Jake Gyllenhaal on his boxer body: ‘I’m fascinated with what it is to be a man’

Jake Gyllenhaal

Everyone’s already seen this photo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Eminem at the Southpaw premiere, but it still makes me giddy. Eminem doesn’t get excited about anything at all, which is hilarious. Em was originally supposed to star in this movie, back in the day, as a sort-of sequel to 8 Mile. It didn’t happen, so he did soundtrack work instead. Em’s music isn’t hitting for me lately like it used to do. The new songs sound staccato with no flow.

In Jake’s recent Details interview, he acted like he was above talking about his Oscar body (after he already talked about it). He must have changed his mind because now he’s talking again. To get into welterweight shape, Jake did two sets of 1,000 press-ups daily. He also ran 5 miles a day and boxed for several hours, many times per week:

Gyllenhaal puts it this way: “I was just terrified that I would look like an idiot in the ring. I didn’t know how to box when I started. I had five months to learn, and I know that it takes me a long time to learn a skill, and also to come across like I’ve been doing it since I was six years old.

“Therefore, I decided to train twice a day so it would give me an advantage, and it would seem like 10 months of training. It’s difficult for me to use words like hard or miserable when I’m talking about a movie where really I feel grateful for the opportunity.”

[From The Independent]

Jake was so tired after the last day of filming that he slept for 14 hours straight. Ah, that’s nothing. (I seem to do it every Saturday night.) Jake also spoke with the Belfast Telegraph about how he had “no interest” in using a stunt double for his fights: “I trained for as long as I did so that I could actually fight.” How badly does he want that Oscar?

Jake wants it all: “Believe me, I take acting seriously, I take it more seriously than … I take it very seriously, let’s just say that. I do also recognise that it is absurd.”

Why he gains and loses weight for roles: “Does the arrow draw forth the target or vice versa?” He ponders in silence. “Well, I’ve realised I’m fascinated with what it is to be a man. And as a man, physicality is important. I’ve gone on searches …” He sees me squinting uncertainly. “I mean, pushing myself to the limit. With Nightcrawler, I was searching for a physical, chemical state that would come from depriving myself. I was interested in what that would bring out. It wasn’t about losing weight. It was about what happens with a certain kind of deprivation.”

[From The Guardian]

Does the arrow draw forth the target or vice versa?” Jake doesn’t quite rise to the heights of talking about magical water and the moon’s pull here, but he’s getting a little spacey. That’s fine. I enjoy those types of interviews. They’re a lot more fun than a too-serious actor talking about his “craft.”

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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60 Responses to “Jake Gyllenhaal on his boxer body: ‘I’m fascinated with what it is to be a man’”

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  1. Mia4S says:

    Was Jake always this insufferable or was I just not paying attention? I think I’ll go back to not paying attention.

    Let me translate his recent interviews; Pllllleeeassseeee give me an Oscar! Plllleeassse!! I didn’t become a blockbuster star and I knew to stop trying so pllleeaaassee!!!

    • blue marie says:

      Nailed it! He’s a good actor but dude, stop sniffing your own farts.

    • Christo says:

      Since Jake is in Belfast, perhaps both he and Kit Harrington can hang out, share a few smokes, and drink a few pints while bemoaning the objectification of their bodies.

    • meme says:

      Ugh. I can’t with Jakey Poo. I don’t think he’s a great actor or that he’s good looking either. Him and his sister are so pretentious.

    • laura in LA says:

      “Believe me, I take acting seriously, I take it more seriously than…I take it very seriously, let’s just say that.”

      But does he take it seriously? Because I’m not getting that from all the overly serious-looking photos, comments and interviews. Or maybe he just takes himself too seriously…

      It’s like he wants an Oscar so badly, if he clenches his fist and sphincter tight enough, he could almost sh*t one out.

    • LA Juice says:

      See, I listened to his NPR interview where much of this was re-hashed, an I found him to be far more charming, likable, sincere and thoughtful about the role than these written interview effect.

