Enemy Starring Jake Gyllenhaal Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve impressed audiences with festival favourites Maelström (2000) and 32 août sur terre (1998) but his breakthrough came in 2009 with Polytechnique, a gut wrenching feature on the Montréal Massacre of December 6, 1989, in which 14 female students at the École Polytechnique were systematically killed by a lone, woman-hating gunman. The Oscar nominated Middle East war drama Incendies (2010) won Villeneuve international acclaim and paved his way to Hollywood. He made his first film for a major studio there in 2013, the big budget crime thriller and Oscar nominee Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The same year, he made the art house thriller Enemy, also starring Gyllenhaal, which opens in Canada and the US this month. This week, Enemy won Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Villeneuve has achieved a lot in a single calendar year.
Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal on EnemyDenis congratulations on two fine films, Prisoners and Enemy, in the same year.
It’s a weird mélange side by side. They are twins, and one twins a big, big one and the other one’s little and I love them equally. There is always an obsession.
Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal shooting Prisoners
Jake Gyllenhaal loves and talks glowingly of you. You two have a unique working relationship, don’t you?
I must say I am deeply inspired by Jake, he makes me a better director and that’s the truth, he pushes me in my life and just makes me a better artist. Honestly even if he pisses me off, and sometimes he’s hard to work, but I deeply love working with him.
Gyllenhaal Confronts Gyllenhaal in Enemy
So you have a confrontational connection that leads to art.Jake loves the freedom he has with me. Our relationship started in the no bull zone and we are authentic in front of each other. I was looking for a relationship with an actor where I could give him space and Jake was in a place in his life where he needed that space. We just have to share cinéma together. I was looking for that for such a long time and I love it.
You made Enemy in Toronto. It rare that a city is so focal in a film. You didn’t choose the best parts of town but you gave them character and weight.
In Enemy there are very few characters but one that’s very important is the city landscape. The city becomes a character itself. Toronto is very inspiring. I’m coming back walking the streets with my camera. And start to shoot. The city became a character. I was looking for a huge massive metropolis; I needed a lost soul feeling amongst a huge amount of people and apartment blocks. It’s a movie about identity and the city landscape was important. . I deeply love to shoot in Toronto.