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Jake Gyllenhaal
Love & Other Drugs
Press Day
Waldorf Astoria
November 6, 2010

Written by H B Forman

Love & Other Drugs
Opens November 24, 2010


“True Gentleman Jake Gyllenhaal”

Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in Love & Other Drugs

Walking into the room to meet Jake Gyllenhaal this writer slipped and fell and was completely and utterly embarrassed, not knowing how he would react to this faux pas.

After apologizing and waiting for a zingy retort of some sort, Jake showed this he is a throw back to a golden era – a true gentleman.

So one could say when it comes to Gyllenhaal, who turns 30 on December 19, chivalry is definitely not dead. And neither is a modern twist on old-fashioned romance in his latest movie, Love & Other Drugs, a holiday treat from Twentieth Century Fox, opened on November 24.

His latest film is an unconventional love story is about a self-centered pharmaceutical rep, whose charm and relentlessness have served him well at work and with women…until he meets his match in Maggie, (Anne Hathaway) an alluring free spirit, who won’t let anything, including her serious medical condition (early-onset Parkinson’s Disease) tie her down.

The romantic comedy explores the nature of love and sex; how sex/lust evolves into love, and the ways people try to figure it all out.

The film’s director, Ed Zwick, says that as Jamie, Jake Gyllenhaal, “is not just romantic, interesting and charming, he’s enormously funny. Jake’s sense of humor is nothing new to those who’ve known him socially, but up to now we’ve never quite had the opportunity to see that on film. He has a great leading man quality and is extraordinarily at ease, and that comes of maturity and experience. His work in this film allows us to witness a young actor becoming a leading man, and that’s very exciting for a filmmaker and an audience.”

Jake Gyllenhaal is not only a great-looking guy, but he is a busy one, too. He has been tickling the toes of his niece (sister Maggie’s young daughter Ramona), traveling around and working and playing hard.

He made his film debut at age 11 in City Slickers, playing Billy Crystal’s son and established himself as an up-and-coming young actor in October Sky.

Jake is best known for his acting roles in Donnie Darko, The Good Girl, and Brokeback Mountain, his award-winning turn as a gay cowboy opposite Heath Ledger, and most recently in Brothers, opposite Tobey McGuire.

During a recent chat on a chilly fall day on Manhattan, a thoughtful, friendly and very funny Gyllenhaal, gets animated when he talks about his passion for his new movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal: Are you okay?” he said after my awkward stumble into the room.

H B Forman: I’m fine. And I am soooo sorry.

Jake Gyllenhaal: "Here you are apologizing. You should be ashamed of yourself,” Jake joked, taking the attention off of me feeling like a fool, and making me feel like he truly cared.

H B Forman: How do you feel about the theme in the movie of unconditional love?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Well it's funny, a lot of people have said to me before they knew what the story was about, ultimately they would be like, ‘oh no, is he going to lose her in the end.’ And once they've seen it, there's a sense more that they know there's something impending.

But ultimately what I think is beautiful about it, is that there are people who have full lives, and don't live long. And then there are people who live long, and don't. And I think what's important, is to live a full life no matter what, you know? And that's what these two people decide to do. And I think there's something unconditional about that. And also, that's something that life should be about.

H B Forman: What is your take on finding true love?

Jake Gyllenhaal: I feel that the thing about this movie; is that the stakes are high from the beginning. And when we're healthy and together, or we think we are, I think we don't always look at the stakes as being as high as they are all the time, you know?

And they always are. And it's nice that this is about, somehow the story makes it clear, particularly to a young generation I hope, that the stakes are always high in love. And it happened to be premature for these people.

But when you do love someone I think, you have to think about those things early. And hope for the best, whatever that is.

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal in Love & Other Drugs

H B Forman: What do you look for in a woman?

Jake Gyllenhaal: What do I appreciate in a woman? Obviously, there has to be an unknown chemistry that I couldn't really explain to you. And that probably has something to do with just something inherent in the way I was brought up.

H B Forman: Anything else?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Sure, there's intelligence, and sense of humor. And I do have to admit there are times when I do like an audience to appreciate my jokes! So a little bit of that is also not bad.

H B Forman: How do you see the movie Love & Other Drugs?

Jake Gyllenhaal: It’s a comedy and a love story about two people who are running away from the same things: intimacy, connection, and caring. These are some of the most difficult things you can ask of another human being. But the movie is first and foremost a comedy; that’s what we were trying to bring out in almost every scene.

H B Forman: You and Anne Hathaway are naked in this movie, and on the poster? Any thoughts on that?

Jake Gyllenhaal: We've been looking for a movie to do naked for a very long time now. Yeah, when I read that love scene I thought, this is the only reason I want to do this film! I mean, the writing, whatever, so-so. The comedy, the love story -- so-so. But the nudity was really what got us! Yeah. And ultimately the most moving part of the movie, I think! Yeah. And the heart of the film! [he joked]

H B Forman: Talk about your vulnerability as a character in this love story.

