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Posted by drics on February 16th, 2019

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Face Death Onstage


Jake Gyllenhaal in “A Life” at the Public Theater.CreditCreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

By Jesse Green

Feb. 14, 2019

Going back to the Greeks, the most powerful tragedies have usually been those in which the outcome could have been averted. Plays like “Oedipus Rex” — or, for that matter, “Hedda Gabler” — show us how human boneheadedness, not fate alone, precipitates woe.

Tragedy is now a different thing, and the beautifully acted double bill that opened on Thursday at the Public Theater, starring Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal, makes a fine sampler of modern-day calamity. In both “Sea Wall,” by Simon Stephens, and “A Life,” by Nick Payne, there is no one to blame when disaster strikes — except perhaps God, who is nowhere to be found.

The problem of God’s whereabouts is in fact the underlying theme of “Sea Wall,” the opening monologue. In it, Mr. Sturridge plays Alex, a 31-year-old photographer whose wobbly life has recently stabilized thanks to a wife he adores and a young daughter he treasures.

For fear of spoilers I must not tell you what specifically befalls him, though it is, in a way, beside the point. We know from the start that something bad is coming and, because we have seen plays before, approximately when. We also have a pretty good idea of who will be involved.

What we don’t know is how. As it turns out, it’s an accident too random to have been prevented; even Alex, trying to pin the responsibility somewhere, cannot bring himself to name names.

The name he really wants is God, which makes the play profound in its concerns if somewhat arbitrary in its plot. Anything horrible would have served the purpose — which is not to minimize the effectiveness of Mr. Stephens’s writing. (It is as tight and characterful here as it was in the wonderful two-hander “Heisenberg” and in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”) The way he lets dread creep into the story like morning light, and grow until it fills the otherwise nearly empty stage, makes this a ripping yarn in more ways than one.


And Mr. Sturridge, whose compulsively watchable work in “Orphans” and “1984” no one called subtle, knows just how simply to pull the threads here. Under the pianissimo direction of Carrie Cracknell, he starts so casually, wandering about in track pants and sneakers, that it’s unclear whether the play has even begun. As he ambles sideways into the story, his naturalism is so convincing that audience members on Tuesday tried to help out when he fumbled for a word. Though the fumble is actually in the script, you’d never have known it.

But as the story spirals toward its climax, Mr. Sturridge grows more expressionistic; what at first seemed like a cameraman’s charming squint, for instance, begins to look like a moral migraine. Indeed, when he explodes in grief — not at the main event but, smartly, off to its side — he offers us the full horror of recognition the Greeks were after. What he recognizes, though, is not the tragedy of pride they prescribed but a tragedy of faith. Why is God most absent when you most need him?

Except as an interjection, God is also absent from the second monologue, “A Life,” in which Mr. Gyllenhaal plays Abe, another loving husband and recent father. But Mr. Payne’s play, an earlier version of which was performed as “The Art of Dying” in 2013, is structured as a competition between two possible tragedies instead of a straightforward retelling of one. At first the options alternate at a leisurely pace, but eventually they flicker so fast they blur.

Despite a shapeless green cardigan and black sweatpants, Mr. Gyllenhaal is unconvincing as a zhlub. Still, he is priceless with pressured dialogue. From a scenario that builds panic artificially, he mines surprisingly genuine humor, and eventually pathos, by focusing on Abe’s avoidance rather than expression of pain. Unable to communicate real feelings directly — he keeps telling us what he should have said as if that counted — he’s like a mouse in a maze of emotions, banging into walls and instantly changing course.

But if “A Life” (not to be confused with Adam Bock’s terrific play of the same name) suggests that failures of communication are the human condition and a source of unhappiness, it does not rise to the level of tragedy, modern or otherwise. What eventually happens, though sad, is common and natural, involving neither gross unfairness nor a meaningful challenge to faith.