      He’s very likable, don’t give up!

  2. LB says:

    He’s slowly become one of my favorite (and most reliable) actors, with the choices he’s been making the last few years. It’s almost enough to make me forget that he pursued Taylor Swift lol. He seems like someone who comes off better live, though, instead of in print interviews. I saw him on the Daily Show and Jimmy Fallon this week – he doesn’t take it too seriously.

    This movie looks cliched but the reviews are indicating that Jake is amazing in it so I’ll give it a try.

    • Beth No. 2 says:

      I am getting to like him a lot too. I thought he was excellent in Nightcrawler (and criminally robbed of an Oscar nomination) and very good in Enemy. He has chosen some interesting roles the past few years. Unfortunately I don’t think he’d get much awards traction with Southpaw since the reviews have been lacklustre (although he himself got good ink), but I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

    • Alex says:

      I was at the premiere and Jake is amazing in it. He carries the bulk of the movie with his performance…save it from being another boring cliche

    • Kitten says:

      I don’t get how people can hate this guy. He’s super-talented and has a shitload of self-awareness, which already puts him shoulders above the average actor. He is the consummate professional who takes his job very seriously but off-screen he can still make fun of himself. If you’ve ever seen him in an interview, he is the OPPOSITE of pretentious–he doesn’t take himself seriously at all. He comes across as a very sincere and likable guy to me.

      I know I’m gushing but I love Jakey and I get the sadz when people give him shit.

      • Lori says:

        ^^^ I find I rewatch his movies often. He makes great choices.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Nuh uh. You don’t love Jakey more than me. I’ve got a forever soft spot for him. 😉 But I’m feeling generous so we can share.

  3. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    I don’t enjoy reading his interviews lately – something happened and he got way too serious, but I like that he acknowledges how the way he treats acting so seriously is absurd. And that he won’t use words like hard and miserable and talks about great opportunity instead – everyone gets a point in my book for that. But that how to be a man talk is wrong on so many levels…

    • Tristan says:

      For heavens sake, he’s an actor!!!!!! What do you expect? The primary job requirements for an actor are to be totally self absorbed & self indulgent. With few notable exceptions, like Angelina Jolie, most actors talk nothing but nonesense most of the time. That’s why sites like this exist. It gives us mere mortals the opportunity to take them down a peg or two, as consolation for all the unbelievable perks that go with fame. Very few of them are exactly David Attenborough, so enjoy celebrity interviews for what they are. Them selling a product & us buying, but also laughing at them

      • Tiffany :) says:

        At the same time though, he’s an actor doing an interview about a movie he’s in. Is he not supposed to talk about the acting part? Do we really prefer when people aren’t passionate about what they’re doing? It’d would be like expecting LeBron to not talk about the minutiae of the plays when he’s interviewed after a game. Him talking about his performance in the film is what the interview is for.

    • Franca says:

      I think it’s one thing to think acting is the most important and difficult job in the world, which is the vibe I get from some actors, but he’s not doing that. He’s taking his job seriously, as is should be. I find people like Mila Kunis who don’t take it seriously yet take all the perks much more annoying,

      • Norman Bates' Mother says:

        I get your point and I agree that everyone should take their job seriously, but when actors get too method and start talking about how they sacrifice their entire life for a role (like how he broke up with his girlfriend and risked his health for this role), it becomes too much. He has talent – he is capable of making a great movie without all this. But I appreciate that he loves his job and doesn’t complain about it. I’m Jake’s fan since the Donnie Darko years and when I say that I don’t enjoy his interviews lately, I mean that I used to enjoy them before and I was a really big fan not only of his acting (which I still am) but also him as a person. He was always a pleasure to listen or read, not some dum-dum without two cells rubbing together, and he was always genuinely funny. I liked the fun Jake more than “Christian Bale”-Jake – it’s simply a personal preference. I believe he changed his approach to interviews just because he wants that Oscar very badly – he never campaigned with his previous roles and the Academy ignored him. He even talked about Heath in his new radio interview – I appreciated that he didn’t do it before.

