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Jake Gyllenhaal Talks Film Roles, Getting Slugged in ‘Southpaw’

Jake Gyllenhaal Talks Film Roles, Getting Slugged in ‘Southpaw’
Mark Seliger

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal will put his celebrated physical body on the line for a good role. 

Details magazine interviewed the blue-eyed star to find out about his recent injury on the set of the upcoming boxing flick “Southpaw."

“I got hit pretty hard in the face. All the producers ran [over]. I don’t think out of real worry for me, but just the fact that we were only two weeks into shooting. There is something jarring about being hit in the face. I don’t know how to explain it. It wakes me up.”

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[Photo credit: Mark Seliger]

In “Southpaw," he plays an angry boxer having to deal with life breaking up around him. The perfect challenge for a dedicated actor.

Director Antoine Fuqua had to fight for Gyllenhaal to be given the lead role. “I said, ‘I’m a hundred percent sure. This guy is special.’ When I told Jake to go train, it wasn’t that he was an amazing boxer. He just has desire to do it. He got gutted out. I said, ‘This guy’s got fire in him.’ People just didn’t see it. They’re starting to see it now. Jake is coming out of his shell as a man.”

“Southpaw” co-star Rachel McAdams could see Jake’s fire as well.

“He was fighting more than a champion boxer would. He was going hundreds of rounds a day to get the shot, day after day. They were always playing hardball — there was never any letting up. I was very worried for him, but I knew he had it under control.” 

Gyllenhaal, 34, pulls no punches when it comes to his film choices. He is known for a wide variety of characters, having portrayed everything from a gay cowboy (“Brokeback Mountain") to a confused detective (“Prisoners”) to an insane man making a mark in journalism (“Nightcrawler”). 

“There’s a period of time in your life, in your twenties, when you’re listening to a lot of other people’s opinions. You’re not sure about what you believe in, and you’re moving in a direction that you feel like looks right to other people. And then you think, Wait, what do feel? What do want? What moves me? It’s not always so pure and clear. It’s not like I have my agent on one shoulder and my pure artist on the other.”

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[Photo credit: Mark Seliger]

Don’t miss the rest of Jake Gyllenhaal’s interview in the August issue of Details. 

“Southpaw” hits theaters July 23.

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