WEIRDLAND: Jake Gyllenhaal and his 'wonderful seamless transition'

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal and his 'wonderful seamless transition'

Video: 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time'

A magic dagger holds the key to a powerful secret, which evil forces intend to use to destroy the world.

Jake Gyllenhaal attending Boston Celtics Vs Orlando Magic Game in Boston on 22nd May 2010

“Gyllenhaal’s a real 21st century leading man — the guy who doesn’t play it safe”, said Mary Elizabeth Williams, film critic and contributor to and other publications, as well as the author of “Gimme Shelter”, an amusing look at the home-buying process.

“In a lot of ways,” she added, “he’s like Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., or to name one of his peers, Christian Bale. They’re all charismatic, handsome stars, and they can carry a big action movie whenever they want to — but they know the key to longevity is to keep challenging audience expectations of them. To look at the guy, he’s made to be on movie posters.”
David Kagen is one of the top acting teachers in Hollywood. He said Gyllenhaal possesses rare qualities for an actor, and as a result his career options are many.
“There are a lot of actors I’ve worked with where you talk to them and they open up and this wonderful personality comes out,” Kagen said.
“When I see Jake doing interviews, and then watch him in something like ‘Brothers’, there’s no change. It’s like this wonderful seamless transition into whatever role he’s playing. Everything seems to be available to him, his sense of humor, his toughness. There is a sort of an ease. … There are just some people who have that.”
Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut (2004) - Production Diary

That was also apparent to cinematographer Steven Poster, who shot “Donnie Darko” in 2001, featuring a 20-year-old Gyllenhaal. “There was such intelligence with his characterization of Donnie”, Poster said. “You knew from the beginning he would be big. Plus, he was a gentleman. There wasn’t a moment of ego or narcissism.”
Poster believes the actor’s presence in “Prince of Persia” represents an opportunity for Gyllenhaal to have some fun rather than signal a dubious step down an unfortunate career path. “I think Jake is very smart that way,” he said. “Everybody’s got to do one of these pictures on the way up. I think he’s very grounded.”
In Hollywood, there is often a chasm between how an actor views himself and what the business sees him as.
Holofcener, for one, hopes Gyllenhaal doesn’t spend much time thinking about any of that.

“Hopefully he’s not trying to figure out who he is”, she said. “I hope he just keeps taking roles that appeal to him.”

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