If there is one thing we know about indie darling and commercial star, Jake Gyllenhaal, it is that he takes his work very seriously. His co-stars call him ‘serious’ and ‘intense’. Case in point, Donnie Darko (2001) to Nightcrawler (2014). There have been a few detours (see Prince of Persia), but it looks like the actor is back to pushing limits. One example of him ‘trying something new’ are the recent Southpaw and upcoming Everest. He tells us what it took to play expedition leader, Scott Fischer, in the thriller.
What drew you to the role of Fischer?
My interest in this movie has always been about the people who climbed Everest on this expedition and their reasons for doing it. Everest begs the questions inside all of us: What do we want to accomplish in our lives? What gives our lives meaning?
What did you understand about Scott Fischer while playing the character?
I think Scott’s attitude kept him very present and positive, and that attitude was contagious to those around him. He didn’t fear death, and it was the general appreciation of life that made him such a great guy to be around.
Were you and Josh Brolin, who plays a doctor in the movie, daring on the sets?
We were in an altitude simulator at 30,000 ft for 10 minutes. Josh and I decided to stay longer. We were laughing and talking about the fact that we didn’t think it was so bad, and then, all of a sudden,we got out of the chamber and just felt sick.
It was an incredible realisation. It became very clear how hard it is to survive at such a high altitude.