Jake Gyllenhaal discusses his forthcoming Sci-Fi thriller ‘Life’ in an exclusive interview with Verge Campus.
‘Life’ follows a crew aboard The International Space Station returning from Mars with a sample of what they hope will be the first evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Their study, however, backfires as the organism starts to show signs of intelligence and strength, eventually becoming hostile. Trapped on the ISS, the crew must figure out how to destroy the monster before it destroys them, escapes, and wreaks havoc on earth.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the film follows in the footsteps of many other space-themed projects released in the past few years, but according to Gyllenhaal, this one has great potential to stand out. In an exclusive Verge Campus interview, we got to speak with Gyllenhaal along with many other bright journalists in a phone conference where he spilled it all on his new film.
“Ultimately this one is specifically sort of individual in that it’s all in zero gravity, first of all, which is sort of interesting, and I also think it’s more of in the genre of leaning more towards horror, in the way that it’s one of those stories. It’s a bit like Jaws, where you have a group of people trying to survive in a space but it also has to do with your classic, fun, horror genre type of storytelling, so it’s different in that sense. ” Jake explained. “A lot of times in space movies I think it is ultimately about survival. Where the idea of survival of mankind in one particular way or another I think it’s just these movies lend themselves to that idea. But this is more terrifying in the classic movie sense that you’re used to in other atmospheres – in this case we don’t have an atmosphere and we’re all floating around. ”
The zero gravity aspect of the film is one of it’s certain defining factors, and was one of Jake’s favorite parts of the process.
“We’re doing dramatic scenes literally floating around on wires. As an actor in particular, you’re taught in the stages of even learning how to do it, that finding your foundation and knowing where you are in the space with your feet on your ground is a big part of it. So to not have that was a really interesting, really fun way of conjuring feelings.”
Fun is the word he would use to describe this experience, a feeling he wasn’t used to on set.
“I’m not used to having as much fun as I had on this movie. I tend to, for a lack of a better phrase, beat myself up playing characters that have recently been in pretty trying circumstances and environments in movies that have been pretty extreme, but this is a really fun one to make.”
Though this movie was an entirely new experience for Gyllenhaal, he was still in his element. Known for his roles in Donnie Darko, Nightcrawler, and most recently Nocturnal Animals, Gyllenhaal is accustomed and drawn to roles and films with dark, heavy themes.
“Tension is what creates anything interesting in storytelling. And it obviously can come from anywhere. But I’m always looking for something that I can hold on to in my work on a daily basis that has something with a little more depth than just the tension of a story. So I’m always looking for those two elements to be within one piece. I also do really like the darkness of the world.”
But this film isn’t just one big black, depressing hole either. Jake told us that there will still be some laughs, ultimately provided by his riveting cast member Ryan Reynolds.
“Honestly whenever you have a movie with Ryan Reynolds in it, it’s going to be funny – particularly this one. He just inevitably is an extraordinary comedian. I think that it’s part of his extraordinary talent. I mean someone could ask me about Ryan Reynolds because I just gave you like the most positive, cliché actor response at how great I think it is. But, he adds a lot of that, you know, I left it up to him. He’s a lot funnier than I am.”
Life hits theaters on Friday, March 24th.