Jake Gyllenhaal: Bring on the Damn Musical!
20 May, 2010 Author: Catagories: Damn Yankees, News & Headlines

We’ll get to Prince of Persia in a second, but first let’s talk about Jake Gyllenhaal, the song-and-dance man.

The 29-year-old actor tells me he’s well prepared and gung-ho to star in a new movie adaptation of Damn Yankees, the legendary Broadway musical set in the 1950s about baseball fan Joe Hardy (Gyllenhaal) who sells his soul to the devil (Jim Carrey) to play ball against the Bronx Bombers…

“I sing,” Gyllenhaal told me yesterday. “Of course, I sing. I’ve been singing since I was a little child.” (Who could forget when he slipped into a dress and wig on Saturday Night Live to belt out a number from Dreamgirls back in January 2009.)

When the Yankees would begin production is still a question, “but it’s definitely something that’s in development,” Gyllenhaal said.

We imagine busting out in song and dance won’t be as painful as taking on his first action hero role in the new video game-turned-movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, out May 27.

He admits to “screwing up” his shoulders from all the hanging and grabbing onto things he had to do in many of the fight scenes. But even worse? “I tore off all the skin off both my hands from the palms to the middle of my fingers,” he said. “Pretty much, all the skin was torn off. It was worth it for the result, but when it happened I walked up to the stunt guys and said, ‘I tore off all the skin on my hands!’ They were like, ‘You are such a pussy.'”

Gyllenhaal laughs when I mention how he made headline news recently when he admitted to being afraid of ostriches after working alongside dozens of them in Persia. “It’s important to admit your fears, Marc,” he said. “They seem like very innocent birds but I’m told they could get very, very violent. You always have to watch your back. It’s those things you find cute and cuddly that you just never know about.”

Oh, as for going up against Sarah Jessica Parker and Sex and the City on opening day, Gyllenhaal mentions Carrie Bradshaw & Company’s trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. “But If you wanna see people who really know how to ride a camel,” he cracked, “then you really should see Prince of Persia.”

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Jake Gyllenhaal on his dream project — playing Joe Willie Namath
8 May, 2010 Author: Catagories: Damn Yankees, Interviews, News & Headlines

Jake Gyllenhaal may have a serious film/indie film reputation in his professional life. But the guy likes to break a sweat, literally, and really wants to do that in his “dream project” — a movie about brash, womanizing “Broadway” Joe Namath, whose glory days were with the 1960s and 70s New York Jets.

“It’s been a dream of mine, always, ever since I got into the movies, this Joe Namath film biography,” he told me. ” I care about this project a lot and I would be truly honored to get the chance to do that. That’s why I keep answering questions about it, even though it isn’t ready to go. Yet.  It’s important to me.”

“I know I could pull it off. I think his story’s incredible. I’m in a hurry t get that one up and going, while I still have better knees than he ended up with.”

At 29, Gyllenhaal is still young enough to do it, and he has just enough of a a hint of leading man dash about him to pull it off. And he’s athletic — into martial arts and cycling (Lance Armstrong is among his famous friends). He could play Namath from college (You need to cast a good Bear Bryant to cover the Alabama years, maybe a good Howard Schnellenberger, too) to the Super Bowl.

He was quarterback in America’s greatest sports city during the height of the sexual revolution. Does Jake G. ooze enough testosterone to pull that off? Would he cover Namath’s downhill slide from that 1969 high?

Gyllenhaal also wants to test out his pipes. The musical Damn Yankees “is still in development and I’m still hoping to do it. That’s a tough nut to crack.”

What? How so? You train to play baseball, hire a vava-voom to play Lola, get yourself a decent devil (John Malkovich, Hell-oooo) and you’re set.


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