×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Playback: Jake Gyllenhaal on ‘Nocturnal Animals,’ ‘Demolition’ Response and More

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

On today’s episode Variety Senior VP Tim Gray stops by to discuss the upcoming Academy Governors Awards. Casting director Lynn Stalmaster, documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, film editor Anne V. Coates and international superstar Jackie Chan are set to be honored this weekend. We also discuss Denzel Washington’s “Fences,” which finally came out into the light recently.

Later on (17:43) I’m talking to “Nocturnal Animals” star Jake Gyllenhaal, who also appeared in Jean-Marc Vallee’s “Demolition” earlier in the year. With an on-going list of filmmaker collaborators that includes Tom Ford, David Gordon Green, Bong Joon-ho and Paul Dano, the 35-year-old star is maintaining a fascinating pace at this stage in his career.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“I think admittedly I was judgmental of where his focus would be,” Gyllenhaal says of director Tom Ford. “He’s made a beautiful film. Beauty is a big part of the film. I think he can’t shake that. But I think I was, more than any other time in my career, surprised that he, as someone who came from a world that really puts an emphasis on vanity, could blow that up and focus on what was true to him and be vulnerable and admit his insecurities, particularly to me as an actor — his love of human behavior, his love of actors and the process.”

The past few years for Gyllenhaal have, he says, been all about exploring different aspects of acting. Often he is drawn to what might be considered darker material on the outside, and certainly in “Nocturnal Animals,” he goes to some dark places. But he sees it a little differently.

“These types of stories, I think there’s so much to mine,” he says. “In the darkness, you have to — everyone asks me that often: ‘Why do you mine such dark places?’ And, ‘Are you fascinated with that?’ Constantly, it’s a mantra: ‘You should do a rom-com or a romantic comedy.’ And sometimes those, to me, are darker than dark material. But I also think you have to bring your light when you go into the dark. Whatever light you have, you have to bring that.”

Gyllenhaal also starred in Jean-Marc Vallee’s “Demolition” earlier this year, but it was both a financial and critical disappointment. But prior to shooting, Gyllenhaal was eager to work with the director behind films like “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Wild” and ultimately he relished the experience, whatever the response ended up being.

“One of the things that has been really lovely about the way I look at the world now, having done this for a while, is none of that — critics, whether it does well — is what defines a success,” he says. “Jean-Marc is one of those people who is rare in that he does what he believes and what he feels, and he doesn’t move with what people tell him he should do but what his heart does. I adored working with him and I think that’s his longevity. In this business, where everybody is so afraid of what their movie is going to make, we do still live in a business of relationships. People with open hearts and who are talented regardless continue to work.”

Hear more about that, as well as Gyllenhaal’s upcoming collaborations, via the streaming link above.

Subscribe to “Playback” at iTunes.

More Film

  • Soul Pixar

    Disney Unveils Pixar Movie 'Soul' With 2020 Summer Release Date

    Disney has unveiled “Soul” as an upcoming original Pixar film, which will debut on June 19, 2020. “Soul” will be the second original Pixar film next year after “Onward,” which opens on March 6. The studio announced Wednesday that it had dated the film. While plot details are scarce, Pixar did release the tagline for [...]

  • Riverdale Alladin Avengers Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations

    The nominations for the 2019 Teen Choice Awards have been revealed, and voting has opened for the top movies, TV shows and music that has dominated the last year. “Avengers: Endgame” and “Aladdin” are the top contenders in the movie category with nine and five nods, respectively. In TV, “Riverdale,” “The Flash” and “Shadowhunters” each [...]

  • 'Toy Story 4' Box Office: Pixar

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Building to $140 Million-Plus Debut

    After a lackluster few weeks at movie theaters, it’s Woody and Buzz Lightyear to the rescue. The dynamic duo is returning to multiplexes for Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4.” The fourth installment in the CGI series is expected to earn north of $140 million when it opens in 4,500 theaters across North America. If [...]

  • Yu Dong, Andrew Lau, Han Han,

    Shanghai Party: Red Carpet Rolled out at Bona Film Group 20th Anniversary Event

    No deal announcements. No talk of the Chinese film industry’s ongoing winter of discontent. Instead the parade of talent on stage Wednesday night at Shanghai’s Wanda Reign hotel put their troubles aside for a moment and celebrated the 20th anniversary of producer-distributor-exhibition company Bona Film Group. At regular intervals, Bona’s founder and chairman Yu Dong [...]

  • Critics Groups Form Coalition For Diversity

    Film and TV Critics Announce Coalition to Increase Diversity in Entertainment Journalism (EXCLUSIVE)

    A coalition of film and television critics associations are teaming up help foster greater diversity in entertainment journalism. The new Critics Groups for Equality in Media (CGEM) is comprised of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the Features Forum of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, the [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Martin Scorsese

    Paramount Buys Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio's Crime Thriller 'Killers of the Flower Moon'

    Paramount will finance and distribute the Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio murder mystery movie, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Paramount chief Jim Gianopolous announced the deal Wednesday at the studio’s CineEurope presentation in Barcelona. Scorsese will direct and DiCaprio is attached to star in the adaptation of David Grann’s non-fiction book. Eric Roth is writing the screenplay. [...]

  • Franco Zeffirelli Remembered

    Franco Zeffirelli: An Artist and a Paradox

    When popular artists pass on, it can often be a surprise to learn just how old they were. But the news of Franco Zeffirelli’s death, at 96, inspired a major double take. The extravagant Italian maestro of theater, opera and film lived to a vibrant old age. Yet for many of us, the name Zeffirelli [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content