Jake Gyllenhaal: I've been vulnerable pretty much since the day I was born. No! Um...She's [Anne’s] working on it, and I'm trying to pull back! But that last scene we have together, we're both pretty vulnerable. Maybe, too vulnerable. Sorry, we'll work it out!

H B Forman: Did working with Anne in a previous intense movie help this film experience?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Yes, in a way, I think it made it easier. I mean, the nature of having had that experience together in Brokeback Mountain. And not only the response of audiences to it, but us having gone through the journey of making the movie. And I think that brought us very close. It was a very tight knit group, and it remains so to this day. And then taking this to another level, we worked on the movie for months. But it was our love story in this movie.

H B Forman: Why do you want to portray this role?

Jake Gyllenhaal: I think that the moment I read the first 10 pages of the script I was just like, that was it. And then I got to the end - the middle was okay! But then I got to the end and I was crying, you know? From the moment I read it. Because for me, it was like [the writer-director] Ed Zwick wrote this for me. And he didn't know, you know?

H B Forman: What else do you recall?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Well, I say that with confidence today, because I just knew it. I knew it in my heart. And that very rarely happens. I think it's a rare thing when an actor can say yes, that's it. And that's what happened. And what drew me to it to me too, was just how full of shit he was. And how he was performing, and yet there was something else going on that he was hiding from. And then this incredible woman comes into his life, and loves him for all the things that he is, and is not. And he loves her for those too. But I think his journey is a harder one to accept that. Because, ultimately he's going to fall apart too. You know, as we all do! I also loved that he wanted to get out of it. Like he wasn't just some guy who was, I love you, and that's it. Like as a human being, he went, this is too much for me. I might not want this. I might want something that I've always pictured.

But it was just all great. And sorry to be so...earnesty!

H B Forman: I want to come back to the nudity!

Jake Gyllenhaal: Yeah, love, sex! Love, sex!

H B Forman: I think the amount of time you spend nude and the humor around your nudity, was very brave. Have you gotten any complaints about all your nudity?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Uh, no. I guess not! We talked a lot about what we individually and collectively thought was sexy. And what turned us on, and what didn't. And it was wherever we kind of met in the middle. And sometimes even the cinematographer was like, what do I find sexy! But we all had this discussion. And so as a result. I think all that insecurity, it made it possible for us to be naked with no sense of that insecurity. Because it had been talked about. And even all the awkward things that might turn you on, we all...No, we're not going to share! But that really helped.

H B Forman: Was anyone else naked?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Uh...Ed got naked! And Josh's dad. Yeah, Ed did get naked with us for one shot. Apparently the crew would shower before they went to work, and they were naked then!

H B Forman: Did Ed getting naked help the scene?

Jake Gyllenhaal: No! It didn't help me. I wish we were shooting some kind of horror film. And we could use that as a close-up!

H B Forman: How come?

Jake Gyllenhaal: It terrified me! I was terrified. And he was like so eager to do it too! I sorry to ruin his impeccable reputation! An extraordinary director.

H B Forman: Did you do any research as a drug rep?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Well first, the movie is very loosely based on a book. And I had long interviews with the writer months before the movie started. And we talk a lot about the pharmaceutical world and his experiences in it, sort of outside the book and inside the book. And more detailed things that happen inside the book. And it was kind of extraordinary how hard it was to get inside the world of pharmaceutical sales. Like I would go online and look stuff up, and only found you know, like weird Youtube videos of girls in bikinis and on Ferraris’ saying like, become a pharmaceutical sales rep. And then like weird Euro-pop behind it!

H B Forman: What else did you do?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Then I started asking my own doctors. And my grandfather happens to be a doctor. And he'd be like, what do you mean, detail men? because that's what's they're called. And I just started meeting people. But not Pfizer, it was really hard to get inside Pfizer.

H B Forman: So did you handle that?

Jake Gyllenhaal: Then Ed before we started shooting, weirdly found this diamond in the rough, which was on a Pfizer website, They have the descriptions of every single one of their drugs and the side effects and the reactions. And the chemical makeups, anything you need.

And I would highlight things, and them memorize them. And then Ed would have me spew then randomly in between takes, to our people who were cast as doctors. And then I would find that people would come to me randomly, as if it were some weird secret.

And they'd be like, ‘hey my brother is a pharmaceutical rep at Pfizer. And he wanted to give you this!’ And he'd like hand me a pamphlet that only the reps get. And then it slowly started to open up. But I'd say I talked to like a dozen pharmaceutical reps. And they all came from my own doctors.

H B Forman: Did you recommend any of the music?

Jake Gyllenhaal: I did, and Ed downloaded it and said he loved it. But, none of it is in the movie!




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