WEIRDLAND: Jake Gyllenhaal never broke the accent in Prince of Persia

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal never broke the accent in Prince of Persia

Scans of Prince of Persia in Cinemania (Spain) magazine.

The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time stars talk about their steamy love-hate on-set relationship
The Hollywood heart throbs play feisty pair Dastan and Tamina in the new adventure film, which is based on a cult video game.

Despite its action-packed plot however, we’re pleased to see that there’s plenty of sparks flying between the pair.

'There’s an inexplicable connection between them', Gemma reveals, 'and of course he’s gorgeous as well!' she adds.

The tension between the pair is clear as they compete for a treasured dagger, but really, admits Jake, 'it’s love at first sight'. Aww!

Michelle Williams giving Matilda Rose a piggyback in New York.

"The topic that has brought my interview with the Prince of Persia star to a grinding standstill is that of his late friend, Heath Ledger — whose daughter, Matilda Rose, is Gyllenhaal’s goddaughter. Initially the actor seems happy to discuss their work together in the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain — which featured several cowboy-on-cowboy love scenes — and he describes the filming in the summer of 2004 as “a magical time . . . I’d never witnessed the power of a movie in that way”. But when I ask how he remembers his Australian co-star, who died two years ago from a prescription drug overdose, his entire body appears to turn stiff, and a long, deeply uncomfortable silence ensues.Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal attending 'Brokeback Mountain' at Venice Film Festival Photocall on 2nd September, 2005 in Venice, Italy

“Uh ... yeah,” he manages, eventually.
But Gyllenhaal isn’t angry, I soon realise. He’s choked — to the point where his eyes are glassing over. “That role” he says, of Brokeback, “and the fate of all the characters and souls who were involved in the making of that project ... it’s just . . .” He trails off. “I don’t have much to say. Apart from the fact that that film moved many, many people.”“It all started with the idea that the movie was going to be based on a sense of reality,” he explains, with a straight face. “That’s what separates this film from other video- game adaptations: the idea that it could be plausibly done in reality. That’s why David Belle [the inventor of parkour, also called freerunning] was hired to come in and to advise and choreograph a lot of the sequences. And when you learn parkour, that’s how the muscles become the muscles. Obviously I also did a lot of cardiovascular work, and there were the semi-daily runs from the set in Morocco to the hotel. At the end of every day I’d put on my running shoes and go for a run. When you’re in the middle of the desert it’s pretty extraordinary.”Another first for this new bikini-waxed, protein-shake-gulping incarnation of Gyllenhaal: a “British” accent. “I had to learn it,” he says. “In fact, I had been intimidated by other roles where I would have had to do a British accent. Some I’ve stayed away from, to be honest, out of respect — I know that culturally it differentiates people in so many ways. As an American, you really can’t tell. I worked with Barbara Berkery [who coached Gwyneth Paltrow for Sliding Doors and Renée Zellweger for Bridget Jones’s Diary], I listened to tapes, but there was no one specific that I worked on. I wish I could say it was Mick Jagger, but in this case ... no.”Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in Extra: 'Prince of Persia' Interview (London)

“That was the accent that worked the best, in terms of delivery, wryness, of the comedy in the script,” Gyllenhaal explains, after claiming not to have heard the phrase Mockney. “I tried to steer it a little south, but my dialect coach wouldn’t let me. I just always felt it added a little bit of flair.”
He had lots of time to practise. Three months were spent filming on location and another three working at Pinewood. “I never broke the accent, even when I was on set, because I knew I’d get that cringe factor from the Brits — even though I know the British can be very polite — overly polite, in my opinion. But I really love that, too.”
Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal at Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time UK Premiere (c) Ruby, Kate &

“I grew up in a family of storytellers,” Gyllenhaal says. “I had parents whose lives were saved and changed by watching movies. That was always the emphasis in my house — what an extraordinary medium movies can be.”
“It’s quite a culture, and I think it’s intimidating in terms of a movie,” he says. “But then again, I’ve played characters who existed in real life, who’ve been to war, worked for the CIA, and, in that sense, it’s interesting that I feel as much pressure to satisfy the gaming world as I would a US Marine.”
Speaking of which: how did America’s Devil Dogs react to Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of a Gulf War antihero in Jarhead? “Definitely a mixed reaction,” he responds, with a quick smile. “Some people really loved it, and ... well, what I appreciate is the flat-out honesty I get from people who were in the service. They come up to me and say, ‘Hey, are you the guy from Jarhead?’ I go, ‘Yeah’. And they go, ‘I didn’t like that movie’.”

He bursts out laughing.
And what about Brokeback Mountain? What does the general public think of that? Thankfully, with the mood lightened, Gyllenhaal seems comfortable returning to the subject of the Oscar-winning movie with one of the most tragic postscripts in modern cinema history. “There was a beauty to that film,” he says, with feeling, “regardless of the jokes poked at it. There was a beauty to it that surpassed all that other stuff.”
Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal at NBA All-Star Game In LA on 15th February 2004

Relationships Gyllenhaal dated the actress Kirsten Dunst for four years before a two-year relationship with Reese Witherspoon, which ended last year.

Other interests Gyllenhaal briefly studied Eastern religions and philosophy at Columbia University and has campaigned on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union".

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