Here's How Jake Gyllenhaal Lost 20 Pounds For His New Movie 'Nightcrawler'
In May, 33-year-old actor Jake Gyllenhaal was back to his beefy leading man looks as he sat courtside during the NBA Playoffs at the Barclays Center.
But for the majority of this year, Gyllenhaal was sporting a much leaner look while he shot his new movie "Nightcrawler," due in theaters October 31.
"Nightcrawler," in which Gyllenhaal both stars and is a producer, is the story of a career-hungry young man who stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime photojournalism.
Gyllenhaal spent three months in pre-production brainstorming with screenwriter and first-time director Dan Gilroy on the appearance of his character, Lou.
“I knew that [Lou] was literally and figuratively hungry,” Gyllenhaal told Us Weekly, adding that he got into character by transitioning into a "mode where I was always a bit hungry."
"He'd have a bowl of luxury chewing (gum) and they were, like, really elaborately flavored, to trick his brain into thinking he was having a meal," Gyllenhaal's co-star Riz Ahmed told The Canadian Press at the Toronto Film Festival this week. "So he was on his exercise bike having chewing gum and, like, almond tea with one calorie."
He also said Gyllenhaal was aware and apologetic about his sometimes-sour demeanor, "So he was like: 'Sorry I'm grumpy, I haven't eaten."'
On some nights during shooting, Gyllenhaal told Variety he wouldn’t eat at all, or he’d only take small bites of meat, crackers, or kale salad. To stay lean and fit, he would run 15 miles from his house to the film's set.
“There was a general sense that he was a coyote,” Gyllenhaal says. “I just wanted to live that way.”
Gilroy adds: “When you watch the film and see the angularity of his face, the hollow cheeks, the way that his eyes become prominent —it’s such a haunting look for a night shoot.”
Gyllenhaal's co-star and Gilroy's wife, Rene Russo, told E! Online, "It's incredible what he put his body through. I actually was worried."
But this isn't Gyllenhaal's first physical transformation for a film.
In 2010, the Oscar nominee added major muscle to his physique for "Prince of Persia." The actor told UsWeekly at the time that he would eat six small meals loaded with protein, carbs, and fats.
"I just love this movie," he said. "That’s how I did it. There really was no technique."
Watch the "Nightcrawler" trailer below. Gyllenhaal's performance is already being called "stunning":
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