It may be that Mr. Payne, who played the role in the 2013 production, was too close to the material to let it go where it needed to. (He has said that the story is somewhat autobiographical.) Still, as he did in “Constellations,” which posited an ever-branching multiverse of outcomes to a basic romantic premise, he finds ingenious ways to let structure compensate for character development. Here, the converging plot shows us just how much stuff — failure and redemption, delusion and emergency — gets funneled into a life, and how little control we have over any of it.

I’m not sure that adds up to much, and it seems to me that Ms. Cracknell, whose pacing and use of the stage are otherwise superbly delicate, may have been compensating for that when she appended a schmaltzy (albeit effective) coda.

But even if “A Life” is a bit of a comedown from “Sea Wall,” the two make smart companions. Certainly they are a model of showbiz synergy; the two actors are currently appearing together in the Netflix movie “Velvet Buzzsaw,” and Mr. Gyllenhaal previously starred in “Constellations” on Broadway.

The monologues also speak to each other. Though they were written independently — “Sea Wall” originated at the Bush Theater in London in 2008 — the Public’s production, marking the New York premiere of the combo platter, makes it seem as if they were designed to be bookends. Certainly the performances give you plenty to ponder in showing how we now read life, with or without fate, as everyone’s tragedy.



Public Theater – Newman Theater
425 Lafayette St.E. Village



Credits: “Sea Wall” written by Simon Stephens; “A Life” written by Nick Payne; Directed by Carrie Cracknell

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge

Preview: Jan. 31, 2019

Opened: Feb. 13, 2019

Closing: March 30, 2019

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Posted by admin on December 6th, 2018

by Kirsten Howard for Den of Geek

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that Jake Gyllenhaal will be playing villain Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio in Marvel’s summer 2019 outing, Spider-Man: Far From Home. The actor has been spotted on location in full Mysterio costume, but he’s been reticent to confirm his involvement publicly…until this week.

Posting a reaction video on Instagram where he finds out that he is not in fact playing the role of Spider-Man in Far From Home, Gyllenhaal finally had time for a tongue-in-cheek moment to reveal his part in the forthcoming superhero flick.

Here he is, reading a Mysterio-heavy copy of Amazing Spider-Man #311…

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I just realized I’m not playing Spider-Man.

A post shared by Jake Gyllenhaal (@jakegyllenhaal) on

We’ll next see Gyllenhaal in Velvet Buzzsaw, where he’ll be reuniting with Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy, and he’s about to start work on the Steven Knight-written Rio, where he’ll appear alongside the MCU’s Sorcerer Supreme, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, Zendaya Coleman, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson and, yes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Spider-Man: Far From Home will be released on 5th July, 2019.

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Posted by admin on August 29th, 2018

In the Sisters Brothers, the new film by Jacques Audiard, Jake Gyllenhaal, 37, embodies a form of resistance in Hollywood. Conscious and determined, he talks about his vision of cinema, his commitment to the status of women, Trump’s policy. And even his love for musicals (nobody is perfect).

by Charlotte Oberti for GQ France

He declares himself “sensitive and vulnerable”; he produces films made by women; he is a star capable of criticizing Hollywood’s superficiality; he is cultivated, kind and thinks to be a little French somewhere. Moreover, he is the ambassador of the Cartier House (for the Santos watch) and will be in September with the poster of Jacques Audiard’s first American film, Les Frères Sisters.. Always the right shirt, the big fat sweater, the fresh smile and the cute little puppy look … It’s perfect, this Jake Gyllenhaal? GQ met him for a long time in a studio in Greenwich Village, New York, before catching him on the phone from London where he is shooting. Casual and frankly talkative for an actor of his caliber, Jake Gyllenhaal, 37, gives off a form of wisdom that gives it a relief not so common. He is interested in everything, music, literature, politics … But also, and above all, he intends to invest in the mid-term elections in November, to oppose the policy of Donald Trump . Perfect ? No, but not far.

GQ: Is it good to live far from Hollywood?
JG: I do not really know, actually. When I left Los Angeles, I just wanted to get away from this place. I live near my mother, who lives in New York, and I often visit my father (director Stephen Gyllenhaal, ed), who is still in Los Angeles. Now, when I go back, I really appreciate. I fell in love with the light, the silence and the space of this city.