  4. Fori says:

    Good for him, he’s admirably dedicated. There’s someone so unappealing about him though. Also I hate the terrorist chic bearded look that every hipster is sporting nowadays. What is up with that? It’s like they’re trying to turn women off.

    • Valois says:

      I love beards. Makes everyone much more attractive in a second 😀

      • Fori says:

        You benefit then 🙂 the only person who l think looks hot with a beard is Tom Hardy, he just looks good in anything.

      • BeBeA says:

        I love beards too but his ….. not so much . I like a Colin Farrell ,Keanu Reeves , Tom Hardy , Hugh Jackman beard and everything else lol.

      • meme says:

        @Fori…Charlie Hunnam looks HOT with a beard…mega hotness!

      • Kitten says:

        Agree with you about the unfortunate beard. IMO, we reached Peak Beard two years ago.


        -Team 5 O’clock Shadow

    • Joan says:

      Jake was on the Tonight Show a couple of nights ago and stated that the beard was for a role. 🙂
      (Jimmy jokingly gave him an extensible fork with which to scratch himself!!)

  5. Kiddo says:

    I’m the opposite, I’m liking him more and more with these interviews.

  6. G0tch4 says:

    Ugh. I miss Jarhead Jake.

  7. MrsBPitt says:

    I like Jake! He seems like a nice guy, a little wierd, but nice. I think his acting skills have gotten better and better. I loved him in Prisoners and NIghtcrawler, and he is getting rave reviews for his work in Southpaw! I would love for him to win an Oscar!

  8. Hestia says:

    I totally read that as “I’m fascinated with what it is to be *with* a man”…

  9. Arlene says:

    I rather admire a person who takes their job( any job) seriously and is happy to talk about how much effort they put into it. He was tremendous in Nightcrawler, and I look forward to Southpaw.

  10. Belle Epoch says:

    Ick. Can’t even look at his Picasso face. Can’t stand his “I’m so deep” expression. Grossed out by his beard. I think he is hiding something. Oh well – hot for some, not for others!

  11. Maya says:

    So being a man is all about how they take care of their bodies????

    I never had any problems with Jake in the past but man he is getting on my nerves these days. He is aiming for that Oscar and taking Matthew M route to try and get it.

    • Artemis says:

      No about pushing yourself physically and discovering things about yourself in the process.

      Matthew is a personality, he’s Matthew in every film he does. His Dallas Buyer Club film was an exception in a way and the Academy ate it up. Jake is able to truly transform himself and not rely on ‘being Jake’ in a role. He’s probably the most diverse and believable actor out there because he isn’t afraid to take chances. What I also like is that his co-stars (famous or not) are equally good, there is harmony in how the actors work together.

      • Maya says:

        Oh got it – thanks for clarifying.

        What I meant by the Matthew route is the way he focused on losing weight thing – the I had to suffer physically for this role so I deserve an Oscar.

        Jake is ten times better actor than Matthew and Matthew as you said in one note actor.

      • Bridget says:

        It sounds kind of silly at first glance, but I actually get what he’s saying. I’m a distance runner, and when people ask me why I do it, my answer is this: you learn a lot about yourself when you push yourself farther than you ever thought you could go. Are you someone that quits when things get challenging? Or are you someone that digs deeper even when you thought there was nothing left in you?

        Mathew M’s diet got an Oscar. I can’t believe anyone watched that movie and thought he played anyone other than skinny Mathew M.

      • Kitten says:

        @Bridget-It’s funny you should mention that because my bf and I were talking about running last night and he asked me “how do you run when you’re still sore from class?” (class being barbell weight-training, Tabata, etc) and I told him exactly what you said here. The challenge of pushing yourself through pain and adversity is so empowering, so fulfilling. That’s also the reason why I love running in less-than-ideal conditions: heavy rain, wind, extreme humidity.

