WEIRDLAND: Jake Gyllenhaal: the reluctant romantic in Prince of Persia

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal: the reluctant romantic in Prince of Persia

Jake Gyllenhaal on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 7th May,
2010 in London.
Scans of Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in Sci Fi Now, courtesy of

"I had Jake picked out from the beginning because not only did I know he was a terrific actor, but he also has a great sense of humour, a rebellious nature and is someone who's constantly going to surprise you," he surmises. "I thought he was the sort of actor an audience would plug into, because there's a sense of mystery to him, so they'd want to know more.

"I wasn't looking for a muscle-bound hunk though, so when Jake took on the whole business of doing the action scenes and the stunts himself, that was a revelation," acknowledges Newell.

"He really worked his socks off and turned himself from an actor into an action hero.

"He did a lot of the stunts and big action sequences himself. I'm eternally grateful for that, because the film wouldn't have had the continuity, or turned out like it has if he'd called the stuntman every time he stepped off the pavement. In fact, we had to stop him doing some stunts because he wanted to do everything - even when it was too dangerous."
Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) - Behind The Scenes Featurette: Destiny

Aside from the action-packed, swashbuckling antics, there's another side to Gyllenhaal's character: the reluctant romantic. The challenge of sparring in a series of amusing "will-they-won't-they" scenes with Arterton was relished by both.
"I loved the banter between the two of them," smiles Arterton. "There are some brilliant scenes where she's toying with him and he's toying with her, just taking the piss out of each other.
Gemma Arterton at "Prince of Persia" London Press Conference on 9th May 2010.

"I was looking for somebody very exotic - someone different from Jake's desert lot - and I'd even thought about going to Bollywood, because I wanted that wonderful, liquid-eyed, dark-skinned look. But then Gemma came along and read for me and I just thought she was terrific - even though she was entirely unknown at the time."

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