I swear that every couple of months I'm going to have to write an article about how different Jake Gyllenhall looks. It wasn't long ago that we were staring slack-jawed at his hollow face and gaunt frame as Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler, a role that he lost around 20 pounds to play.
Now he's hitting the other side of the spectrum and seriously bulking up to play the boxer Junior Middleweight Champion Billy “The Great” Hope in [Southpaw](movie:881604). The first image was released, and he gained so much weight via muscle that he doesn't even look like the same person.
Even if you don't agree with me when I say that Gyllenhaal is one of the best actors with one of the most diverse resumes alive today, you can't deny that the man is, both physically and mentally, dedicated to the art of acting.
In an interview with Deadline, director Antoine Fuqua spoke about Gyllenhaal's intensive training process. Gyllenhaal went so far as to even end a relationship to properly prepare for the role.
I had him training twice a day in the boxing ring, he did two-a-days seven days a week. I pretty much had him with me and my trainer every day...Literally. I think he broke up with his girlfriend because he was just in the gym every day...He was training like a fighter. I had him sparring, really getting hit. I put him in situations where I wanted to see what he was made of. No one but fighters understand the sacrifice it takes to be a fighter.
This isn't the first time we've seen an actor go through a crazy transformation for a role. It doesn't work for every actor, but for people like Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, and Jake Gyllenhaal, it's clearly a necessary part of the process. And just look at the quality of work they have been producing!
Gyllenhaal has now had, in my opinion, four back-to-back hits with [End of Watch](movie:214217), [Prisoners](movie:224380), [Enemy](movie:381183), and most recently [Nightcrawler](movie:938302). The McConaissance is a very real thing. I just think we have to start preparing ourselves for the next era: The Gyllenhapocalypse (Side note: We concluded that the Gyllenhapocalypse means that when the great Gyllenhaal hits his peak, the earth will explode into a fiery blaze of awesomeness and we will all have to struggle against an avalanche of washboard abs).
There still isn't a confirmed release date for Southpaw, but people are speculating it will hit theaters sometime next year.