×

Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His ‘Best Self’ in the Theater

Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself.

Listen to this week’s podcast below:

“I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of his Broadway outingSea Wall/A Life.” “I am the performer that I want to be, and I am, most of the time, the person that I would want to be. I think that primarily has to do with the very reasonable hours, which I don’t think anyone who works in the theater, who doesn’t work in other areas of the entertainment business, really fully appreciates.”

The Broadway schedule (six days a week with two two-show days) is “brutal,” he acknowledged. “But I will say that the feeling I have is it’s a world that feels truly new and mine, and one that is what I’ve been in love with since I was a little kid, and the place I knew I was supposed to be.”

In “Sea Wall/A Life,” Gyllenhaal stars with Tom Sturridge in two separate but thematically linked monologues. According to Cracknell, each actor reveals a lot of himself in each monologue.

Popular on Variety

“A lot of the process was about us trying to, in a way, think less about character than we would normally, and much more about humanity and what the central themes of the pieces were, and how those actually connected to the actors themselves rather than necessarily a kind of deep, constructed sense of character,” the director said on Stagecraft. “Which is quite different to how I normally work. But it felt really important that the costumes that they were wearing spoke to who they were, and that the intonation or the way that they might address [things] kind of moment-to-moment felt from themselves.”

Also in the new Stagecraft, Gyllenhaal and Cracknell reveal some of the backstage secrets of “Sea Wall/A Life,” ranging from Sturridge’s surprising pre-performance ritual to the fact that Gyllenhaal is, he said, “very odd about my feet onstage.”

New episodes of “Stagecraft” are available biweekly in July, August and September, with a weekly schedule resuming in October. Download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on Apple PodcastsStitcher or anywhere finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

More Legit

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Frozen review musical

    Warmth and Humor Pervade Pantages Production of 'Frozen' the Musical

    In 2013, Disney’s “Frozen” hit screens like a 100 mile-per-hour snowball, sparking a pop cultural phenomenon in which little girls and boys pranced about dressed in Anna and Elsa and Olaf costumes while belting aloud “Let It Go,” Elsa’s feminist anthemic response to ice powers rendering her a societal outcast. The animated movie won two [...]

  • My Name Is Lucy Barton review

    'My Name is Lucy Barton': Theater Review

    Laura Linney is in love. Just watch the radiant expression on her face as she wraps her arms around the character of Lucy Barton, a role she played in two separate engagements at the Bridge Theater in London, and is now reprising on Broadway in “My Name is Lucy Barton.” The feeling is obviously mutual, [...]

  • 'Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal' to

    'Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal' to Air Weekly, Syndicate Nationally (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal” will become nationally syndicated, marking a first for a program about the Great White Way. Beginning in fall 2020, the monthly show will increase frequency to air weekly. The show is hosted and executive-produced by 12-time Emmy Award winner Tamsen Fadal, a news anchor at WPIX, the channel that initially [...]

  • Laura Linney My Name Is Lucy

    Listen: What Laura Linney Learns From Bad Shows

    For Laura Linney, every stage experience is a learning experience. “Even the bad ones!” she cheerfully declared on the new episode of Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “Even the ones that are really bad, and I’ve been really bad in some things,” continued the Emmy winner, currently back on Broadway [...]

  • 'Betrayal' Star Zawe Ashton Signs With

    'Betrayal' Star Zawe Ashton Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Zawe Ashton has signed with CAA, Variety has learned. Most recently seen on Broadway in the hit revival of Harold Pinter’s “Betryal,” Ashton is the definition of a multi-hyphenate. In addition to being an in-demand actress, Ashton is a director, playwright and author. While earning critical raves for “Betrayal,” Ashton made her debut as a [...]

  • Michael Feinstein Kristin Chenoweth Sutton Foster

    Jerry Herman Memorial Set for Feb. 3 at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

    A memorial service for Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman will be held at 3 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Michael Feinstein is producing the tribute, which will feature performances from a number of notable legit stars, including Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Bernadette Peters and Betty Buckley. Angela [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content