Jake Gyllenhaal is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Esquire magazine. Inside, he talks about filming Prince Of Persia and Day After Tomorrow along with his transformation for the role in Southpaw.
With regard to Prince Of Persia and Day After Tomorrow, he said, “I took things because they were jobs. I mean people are paying you money, you’re 26, are you kidding? I woke up one day and I wasn’t in the right room. It was like a David Byrne song: ‘That’s not my beautiful house. That’s not my beautiful wife.'”
With regard to Southpaw, he said, “He’s a guy that couldn’t deal with his own shame. The director Ed Zwick told me this wonderful thing: ‘Everything you learn is through shame.’ It’s so true.. There’s those moments where you face humiliation, they’re so freeing if you can get through them. I didn’t do a boxing movie to do a boxing movie, if you know what I mean.”
When speaking of transforming for his role, he said, “Physicality is a way into the mental state of a character. I get off on knowing that my energy has shifted. My technical side is going, ‘Yeah, you’re a bit of a maniac, but you know how to keep it in check.’ But it’s not like this huge deal. It’s that Louis CK thing, when people say they’re ‘starving.’ Maybe you should rethink that word? You had a meal four hours ago!”
He added, “I believe deeply in the unconscious. That you literally accumulate the molecules of the space that you’re in. We’re like 90 percent water, so naturally we are going to be affected by the moon when it’s full: if the sea is, why wouldn’t we be? That seems scientific to me. So, if you spend enough time in whatever environment your character should exist in…then the molecules of that environment must transfer somehow. And then you put it on screen, and people go, ‘I feel something that I don’t normally feel.'”