Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds Reminisce About On-Set Jokes at ‘Life’ SXSW World Premiere

It was hard to tell who was more excited in the Zach Theatre for SXSW’s closing night world premiere of “Life,” Saturday night in Austin, Texas: the electrified audience or its colorful stars. Hundreds of people lined up to see Daniel Espinosa’s new space thriller, and even stayed afterward for a hilarious Q&A with the cast, director, and writers of the film.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, and the rest of the cast walked the carpet for fans before watching the tense flick in front of an audience for the first time. In the film, an international group of astronauts are overjoyed to find microcellular life in a dirt sample from Mars, but are horrified to find that the organism is more hostile than initially suspected.

Gyllenhaal and Reynolds, who walked the carpet together and were cracking jokes all through the panel discussion afterward, expressed their excitement for the film and their admiration for their director and the rest of the crew.

“[Espinosa] opened his heart to each one of us individually and really loves his actors and wants to understand us as individuals, not just as a community,” said Gyllenhaal. “These guys really placed the most incredible department heads in every position in this film, so everywhere you looked you were working with a legend both on and off the camera,” added Reynolds.

It was clear that, despite the tension of the actual film, there was a true sense of camaraderie on set. The cast laughed about constantly bumping into each other while hanging around on wires while mimicking zero gravity during filming. “There were numerous times when I went right into Rebecca’s backside,” Gyllenhaal recalled.

“We were laughing all the time. None of us, with the exception of me, takes themselves that seriously,” the actor added. “So there was a really wonderful spirit on set the whole time.”

Ferguson echoed that sentiment. “I saw the film a couple weeks ago and I realized that whatever I saw was not what I felt while shooting the film,” she said. “It was a very homey, fun environment. A lot of jokes, a lot of practical jokes, and then you put a bit of sound on it and Bob’s your uncle, you have a thriller.”

After the Q&A, most of the cast and crew followed the premiere with an after-party at Geraldine’s in downtown Austin.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • (from left) Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)

    Korea Box Office: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Topples ‘Exit,’ ‘Roar to Victory’  

    Opening on Wednesday, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. Showing on some 1,311 screens nationwide, the UPI release earned $15.1 million from 2.03 million admissions over five days. That included the four-day National Liberation Day weekend. “The Battle: Roar to Victory” remained in second. The [...]

  • Tracy Morgan Netflix stand-up special

    Film News Roundup: Tracy Morgan Joins Eddie Murphy's 'Coming 2 America'

    In today’s film news roundup, Tracy Morgan and Michael Rooker book roles in major movies, and Gravitas buys “Christmas Break-In.” CASTINGS Tracy Morgan has signed on to appear in Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” sequel as the brother of Lesley Jones’ character. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is directing the project with Murphy, Kevin [...]

  • Spider-Man Far From Home

    'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Gets Re-Release With New Scene

    Sony Pictures is re-releasing “Spider-Man: Far From Home” with a new action scene. Starting Aug. 29, a new extended cut, featuring four minutes of a never-before-seen action sequence, will be released in theaters in the United States and Canada. The film will also be available in IMAX and large formats in select locations. “Spider-Man: Far [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content