One of Hollywood's most leading men, Jake Gyllenhaal has rose to fame and become an absolute A-lister thanks to films like Nightcrawler, Prisoners and, the highly-acclaimed move Southpaw, which saw Gyllenhall transform his mind and body into a freak of nature.
So, what was training like a warrior really like for Gyllenhaal? We got the inside scoop, with the Academy Award nominated actor giving us some go-to tips to survive the struggle of getting ripped.
Train Hard (To Avoid Looking Like An Idiot)
“When I read the story of Southpaw, I loved it. So when it came to boxing, I really wanted to learn how to do it properly because I was scared I’d look like a fool.”
Protect Your Body
“We shot all the fights in the first two weeks of the film, and we ended up deciding whatever happened, happened. I got hit a lot, much more in the body. You think you can defend yourself more easily there, but I really did not enjoy the body shots.”
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“I was really inspired by the 2002 Micky Gatti vs. Arturo Ward fight. I think there’s a sort of brutality and a sense of will in that fight that remains unmatched in a lot of ways. It’s so brutal.”
“I was moved to do Southpaw by the idea of a man having to face his own anger, where his anger has destroyed his life. He has to learn how to fight with anger, but without hatred.”
Use Your Head
“There’s this idea that there’s some sort of aggressive approach to the physicality of boxing. You can only do as much as your mind will tell you. If you’re not in a certain physical shape, you can’t pull off the things your mind is telling you it wants you to do, so I trained for five hours a day.”
“When we wrapped, I started on another film that didn’t require me to head to the gym at 5 a.m. You go that hard for that amount of time, your body does need a rest. It’s not a normal way of living. You’ve got to let it go—you’ve got to live life.”