Former teen heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal has, as of late, been favoring violent character studies over broad studio fare like “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” and “Love & Other Drugs.” Following intense, acclaimed performances in “End of Watch,” “Enemy” and last year’s hit thriller “Prisoners,” Gyllenhaal turned in what is arguably his best and darkest performance in this year’s “Nightcrawler.”

His performance as Lou, a sociopath who spends his nights filming footage of heinous crime scenes to sell to the morning news, has earned the actor the best reviews of his career and multiple awards nominations (and hopefully wins), cementing the 34-year-old as one of the most exciting actors working in Hollywood today.

“My character does do some morally corrupt things,” Gyllenhaal says of Lou in the video below. Here he explains Lou’s motivations, joined in the video by his co-stars in the film, Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed.

“I’ve seen a generation being taught that you should do anything to succeed, and if you can get away with it, then it is a success,” Gyllenhaal says below. With that, he helped us unwrap the underlying themes at the core of “Nightcrawler.”

“Nightcrawler” mostly takes place at night on the streets and highways of Los Angeles. In the video below, Gyllenhaal details the world of the film.