Jake Gyllenhaal, Back to Toronto, Getting "Stronger"

by Gabriel Lerman September 12, 2017
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal

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Year after year Jake Gyllenhaal makes the Toronto Film Festival a regular stop in his calendar -that's because he's not an actor that chooses the easy path. He didn't hesitate to lose a lot of weight to portray a human vulture that preys on other people's misery in director Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler - which earned him his second Golden Globe nomination- just to gain it back and a few pounds more to play a failing boxer in Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw.  Gyllenhaal not only has proven to have a notorious range but to be the one who dares to try everything to advance his craft.

So when producer Todd Lieberman purchased the rights to the book co-written by Jeff Bauman, the man who lost both legs in the Boston Marathon bombing, Gyllenhaal couldn't resist: "After I finished reading the script I called up Eric Feig and said hey, I really want to play this part and he said let's look for a filmmaker first and we'll see. When they got David (Gordon Green) they came back to me as an actor and then financing started to slip", Gyllenhaal told HFPA during his press conference at the Fairmont Royal Hotel in Toronto.

In Stronger, part of TIFF 2017’s lineup, Jake follows Jeff's days from the moment he discovers his legs have been amputated through the rage and despair that follows - but also through the lengthy and arduous recovery that makes him, as Gordon Green's film title states, Stronger. "Some people asked me right before we started this movie if I was playing a marathon runner. I said no, I'm playing a guy who was standing waiting for his on again/off again girlfriend to cross the finish line, and who got there at the last minute before the explosion. it's been great doing this film with Jeff because he makes me see how absurd it all is".