INTERVIEWER :What made you interested in portraying Captain Colter Stevens in Source Code?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“I would have to say it was two things, the screenplay (by Ben Ripley), but mostly because of the director, Duncan Jones. Duncan made the most extraordinary movie with his debut film, Moon. I thought he and I would really work well together doing Source Code. And we did. Also, Duncan had this inherent trust in me, as an actor, and that felt good. I had weeks to work with someone as extraordinary as him, and it was like a godsend, you know. But I was also lucky to such a great character. He is someone I could look up to in participating in the Source Code program.”
INTERVIEWER :Do actors ever need any decompression time to get back to normal after doing love scenes or even something like the incredible action scenes in the Source Code?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Well, the making of any movie is always full of its own odd moments. When you do a serious scene where no one can’t stop laughing or there is an intense moment and you are supposed to break tables and chairs, and can’t get it right and you have to go and put everything back in — that’s what I love about making movies. So that’s just the great fun and irony of movies — that people are made to look like idiots! But who are extraordinary at their jobs? And you have like, these two actors in this movie, who are taking themselves way too seriously. I just wanted to give a great performance.”
INTERVIEWER :In Source Code, the Captain begins to have a feelings for a woman that he believe he can save during one of the eight minutes missions. When you are doing a movie, is there ever any jealously between yourself and your significant other when either of you have to do really intimate scenes in your movies?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Never. For us, it’s art, and we’re artists, so we understand.”
INTERVIEWER :Do you consider yourself a fairly romantic guy? What makes a good romantic life?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“I think romance coincides with effort, so you can fall flat on your face as long as you’re making great effort in romance. Effort always comes off as romantic. If you’re someone who doesn’t cook, you make a meal. You can do anything that has a bit of vulnerability about it.”
INTERVIEWER :What would you say is the most romantic gesture you’ve ever made?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Well, I’m a little bit of a workaholic, so there was a time when I was working hard in another country with just one day off. I flew back from that country to see someone for just an hour and then I flew back. I thought it was a really romantic gesture and I ended up with a whole bunch of frequent flier miles for my show of love.”
INTERVIEWER :Is it tougher doing love scenes, than it was doing an action sequence?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“It depends on the film. For in instance, in Love and Other Drugs, there were a few times I felt a little uncomfortable, mainly during the shots when I wasn’t wearing anything — I mean, nothing. (laughs) But, most of time, I was wearing sweat pants. In that case, the action in Source Code was probably tougher than a than the scene I did with Anne.”
INTERVIEWER :Love and Other Drugs basically asks the question if two friends can be lovers without falling in love. Do you think it’s possible?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Can friendship survive sex without feelings getting involved? I don’t know if that’s possible. I wouldn’t know? I haven’t been fortunate enough to try one of those relationships out. (laughs) You know, I really think that whomever you’re with as a partner does need to be your friend, too. All the really successful, happy relationships I know of feature two people who are together as friends, too. I don’t know if sex always has to have feelings, but friendship always does. If you’re friends you will have feelings of some sort.”
INTERVIEWER :One of your most recent films, Brothers, had a war theme to it, and as country we were still sending more men to die in Afghanistan. Did it affect your performance in the Source Code? How do you feel about the war, in general?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Well, do you want to talk about the movie, or do you want to talk about current politics? Because I hate hearing actors talk about politics! But if you want to hear me talk about politics, then we can have that discussion.”
INTERVIEWER :Yes, I’d like to know how you feel about both.
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Well, to be honest, because I haven’t been, before this moment — to be clear! I would like to say that I think there’s a tendency for journalists to want to corner a movie like this into a certain…corner! And in this movie, it’s hard to separate the soldier, from the life that soldier lives, you know? Like if you see a man in uniform, then the movie is about war, And the movie is about a man getting to get back to the things he loves, in my opinion. I’ve made movies about war. So I feel like I can say that. And I’ve answered many, many questions about that before, you know? And how do I feel about what’s happening? I still have great faith in our president. And I believe that he’ll make the right choices. Look, it’s complicated. We are human beings. And soldiers are human beings. They have lives. And for me, I didn’t approach it like that. Because I didn’t play that part. I played a guy who’s in jail at the beginning of the movie. And to me, that’s an interesting aspect, politically. Which is actually a domestic issue. And I didn’t know that much about it, until I did research for the movie. I went to jails all around California, and juvenile halls. And I got involved in a writing program, as a result of doing research for this movie, with these young juveniles who write. I have relationships with some of them, and some of them have actually gone on to serve life sentences in some cases, And all of them, strangely, regardless of what has happened to them and their fate, are incredible kids. And to me, that’s also an important aspect of this movie. That here’s this guy who comes out of jail after he holds up a bank. And then he ultimately turns his life around. To care for two children, and to love, you know? And so it is with the thing about war, is that it outshines everything else. But to meet these kids that were in this system, where it seems impossible to redeem themselves — my life changed, making this movie, Because of that, because of meeting those kids.”
INTERVIEWER :How did your time doing research in the prison system change your feelings, in terms of the research for the acting?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“I mean, you make movies, and so much is about this process now. You know, selling a movie. Or making it look good for an audience, or whatever. And the special moments that happen in movies, are the lessons that every movie has. Like for everybody involved in it. And I went through a journey in the prison system. But look, I don’t know how it can’t change your life when you meet a kid, who the day before was sentenced to life. And whose girlfriend had to testify against him. So I don’t know how you could be breathing, and not have something like that change your life. Like they get one hour outside a week, and they’re fourteen years old. It’s now changed to an hour a day, but it was an hour a week when I got there. That is not to say that they’ve done perfect things. But it is to say that it can’t not change my life. And another kid with the LA Conservation Corps started telling us all these stories, And they were unreal. To me. Like hiding meth in the back of a lamp of a four wheel drive vehicle, driving over the border. And he was sixteen years old. And he told these stories like he was Homer. They were literally like tales. But he’s changed his life. He’s actually working now in the governor’s office in Sacramento. So it’s those things. It’s like you look at a movie and go, yeah. It’s a movie. But that’s the stuff that I care about. So anyway. that’s all!”
INTERVIEWER :Did the CGI effects for the Source Code often keep you on the set for long periods of times?
Jake Gyllenhaal :“Not at all. What really was exciting about doing the special effect scenes was that a lot of the times the day is set aside for you, alone or for just Vera. So, that would allow Duncan to shoot more than one scene. And, sometimes, I could shoot more than one scene than one. So, I have no complaints about the GCI.