revealed, when we asked if he considers himself a method actor. “That’s important to me.”
Is it possible then, when you delve that deeply into such intense material, to shake it off at the end of the day and not bring it home with you? “Oh, that’s easy!” he smiled. “I think it’s like a spectrum. If you go hard one way, you can easily come back. Sometimes it’s great to joke.”
Then may we suggest a Judd Apatow comedy? Costarring Amy Schumer?
Now, find out more about Gyllenhaal’s strict workout regiment for Southpaw: