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Jake Gyllenhaal Explains His Move to the Dark Side and Reason for His 'Prisoners' Twitch at Awards Lunch

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire November 25, 2013 at 8:55AM

Sporting a bandaged left hand following an injury on the set of the upcoming crime thriller "Nightcrawler," Jake Gyllenhaal was all smiles as he charmed guests at Warner Bros.' luncheon in honor of their potential Oscar-contender "Prisoners" last Friday in New York.
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Prisoners

Sporting a bandaged left hand following an injury on the set of the upcoming crime thriller "Nightcrawler," Jake Gyllenhaal was all smiles as he charmed guests at Warner Bros.' luncheon in honor of their potential Oscar-contender "Prisoners" last Friday in New York.

The film, which opened back in September, drew great acclaim for the actor, who as of late has been favoring violent character studies over broad studio fare like "Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time" and "Love & Other Drugs." His latest marks another intense turn following "End of Watch" and "Enemy" (also directed by "Prisoners" helmer Denis Villeneuve), which was shot prior to "Prisoners" but opens early next year via A24.

"More and more -- this is going to sound really lofty -- but I really just put it out to the universe," Gyllenhaal told Indiewire of why he's been attracted to darker fare as of late.

Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Terrence Howard in 'Prisoners'
Warner Bros. Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Terrence Howard in 'Prisoners'

"Things come to you and I really do believe that they do come to you for a reason. It’s not just the project but it’s the people behind it and who they are. If you get back good reasons for why they want to make it, then it’s always fascinating. That’s kind of what’s driving my choices at this point. What are the reasons they are making these thing? Even more so than the material itself."

In "Prisoners," Gyllenhaal plays a perpetually haunted detective trying his damnedest to locate the whereabouts of two young missing girls. For a film riddled with mysteries that are solved over the course of its two-hour plus running time, "Prisoners" doesn't attempt to explain the reason why Gyllenhaal's Detective Loki is prone to eye twitching when stressed.

"Sometimes I’ll be reading a script and I’ll hold myself in a different way while reading it," Gyllenhaal explained to Indiewire. "I picture a certain thing. Sometimes a director is a huge influence, just the way they move. But the twitch was this idea that... first of all, Loki was asking so many questions. The hardest thing for me as an actor is to ask questions. It always implies some sort out of overload somewhere else; you have to multitask. As a detective, you have to hold the mind of a psycho killer, the mind of a father who just had his father abducted etc.I just had a feeling of what would someone do if they were overloaded."

This article is related to: Awards, Jake Gyllenhaal, Prisoners, Denis Villeneuve, Enemy, Interviews, Awards Season Roundup





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