I love my work and care about it,” Jake Gyllenhaal said in this recent interview. “But I’m beginning to have a great sense of humor about it because I just don’t feel like there’s any need to take it all that seriously.”

With that declaration, Jake proceeded to give mostly tongue-in-cheek answers to questions. The actor’s jesting mood also stemmed from the movie he was promoting, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” After all, when you’re talking about a movie that was adapted from a video game, you can’t be all that serious. But the film, directed by Mike Newell (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”) and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, will probably make tons of money.

Jake said he made “Prince of Persia,” which co-stars Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, and Alfred Molina, so moviegoers will “have a good time…This movie awakened that kid in me again. I made it for families. My aunt called me the other day and she was like, ‘Hey, this is a movie that your cousins can finally see.”

For the rest of the interview, Jake, who’s always had a great sense of humor, was like the Prince of Comedy. Take his answer to how he got the muscled physique for this action-adventure. “It was a really long, arduous process,” he said. “It was total devotion. It was so hard to get paid to exercise. There’s nothing harder. First, I grew the hair which was, again, really hard. It tried my patience. It’s painful to grow out your hair. It was really about two simple things: Shampooing and then conditioning. Not the two-in-one kind. You start with the shampoo which really works out the biceps. If you rub vigorously, then the triceps are worked out with conditioning.”

He continued: “A lot more bathing involved, actually. Three to four hours in the shower of vigorously rubbing all over defines the abs and pectoral muscles. Eventually, you just become the Prince of Persia. Also, drinking bath water is always a nice way of keeping yourself hydrated while you’re bathing and training to get the Prince of Persia physique.”

We junked the two-in-one shampoo and conditioner bottle since the interview. We started using separate shampoo and conditioner bottles and we noticed that we were getting buff. Thank you, Jake.

And how did Jake learn the British accent he uses in the movie? Jake gladly shared his secret formula: “From the very beginning, Mike Newell would say to me, ‘You know my dear boy, you should just speak in the accent. Do not be afraid. Just talk to all the actors and enjoy yourself.’ I was like, ‘Oh Jesus.’ I was so nervous. I was working on the accent for about three months with a dialect coach because I knew how much scrutiny I would get. I had been watching ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ over and over again. And by the way, Bridget Jones was a main influence in my training regimen. I was going after that physique. My accent was really a mixture of Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Sliding Doors’ and Renee Zellweger in ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary.’ Gwyneth in ‘Sliding’…influenced the hair, too.”

Horrible accent

He continued: “I’d be talking to [cast mates] Toby Kebbell, Richard Coyle and Gemma Arterton in this horrible accent. There were a lot of flub ups and I asked them to tell me when something didn’t sound right or if I just sounded like I was pushing something and they would. I could see them cringe. Then slowly the confidence started to build. I remember the first day of this big rehearsal in Morocco. Mike was touring us around the set. I sat there with the actors in a tent and I was talking with the accent because I decided I would do that throughout the workday. They all started treating me differently. They were like more buddy-buddy. Toby and Richard invited me out for a beer that night which was really weird. Gemma was a little bit more flirtatious than normal. I thought, I’m nailing this accent now. They really think that I’m British.”

Movies in the sand

A question about how Jake has appeared in several movies set in the sand was prefaced by the challenges faced by Fergie in her number in the sand in the musical, “Nine.” Jake deadpanned, “Many people have compared my performance in this movie to Fergie’s, I know.”

He said he has made a lot of movies in the sand. “It’s so strange. Like I read the script and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ And then I show up in the desert and I am like, ‘How the hell did I not know that we were shooting in the desert for four months?’ I’m pretty familiar with sand – it’s in my DNA now. If I have children one day, they will be born made of sand. Personally, I would rather be the sand in Fergie’s scenes than in mine but that may just be my choice. Sand gets in everywhere, like my mother used to say. I had a lot of sand in my schlitz.”

But Jake claimed that he likes being in the desert. “People talk about how hot it is in the desert,” he remarked. “We shot in the desert in Morocco which is beautiful. If the audience responded to this movie and we have to do another one, I would gladly do it. I just thought this seems like great fun. It was really that simple.” Then he quipped, “You’re like, ‘Aha, I bet. You liar.’ But no.”

As for his research for the role, Jake complained that it was really grueling: “Playing the video game three to four times a day as a primary resource material was really tough.”

Turning serious

The Oscar-nominated actor for “Brokeback Mountain” turned a bit serious only when he talked about his coming movies. “I did two films right after this movie,” he disclosed. “They were in the vein of what I would like to continue to do. I did ‘Love and Other Drugs’ with Anne Hathaway that Ed Zwick directed which I’m so proud of. I also just did ‘Source Code’ with Duncan Jones who directed that movie, ‘Moon.’ I can’t explain how excited I am about that movie. These movies are smaller than this, obviously. I don’t know how much bigger you can get than this.”

He also revealed two important projects: “I’ve always wanted to tell the story of [football legend] Joe Namath. We’ve been working on that for a long time. I would love to be able to play that role. I’m also developing this film about Hans Christian Andersen. Not Danny Kaye’s ‘Hans Christian Andersen’ though that was one of my favorite movies as a kid. This is actually a musical and Stephen Schwartz is writing the music. It’s a dark, interesting tale of Hans, his stories and how he gets to meet his own characters. It’s all set to music. I really want to be in a musical but I want to reinvent the idea of what the musical is. There’s a way of doing it that can bring modernity to it as opposed to something we’ve already seen before.”