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Gyllenhaal dating jake arterton and gemma poorly

The rain is pouring down in Toronto. it’s torrential – of Noah’s Ark, biblical proportions. Torontonians scuttle in and out of downtown buildings, trying to avoid the storm, but it’s the sort of driving rain that soaks you in five seconds, so there’s really little point. Still, the saturated conditions have not put a dampener on the hundreds of Film Festival fans getting utterly drenched in a queue snaking around two blocks.

The reason for their unfettered enthusiasm? They’re in line for a sold-out session (having a ticket in Toronto is like having Willy Wonka’s golden ticket) of Prisoners – a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, and directed by Canadian auteur Denis Villeneuve. It has Oscar written all over it.

The reason for their unfettered enthusiasm? They’re in line for a sold-out session (having a ticket in Toronto is like having Willy Wonka’s golden ticket) of Prisoners – a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, and directed by Canadian auteur Denis Villeneuve. It has Oscar written all over it.

While the film premiered the night before to a rapturous response, it didn’t stop Gyllenhaal from sitting in the audience feeling nervous and worried that no one would like it as much as he did. He whispered as much to his cinema buddy (who may or may not have been rumoured girlfriend, and Sports Illustrated model, Alyssa Miller).

“I said to my friend in the middle of the screening, pretty pathetically actually, ‘Do you like it?’ And they were like, ‘I’m losing my mind.’ So I thought, OK, good.”

A day later, the rain has disappeared and the sun couldn’t be brighter if it tried. Gyllenhaal is a little tired – a festival will do that – but on good form. Those doe eyes that drive women (and more than a few men) berserk are strangely compelling in real life. He’s an affable bloke with a certain gentle, contemplative side. But there’s also something of a wicked glint. It makes for a good combination.

Gyllenhaal likes film festivals. They’re a chance to hang out with friends he hasn’t seen for a while – a school reunion for the rich and famous. Decked out casually in navy T-shirt, dark denim jeans and Nike high-tops, and wearing the very Brooklyn beard he seems to sport whenever he’s not filming, he’s one of those men (David Beckham’s another) who can combine such casual attire and still look like they just stepped out of, well, GQ. He’s also super fit, and unbelievably lean.

This state of affairs has come in preparation for his next role – said to be the story of a Mount Everest expedition gone wrong – and he’s been existing on a diet mainly of green juices and truckloads of kale. He’s also given alcohol the temporary flick – offering that the end results are a clear mind and increased energy levels.

Going to extremes for a role isn’t unusual for Gyllenhaal. He likes to be prepared. For 2012’s underrated End of Watch, he researched his role as a South Central cop by riding along with the LAPD. For Prisoners, he studied hours of police interrogation footage, and read and watched everything he could on child abductions.

“You can have talent, but that’s not enough, not in any business,” he says, scoffing a bowlful of blueberries. “I really believe that freedom is on the other side of discipline.”

At 32, Gyllenhaal’s carved an impressive career, largely due to some unexpected film choices. He’s starred in such movies as Donnie Darko, The Day After Tomorrow, Proof, Jarhead, Zodiac, Rendition and Brothers, among others. In 2006, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Brokeback Mountain, alongside Heath Ledger.

They’ve been eclectic choices and, aside from a disastrous foray into blockbuster territory (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, anyone?), he’s managed to avoid superhero flicks and franchises.

Gyllenhaal feels Donnie Darko, Brokeback and End of Watch changed his life in various ways.

“These movies are markers on my path and life. We all have them in different ways,” he says. “Mine are a little absurd and happen to be movies, but all I have is the experience of those movies and they’ve all been extraordinary in their own way.”

It’s clear he loves what he does, but is under no illusions that he’s performing brain surgery.

He likes a laugh, and tries to keep things light on set, even when the material is dark. “I’m devoted to what I do and I take it seriously,” he says, “but I have a sense of humour, too.”

Just to be sure, we checked in with his Prisoners co-star Hugh Jackman.

“Oh, Jake’s hilarious, he’s a cheeky bugger,” says Jackman. “We became good friends, and he’s a good mate to have.”

Read the full interview in the November issue of GQ (Australia) magazine here.

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