How is it growing up in Los Angeles?
I have wonderful childhood memories, and others less. I had passages, during my career, where I was disenchanted by the Hollywood system. There are things that bother me.

What for example ?
The superficiality. Many people play a role. They think that’s what is expected of them, and I was probably a bit like that too. It made me sad. It was hard for me to be part of that. But there are also aspects that I love in this business. In fact, I am divided on the issue. I have two opinions. It is not for nothing that I am often offered dummy roles with double personalities, I think I am a bit like that (laughs).

Today you have a healthier relationship with Hollywood?
Sometimes in life, we have easy judgment. Now I see things differently. As I got older, I learned to understand the system, to accept it and to appreciate it as well. What I see especially now is a community of people struggling to make movies and, sometimes awkwardly, to express something. When I was in my twenties, I thought I was more special than I think today.

You have won enmodestie?
Oh no ! (laughs) But when you’re 20, you want to prove a lot. It was my case. Not anymore. I care less about all that. You know, I started working in cinema when I was very young, at 11 years old. It took me a long time to understand that privacy was more important than work. I will quote Jay-Z: “Iusedtogiveashit, nowIgive a shit less” (“Before, I had something to fuck, now less.”) I just want to be with people I love, it’s so simple only that.

You turn in Jacques Audiard’s latest film, Les Frères Sisters. It’s a director you like …
Yes, he’s one of my favorite live directors. I love all his movies. I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to work with him. In my family, we have a motto: “Relatives and privacy go before work, unless Jacques Audiard calls. ”

And so Jacques Audiard called you?
I ended up getting a phone call, yes. As soon as I knew he was working on the film adaptation of the book Les Frères Sisters, I sent him an email. We did not really know each other but I managed to get my hands on his address and I wrote to him: “I love this book. I would love to work with you. If there is any role to play in your film, I hope you will think of me. He never answered.

But no !
At the time, I thought I must have bothered him. Then I saw him at a luncheon in Los Angeles a year later. It was a normal lunch and he did not talk about the movie. It was only a year and a half after that I received a proposal for a role.

Find the full article in GQ on newsstands Wednesday 29 September.

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Posted by admin on June 27th, 2018

We Got This Covered – It’s official: Tom Holland is terrible at keeping secrets.

The Marvel favorite has been a fixture of the MCU ever since his unforgettable debut in Captain America: Civil War, though it’s fair to say that Tom Holland, what with his boundless energy and social media presence, has become something of a liability for Marvel Studios.

It’s all fun and games, of course, but it seems Holland has already ‘spoiled’ the title of Marvel’s Homecomingsequel. It’ll seemingly release as Spider-Man: Far From Home come 2019, and when it does, it’ll pit our friendly neighborhood Web-Head against Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, the classic Marvel villain known for his illusions and trickery, which push Parker’s spider-sense into overtime.

Or at least, that’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, who have now confirmed that Gyllenhaal has closed his deal to play Mysterio, with Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers on script duties.

He won’t be the only antagonist for Spider-Man to contend with, of course, given that it’s been revealed that Spider-Man: Far From Home will also herald the return of Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes – the crooked construction work better known as the Vulture. His return has prompted rumors of a full-blown Sinister Six storyline being incorporated into the Jon Watts-directed sequel, though we’ll have to wait until the film opens big next summer before we have official confirmation of that potential team-up.

One thing’s for sure, though: after years spent flirting with the genre, along with Matt Reeves’ in-development Batman movie, Gyllenhaal is ready to break his superhero duck. And we’re fascinated to see how he takes to the complex, morally ambiguous role of Quentin Beck.

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into your local theater on July 5th, 2019. Its mission? To successfully launch the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a post-Avengers 4 world. So, you know, no pressure…

Source: THR

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Posted by admin on May 25th, 2018

Star2 – Integrity, dedication and boundless curiosity – Jake Gyllenhaal is said to embody all those qualities as the new face of the Santos de Cartier timepiece. And rightly so, for the man indeed has a pioneering spirit.