        When it gets tough, I think about the everyday challenges that people face–not necessarily physical challenges, but emotional ones. I think about people who have faced hardship and come through to the other side stronger and more self-assured. That always inspires me.

        I hope that didn’t sound too self-satisfied or whatever. It was just my long-winded way of saying that I totally feel you on the running front 🙂

      • Lucrezia says:

        Jake was already making me think of Kipling’s “If”, and you just reinforced that by talking about running.

        If you can fill the unforgiving minute
        With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
        Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
        And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

        (By Kipling’s definition, I am definitely not a Man. I’ll pick up my “Lazy Amoeba” card on the way out.)

      • Bridget says:

        @Kitten: I don’t think it sounds too self-satisfied, and hopefully I don’t sound like a windbag either!

  12. Don't kill me I'm French says:

    I just saw the movie this morning and as the movie is cliche and manipulative as the acting is very very good and credible ( even if I don’t buy Rachel McAdams in her character and if JG seems to yell ” give me an Oscar ! Look my efforts!”)
    I still prefer The Fighter for example (more simple and honest)

  13. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    Boxing is a dying sport. Pass.

  14. Micki says:

    The photo with the car is weird. He looks like a Neandertal with an attitude.

  15. Coco says:

    I don’t think he is aiming for an Oscar, this movie opens tomorrow, the guy just wants people to go see it among all the other competition (Pixels, Paper Towns…) who can blame him. The reviews aren’t very good though, but he is getting raves for his performance. Sadly, by the end of the year none will remember this.

    As for his interviews, he was on Howard Stern Show yesterday and the thing was very funny and entertaining. I can’t believe Howard asked him about Taylor Swift LOL!

  16. bettyrose says:

    I still love him. I can’t help myself. He was unintentionally hilarious on NPR yesterday, with his creamy-sensitive-artist voice.

  17. Who ARE these people? says:

    I like him, but “as a man, physicality is important.” Huh? Physicality is important to everyone. And physicality doesn’t have to mean learning how to throw a punch. Whatever, maybe it’s just me. It’s just that so many movies come down to guys beating each other up, in and out of the boxing ring.

    • Bridget says:

      I just figured different things have different meanings to people. It’s possible that to Jake, part of manhood means using your body and how you relate to your body. Obviously that’s a part of womanhood too, but he’s specifically talking about his own experience.

      And everyone, man or woman, should at least know how to throw a real punch.

  18. Madpoe says:

    “I’m fascinated with what it is like to be a man.”
    Your boudoir or mine, Jake?
    SHOW ME ! I don’t believe you 😉

  19. kri says:

    In Nightcrawler he was so brilliant. He does nothing for me in the hot department, but that’s meaningless, as that’s just my opinion. The arrow thing makes me squint, but actors will talk about acting that way all the time (what’s up BC and Hiddles). It’s just their thing. I’d rather see him get an Oscar than Leo stD.

  20. serenella says:

    Is the cover supposed to be a sexy face? I guess he just doesn’t do it for me, I don’t find him attractive at all.

  21. Nimbolicious says:

    Methinks he’s more fascinated with what it is to f–k a man.

    Closeted or not, though, great actor. “Nightcrawler” was brilliant.

  22. Ms. Lib says:

    Great interview with Terry Gross on NPR Fresh Air.

    JULY 22, 2015
    Jake Gyllenhaal
    In ‘Southpaw,’ Gyllenhaal plays a boxer who grew up in foster care and is struggling to be a father to his daughter. He also discusses ‘Donnie Darko,’ ‘Nightcrawler,’ and working with Heath Ledger.

  23. Jan Harf says:

    His interview on Howard Stern’s show changed my opinion of him. I really think he’s hot and funny and I get it now.

  24. ashley says:

    I love him and his work. He was hilarious on jimmy fallon,I’m looking forward to this movie.

  25. Anare says:

    He always has a haunted expression especially in his eyes. Something that makes a vague uncomfortable look.