Jake Gyllenhaal "Prepared" for a Prince of Persia Sequel
11.11.09 by BJSprecher
Jake Gyllenhaal made a name for himself playing quiet, introspective characters in movies like Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. But when the opportunity arose to star as Prince Dastan in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Disney's live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft video game, Gyllenhaal told Coming Soon that he was attracted to the role because it was "unlike anything" he had appeared in before.
To play Prince Dastan, Gyllenhaal had to adopt an English accent, weight train extensively, and learn Parkour, the urban "free running" sport prominently featured in Casino Royale.
The development of the character was massively physical at first, just getting in shape and doing all that stuff and learning Parkour, learning how to swordfight, learning how to get into the mentality of a warrior, somebody who as written is someone who can really fight. That was a big part of it for me, and I knew that if I got through that, then I knew I'd be halfway there.
Really, it's basically just a lot of training, working out with a lot of running and all different kinds of sports. I'm someone who really doesn't love to be inside so just being outside and running around and training as if I was going to battle, but it also happens to be based on a video game so he has to very agile in a lot of other ways then you would normally ... it's not just gladiator-style fighting although we have all of that. It's also having to be able to jump up walls and climb up walls and run on walls and all of those things.
Gyllenhaal also said that it was going to take a "different mentality" to go back to making smaller movies after filming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
... there's [a] type of high when you make a movie like this, a type of excitement every day that is infectious. There are days that you get tired and some of the people I work with say to me, I'm like, "Man, I'm going to be exhausted. I'm going to need rest when I get done with this movie," and they're like, "You're going to rest for two weeks and you're going to want to make another one like it." And it's kind of true. On my days off, I worked out twice on my Sunday off, because that's where my head is. I'm prepared for whatever comes our way.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Mike Newell, and also stars Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Alfred Molina.