Jake participated in a live Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) earlier today to promote his latest film ‘Nightcrawler’ and answer questions from fans! Check it out here.

I think celebrity culture is strange, because celebrities are kind of treated as non-people, rather more like a product or something to be consumed. How does your celebrity status impact your sense of humanity or self? I ask this as someone who is certainly not a celebrity but still sometimes has a hard time tapping into what it means to feel part of humanity, or human.

What I’ve realized is that there’s a real intimacy being in a movie theater with someone in the dark. And I have connections with people whom I see in that context, and the movies that they are in really move me.

But I think it’s really important to see that STORY is the most important thing. Ultimately it’s not the person, but the story that has the greatest impact.

And so I always find it fascinating being the face of the story. Because I think all the feelings that come with the story get put on the actor. And it really has to do with many, many people’s work who created what you’re seeing.

So it’s a great irony.

But I also think it’s very wonderful when people are positive.

I’m also a firm believer in performances and movies and any type of art eliciting many different types of responses. So I love hearing people’s opinions, good and/or bad, about things that I’ve created.

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

Let me look…

gets out phone

Oh there was a really sweet little girl with her mother on set yesterday, and her mom was holding her, and she had such a sweet face and was holding a lollipop and I took her picture. I know that doesn’t sound ideal, it’s not that cool, but I think it’s cool.

I also took a picture of “Skip to My Lou” Because that’s the name of my character when I was in the dressing room at Jimmy Fallon, there was a vintage book, so I took a picture of it. I thought it was fate.

I also by mistake took a video of it in slo-mo. Of a book, on a shelf. I’m still learning to use my phone.

But you’d be surprised at how entertaining a book sitting on a shelf in slo-mo could be.

You probably do dozens of interviews a month. Who is your favorite person to be interviewed by?


Well I don’t do tons of interviews a month, but I do when I have a movie I want people to see, talk to tons of journalists. I had a really wonderful interview with Nightline. And I also was interviewed by David Muir, who’s the anchor of ABC nightly News, that was really fun. And I also really love being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon.

Out of all the characters you’ve been who do you most relate to?

I think I relate in part & pieces to every single character I’ve played, but am inspired during different parts of my life by different stories. I couldn’t say there’s one more than any other that i relate to more. Every one is a part of me, and the process of creating them is a big part of my life, so they all hold equal stature.

What was it like working with Heath Ledger? Are there any stories in particular that capture what he was like as an actor/person?

Well, I think that he was and is one of the best actors of my generation.

And as it goes with people who are as talented as he was, sort of constantly an inspiration.

I remember him saying to me, early on, before we started shooting Brokeback Mountain, that his character had a hard time with the light, that bright lights were overwhelming to his character. And that was one of my first insights into the process and preparation for acting that i had never really experienced, that a character would feel something from the elements that would affect his whole being. And Heath gave me that.

What was the most challenging part about playing Louis Bloom? (Btw, you’re my favorite actor, I’ve seen all the movies you have played, you’re really talented!)

My favorite part of playing Louis Bloom was his dialogue. He had such wonderful, original, hilarious and disturbing speeches. He plagiarizes tons of stuff off the internet, but he spouts it out brilliantly. He’s like the Bobby Fischer of manipulators.

1: Do you know if it was difficult nailing down the name Nightcrawler with the X-Men franchise being what it is?

2: You’ve had some involvement in some iconic military films (Jarhead, Brothers), were you ever personally involved with the military, such as family or friends? And what was your training like for Jarhead?

1) Mmm.

It surprisingly wasn’t. What’s wonderful is that we asked all the people involved in that franchise, and Marvel, and they all were incredibly excited and very supportive of us using the title, seeing as they are so different in theme and character and many things. In fact, I know that there are fans at Marvel of this movie, Nightcrawler. And I can’t wait to see their version.

2) Yes. Two of my closest family friends, two of my boys are in the military, one in the Marines and one in the Navy. Served in the Persian Gulf, and then my friend in the Marines was in Iraq. So yes I have a personal connection to the military. But since that my good friend Zach Iscoll, who’s in the Marines, has come back from and started an organization called Headstrong, which I support fully, getting the right medical and mental care for military servicemen and women returning from combat.

