Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal talk Prisoners
By Anne Brodie Sep 18, 2013, 19:27 GMT
Denys Villeneuve’s almost unbearably taut thriller Prisoners stars Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover whose child has been kidnapped, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Det. Loki, who investigates the case.
Each is haunted by his own demons, and the crime exacerbates their weaknesses, and by the intensity east them up until it’s off the charts. It’s interesting that two actors with plenty of appeal and likeability play these roles.
Gyllenhaal and Jackman get into some very rough stuff in Prisoners. Villeneuve turns everything upside down, planting of doubt, throwing us off kilter. We wish for a quick, conventional outcome just to release the tension, but we don’t get off that easily.
Jackman’s character, a survivalist, takes us into unthinkably dark territory to retrieve his child, and Gyllenhaal’s character follows.
and Critics spoke with Jackman and Gyllenhaal in Toronto.
Jake Gyllenhaal – I did a lot of preparation for this movie. I would spend the evening letting go of whatever we did during the day. Shooting in Atlanta there are so many wonderful restaurants and food became therapy in a way.
On the way to work, I’d meditate on certain things in the scenes, and I would always police videos, interrogation videos and sometimes really horrific videos. On my way to work I’d try to resist how dark it was, that world it threw me into.
I could feel that push and pull inside me and it would sometimes panic me. You watch these things and you don’t even know how to respond, it’s so visceral. It really broke me into this world. I spent the day using that work to as a therapy out of it.
Hugh Jackman - Dover was defined by deprivation. The movie takes place in eight or nine days. I talked to a father whose kid was gone and he said the worst thing is that the child is waiting for you, not for the police, for you and the police tell us to leave it to them.
But you can’t abandon your child and that is what would be, and the incomprehensible nature of taking information in and just physically trying to take concepts in.
Both actors found universal truths that ground the film and give it authenticity.
JG – Understanding each other is important. Villeneuve always referred to the movie as the institution versus the . The thematic goal was Hugh’s character representing the individual, their struggles, demands, sense of self and identity, the things they love and trying to save those things. The institution which I was a part of was essential with protocol and rules.
The perversion of that institution and that individual, when neither are speaking - it’s not a surprise that people in their story split – the individual versus the institution, they bump heads four or five times in the story but at the end it speaks to life.
When the institution and the individual come together there is some kind of ideal, when they resist, there is great chaos.
HJ -In one of my scenes with Jake in the cop car, we argue and at the end of the coverage shoot, Jake said to me “I feel we’re missing something, there’s an element to this that’s missing. Let’s see what happens when we acknowledge the fact that we need each other.”
The theme in the film is that they do need to work together. There is no right answer, look at Syria. There is no right answer. There is always collateral damage and there is moral ambiguity. Rarely do we see this mentioned in a film and even less in a thriller.