Jake Gyllenhaal is not just an Oscar-nominated actor with a legendary work ethic and a drop-dead smile. He is also a Jewish boy from LA, a Swedish nobleman, godson of Paul Newman, has studied Buddhism at Columbia with Robert Thurman, and is known for transforming himself physically and emotionally for his roles.

Tom Ford is not just a fashion designer and film director, he is a 21st-century Renaissance man. After revolutionising fashion, he moved effortlessly into film with unprecedented success: his first film, A Single Man, was nominated for a raft of awards including the Best Actor Oscar nomination for lead Colin Firth. Now the two have teamed up for Mr Ford’s sophomore feature, Nocturnal Animals, with Jake Gyllenhaal taking the dual role of Edward Sheffield, a writer, and Tony Hastings, the main character from Edward’s book who suffers an unfortunate fate with his family while going on their summer holidays.

Here, in an exclusive transatlantic telephone conversation, Mr Ford interviews Mr Gyllenhaal about the art of making movies, writing screenplays and being vulnerable. Read a series of excerpts below, then read the full feature in GQ Style A/W ’16, available on newsstands and as a digital download for your iPhone, iPhone, Kindle Fire or Android device from Thursday 22 September.

On his public image:

“When I was in my twenties, or even younger I was so desperately worried about what people thought of me. Now, I think the desperation is gone, and I think as an artist, I’ve become more interested in the audience and I feel a responsibility to them. I want to make movies that are always challenging the audience.”

On how he picks scripts:

“When I read [Nocturnal Animals] I remember feeling the vibrations of the story. It sort of rocked me in that it really messed with my mind in a way that I loved. I’m looking to explore feelings, to have the story elicit feelings or a script elicit feelings in me that I am not used to or that I’m afraid of in myself.”

On Tom Ford as director:

“I had no idea how much you would love your actors, and how much you would love the process of working with us. So often I feel like directors don’t understand the weird creature that an actor is, and you just do.”

On London

“I was just there, and in just one week I had so many interesting conversations and saw so many interesting things that I thought it’s the place to be.”

From the Autumn / Winter 2016 issue:

Gallery Links:
Magazine Scans > 2016 > GQ Style (UK) | Autumn / Winter
Photoshoots & Outtakes > Photoshoots From 2016 > Session 001 [GQ Style UK]