*Who wouldn’t want to beat the hell out of a building to release steam when life has thrown you a curve? Well Jake Gyllenhaal gets to do that in “Demolition” as the widower, Davis. While sitting next to his wife in their car, he watches her get smashed to smithereens in a crash—and he walks away without a scratch. As an investment banker, Davis’ life had been pretty much perfect up to that point.
Watching Gyllenhaal take a sledgehammer to a house, which of course, was not his appeared to be quite therapeutic. The Film Strip asked him how it felt tear up property in that way? Laughing, he said,
“I’m an actor. Isn’t that what we do in hotel rooms? Just kidding.” He, of course, was referring to infamous hotel trashings, the Johnny Depp/Kate Moss hotel wrecking was one of the most famous.
“It took the people who built that section of the house a whole lot longer to build and design it,” he went on to say, “than it did for us to take it down. I’m not dissing demolition crews but I’m just saying there is something metaphorically speaking that it’s so much easier to cut somebody down than it is to raise them up, for some reason.
“It’s so much better and so much more satisfying and ultimately so much more life affirming and makes you feel so much better when you create as opposed to cut down,” Gyllenhaal surmised.
It could be said that Martha and the Vandellas set the stage for one of the most hilarious scenes in “Demolition,” i.e., when Gyllenhaal started dancing extemporaneously. He explained how the dancing in the streets came about.
“Jean-Marc [director] didn’t tell me when we were going to shoot that scene.
“He was just like, ‘we’ll figure it out.’ So he came to me one day when we were shooting on a train and he was like, ‘we’re pulling up to Penn Station. Here’s some earphones…go dance! Go have fun. Because of the style and the way he shoots movies, if I had time to think about it, I probably would have been more self-conscious.
“For two days I was just dancing around all of Manhattan and not giving a sh*t about any of it,” Gyllenhaal recalled. “It was great. It was so fun. I mean once you pass through embarrassment, which is a brutal passage, oftentimes you find yourself in a land of excitement and elation. But at the time, it felt good just to express myself. It didn’t matter how badly.”
Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]
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