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First Look: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Ripped In Boxing Pic ‘Southpaw’

First Look: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Ripped In Boxing Pic ‘Southpaw’

Welcome to the The Gyllenaissance. As we documented in our feature 5 Recent Roles That Have Re-Established Jake Gyllenhaal’s Career, the young actor has been blazing a path of late of complex roles in equally complex films. “End Of Watch,” “Prisoners,” “Enemy,” and this fall’s “Nightcrawler” couldn’t be more different from each other, with Gyllenhaal flexing exciting new acting muscles each time out. And now he’s going to flex some actual muscle for his next flick.

From the gaunt, scarecrow frame of his current turn in “Nightcrawler,” Gyllenhaal has bulked up considerably for his role in the boxing flick “Southpaw,” as this first look reveals. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, and co-starring Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, and more, the story chronicles the rise of a lefty welterweight all the way to a championship title as he battles various tragedies in his personal life, and wins back the love of his daughter. And once again, the actor has throw himself heartily into the role.

“Jake is going to change how people see him. I had him training twice a day in the boxing ring, he did two-a-days seven days a week,” Fuqua told Deadline. And that commitment came with a cost.

“I asked this guy from day one, ‘I need you in the gym every day. I need you to train every day.’ And I said, ‘The word is sacrifice.’ Literally. I think he broke up with his girlfriend because he was just in the gym every day,” Fuqua explained. “He was training like a fighter. I had him sparring, really getting hit. I put him in situations where I wanted to see what he was made of. No one but fighters understand the sacrifice it takes to be a fighter.”

No word yet on a release date, but we expect to see Gyllenhaal get in the ring next year. 

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