Hey Jake! I caught a screening of “Nightcrawler” on Tuesday and it was a real trip. It appears your character has some form of autistic spectrum disorder, either high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger’s. There is even some dialogue in the film about Louis not being able to understand people. Does Louis have a spectrum disorder?

I feel like Lou’s a walking metaphor. I don’t know if I could qualify where he is mentally, but I can say that I always consider Lou to be a real genius, in a lot of ways. So I personally wouldn’t say he’s one thing or another thing. Many people call him different things. I’ve been asked “Is he autistic” “does he have aspergers” “Could he be a sociopath given the things he does” “Does he have psychopathic tendencies” – but ultimately my job as an artist is just to present something, and all the questions that come from the character that inspire people are inspiring to me.

Jake, if you could have one super power what would it be? You know, besides planting a ton of tree’s in the forest in Mozambique.

Besides that?

That’d be sick.

Um… I’d love to be able to just immediately make the best sourdough starter. Now THAT’S a superpower.

Hi Jake!

I really liked your performance as Dastan in Prince of Persia, especially since the original video game was one of my favourite games to play growing up. It was great to see you pull off the role so convincingly.

Did you have to work out or train a lot for the part? Did you get to do any of the stunts yourself?

I did a majority of the stunts myself, but I also had wonderful acrobats and stuntmen who did a lot of the extraordinary things in the movie.

It’s my belief, from my experience, that a character is made by many people, not just the actor playing him or her, but all the people that bring it together. And oftentimes, those people don’t get enough credit. So there were a lot of really extraordinary people working on that to help create that character.

You and your sister both started as child actors. Did you see any difference in the way people treated you when you grew up, as opposed to the way they treated her?

Well, actually, I started acting professionally earlier than my sister, and I think in some ways it was a more mindful decision for her to wait. Because I think that being a professional at such a young age brings on a lot of questions that are difficult for someone who’s a kid to even begin to answer. But at the same time, it was a blessing and I recognize it as that. But I saw so many wonderful things that she did, while I was doing things that I loved. One of those things was her graduating college, particularly which I still hope to do in the future, no matter how old i am.

I heard while doing a ride along with the LAPD for End of Watch you witnessed a murder. What was that like? Did it affect your approach to the role?

That was a pivotal moment for me, in that I started realizing where I could really learn from the process of preparation for the roles that i play, and the severity of real life, and how even though what I was doing was fictional, there was a responsibility I had. And it’s really wonderful that you asked that question, because it was a real turning point for me in how I approach the process of what I do, and I could see how absurd it is, what I do, and yet at the same time it has great import, and that was specifically a very shocking but very moving moment for me – as a human and as an actor.

Two questions for you:

What would be in your perfect sandwich?

Are there any fictional characters from literature that you would like to portray?

Ay ay ay… Why do I have to have only ONE sandwich? Why?

I would say pastrami on egg bread with coleslaw and russian dressing.

Well, I’m a huge fan of J.D. Salinger. There’s a short story of his called “For Esme with Love and Squalor,” that I love. That relationship, I think, is an amazing literary relationship. And though it would be impossible, I would love to bring that relationship to the screen.

Hi, you’re great. Donnie Darko struck a major chord with me as a teenager dealing with depression, and even empowered me to feel significant despite feeling doomed. How much of Donnie’s character resonated in your personal life? Your portrayal of him was so memorable. But now for my serious question- what IS a fuck-ass?


Well, to answer the first question, I… a huge part of Donnie was where I was in that time in my life, and I think that it speaks to the unsolid ground that adolescents moving into adulthood, that comes with being an adolescent moving into adulthood, and I felt when I read the script like it was speaking to me, and it’s such a wonderful thing for me that it feels like as a movie it speaks to a lot of people, because mentally I was in a similar space to that character, obviously it had a lot of metaphors, but it makes me feel great that it was influential and it helped you in any way.

And what is a Fuck-ass? By answering that question, I would be giving away the answer to everything.


For the full AMA discussion, click here.

To read Jake’s replies (in short form), click here then click ‘context’ to read the question he was replying to.