Jake Gyllenhaal ‘inspired by Indian culture, particularly films’

Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who has turned out to be a huge fan of all things desi, recently expressed his appreciation for Bollywood, suggesting it to have “mastered” the art of being able to match dance steps to the tunes of music in between cut and action moments, as per Hindustan Times. 

Sharing his deep-seated knowledge about Indian culture, Gyllenhaal said, “I know a lot about Indian food and films. In fact, Indian culture is so beautiful, even Indian literature. I happen to be reading an amazing book right now. I mean there are so many things about India which are incredible.”

The Nightcrawler actor went on to reveal that he’s even inspired by the culture of the East and is specifically a Bollywood buff. “I am inspired by Indian culture, particularly Indian movies. The films in Bollywood are so inspiring to me… The creativity in them, so much of the acting in them. I think the skill that so many Bollywood actors have is just unsurpassed.”

About what he finds most exciting about Bollywood films, Gyllenhaal remarked, “To be able to sing, dance and act at the same time is a real requirement, which we don’t really have much in Hollywood. I have so much admiration for the filmmaking and the acting coming out of India.”

Provided food is of “utmost importance” to Gyllenhaal, the actor is known to keep bringing up food in his conversations. “I love it. I love food, be it from India or Los Angeles,” he asserted. So about desi food, which is more than often quite spicy for those in the West, Gyllenhaal confessed, “I haven’t started [talking] about the food yet because it is probably number one for me.” He also complimented the vibrant Indian fashion, “Also, I mean the colours, the fashion in the country is incredible.”

The Spider-Man: Far from Home actor had visited India right before the pandemic and today, he feels blessed to have been able to make that journey. “I was just there a few years ago, right before the pandemic. I feel blessed to have been able to be there, even for a short time. You have found a huge fan of India in me.”

Asked if, with his tendency to explore a plethora of complicated characters on screen, Gyllenhaal has mostly attracted bad guys roles, the Prisoners actor shared, “Well, that isn’t necessarily true. For instance, my character in Ambulance is a complicated person because he has been raised a certain way, due to which he plans to rob a bank. But his intention is to help his brother, which comes from a good place.”

About the challenges of working in confined spaces, Gyllenhaal imparted, “In the case of a project like Guilty, the situation was very advantageous, because sometimes those constrictions and constraints make way for incredible creativity. It calls upon you to bring out your tools and experience. But when a movie like Ambulance is shot in small space showed us real space of an ambulance, which became really difficult to act and move around in and shoot a movie in over a number of months.”

Shooting the film made him realise that people “save people’s lives in these vehicles.” It helped him develop an understanding and admiration for first responders that he never would have known. “I have seen ambulances pass by me many times…It made me have so much admiration for the people who actually do the real work there. They drive through to keep someone alive. It’s just mind blowing. So, acting in it didn’t compare to what they do. We get our share of scrapes and bruises from the hard edges, but they are the real heroes,” he concluded. 

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