Belfast Telegraph

Jake Gyllenhaal: Acting isn’t about awards

Jake Gyllenhaal describes his career as an "incredibly immature, selfish profession".

The American actor has had a diverse career on screen, playing everything from rodeo cowboy Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain to high school student Donnie Darko in the 2001 cult classic.

But it’s his recent role in crime drama Nightcrawler which is currently generating award buzz. He’s already bagged five accolades for his part as creepy cameraman Louis Bloom and is up for a Golden Globe and SAG for best actor at the 2015 ceremonies. It’s this year’s Academy Award nominations which he is most excited about though, especially as he acted as producer on the feature too.

“I’d be thrilled [to be recognised] – it’s important that movies like this get made and get seen, and that people are allowed to express their point of view in a complicated, different way,” he told British newspaper The Independent. “But I don’t do the job [for awards]. I do it to learn about life. I think acting is an incredibly immature, selfish profession, but on the flipside of that, it helps you practise empathy. When you do your research, you see what real people are doing in the world. I’m hungry and excited to get to the core of characters.”

Many of Jake’s movies are memorable due to their gritty nature. There are particular themes which stand out to the 34-year-old and he’s pleased he now has the freedom to pick and choose parts as he pleases.

“I love movies that have currency. Movies are political, whether they’re escapist or tackle something head on. There’s a responsibility in telling a story. There’s a responsibility to know your own mind,” he explained.

“One of the things that changes in your career is that, at the beginning, people are telling you what you fit into, and later, if you do some things that people like, you make the decisions yourself. You have to know yourself well enough to make those decisions.”

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