Interview with Jake Gyllenhaal
Text Micol Beltramini
I just found out that Jake Gyllenhaal is two years younger than me. I’m not sure why but I thought he was older. I somehow got the impression that I had watched Donnie Darko when I was in my teens while, as it turns out, he was twenty-one and I twenty-three. How odd. Perhaps it depends on how that film makes you feel about the themes it addresses – generational conflicts, hooded sweatshirts or Gary Jules’ version of Mad World. «I was so young but I believed in the story, it dealt with what I felt inside. The journey from adolescence to adulthood…There weren’t many teenage movies that were not superficial at the time. Sorry it’s incredible to see my big cheeks again!».
The audience laughs heartily. A few minutes later, we move on talking about Brokeback Mountain. «I cried while I was reading the script. It moved me so much. I really wanted that part. People often ask me if I was aware of the risk I was taking at the time. Risk? That is not the way I grew up. I saw Brokeback Mountain from the beginning as a beautiful love story».
Do you believe that thirteen years later something has changed in the way the audience feels about that type of films? «I’m not quite sure what’s going on in America, it’s very confusing, a bit of a decay culture in a way but maybe we are more ready to accept things that are right. And by right I just mean the love between two people».
Speaking of Zodiac, it deals with discipline and improvisation: «I respect the text but I also respect the moment. I’ve done films where I never strayed from the script and others where I completely left it and kept the essence. The only structure I believe in is preparation: freedom is on the other side of discipline».
Then Gyllenhaal is asked to define Ang Lee in one word: «It’s not a word, it’s a heart on legs».
As for David Fincher the word is «Precision».
Jake Gyllenhaal is here to present Stronger, the story of a young worker from Boston who lost his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. His girlfriend was among the participants and he was waiting for her at the finish line with a big poster with a cheering message written in fluo markers. Here they come again, visible and earnest, his big heart, the sober eyes and that expression of the mouth. An expression you can bet everything on, with or without the big cheeks.