Gyllenhaal is regarded as one of the most adventurous actors of his generation. His roles span a wide spectrum: from troubled teenager in 2001 cult hit Donnie Darko to Brokeback Mountain’s conflicted, repressed sheep herder.

According to him, the latter remains as a favourite. Speaking to Star2.com via email, the 37-year-old says that the fearlessness of the film’s two characters was a lesson for everyone, especially when it came out in 2005.

While Gyllenhaal received an Oscar nomination and won a Bafta for Brokeback Mountain, he also looks fondly on his more recent work – a 2017 biographical drama of a man who loses his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing.

“I think of Jeff Bauman, who I played in Stronger. I admire him because of his inexplicable strength and his sense of humour in the face of enormous tragedy,” Gyllenhaal states.

With his production company Nine Stories, he is on the way to becoming a filmmaker of note as well – from sourcing material to developing it from the ground up and collaborating with bold storytellers.

Regarding the foray into directing, Gyllenhaal points out that he sees it as merely a natural progression to growing up, and not at all – as some would assume – a move forward from acting.

“I think it takes maturity and a knowledge of oneself to be able to actually tell a story, to be at the helm of a project. I believe it takes a while to cultivate the ability to actually direct a film, so it feels like the natural movement as a human, for me, not as an actor.”

His other notable works include 2014’s Nightcrawler, which he also produced. Playing an investigative crime journalist who will stop at nothing to get the story, he received a Bafta, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics’ Choice and Independent Spirit Award nomination for it.

Within that same year, Gyllenhaal made his Broadway debut in Constellations and musical theatre debut in Little Shop Of Horrors. It was his first stage performance since 2002, when he starred in the revival of This Is Our Youth on London’s West End.

So how does he juggle it all? Gyllenhaal is constantly surrounded by the people who really matter. His family and friends are the ones who have played a big role in keeping him from careening off course.

“I always spend time with them, doing what they do, and that helps me pace myself. You can get overwhelmed by the work that you do and consumed with it, but when you look outward, like my mom would say, it’s like taking a breath,” he explains.

Timely Parnership

When it comes to his role as the latest watch ambassador for Cartier, Gyllenhaal says that it began when the luxury brand approached him and communicated the idea of creating an advertisement to convey a “bold and fearless” message.

“They were looking for someone who they believe personified those qualities in their spirit and in their work. They knew that I was someone who loved the process of artistic collaboration … and so the journey began.

“Moreover, when we first spoke about the Santos watch, the ways in which it was invented, how it was created out of a great collaboration, it all seemed kismet,” Gyllenhaal relates.

The Santos de Cartier timepiece is reportedly the first purpose-­made wristwatch, designed by Louis Cartier for his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian adventurer who mastered, unaided, heavier-than-air powered flight in 1906.

It originally went on sale in 1911 and has remained a mainstay of Cartier’s watches. Receiving a bold update in the late 1970s, the design is seen as perennially innovative – in face of changing times.

Gyllenhaal however, would like to think of it as a celebration of two great minds coming together. The watch, he notes, represents the spirit of mutual respect between Cartier and Santos-Dumont.

“The Santos is a collaboration of art and science really, a collaboration of form and function. I think we can have an inspired idea about something, but I think in order for it to last, it has to be built on something solid, a foundation that can be proven, a solvable equation.”

Retaining its original square shape, this year’s model pays homage to classical Parisian geometry, while the screws, visible along the bezel and metal strap links, acknowledge the imposing steel structures of the period.

As it is, Gyllenhaal believes that watches will always remain as an essential accessory. He says men don’t generally have a lot options when it comes to expressing themselves fashion-wise.

“I also think that there’s something about the watch that represents being a grown up. When you see a man with a watch, I think it immediately projects a sense of maturity, particularly a watch that’s crafted like the Santos,” he enthuses.

As Cartier’s newly appointed face, Gyllenhaal also stars in a short film highlighting Santos-Dumont’s intrepid, thrill-seeking legacy. Told in 60 seconds, it captures the excitement of adventure and the historic, almost mystical pursuit of take-off.

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