This is what Jake Gyllenhaal will look like in Antoine Fuqua’s film Southpaw next year. According to Fuqua, Jake’s dedication to the role and his subsequent transformation are so extraordinary, it’s worthy of very impressive comparison:

“Two people have done this in their lives,” Fuqua told Variety in September. “Robert De Niro in ‘Raging Bull’ and Denzel Washington in ‘The Hurricane.’ Those kinds of guys are rare.”

And Fuqua deliberately wants to overhaul Jake’s image from “nice Jewish kid from Beverly Hills” to a proper Movie Star: 

“Jake is going to change how people see him. I had him training twice a day in the boxing ring, he did two-a-days seven days a week. I pretty much had him with me and my trainer every day. I took him to almost every fight. I had him train at Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Vegas and we watched Floyd’s fights, and the Manny Pacquiao fight. He trained in New York at Church Gym with real fighters. We literally turned him into a beast… Jake, my god, he’s a very electric, powerful fighter in this movie, and a guy who fights for his daughter. I’m confident that this will change how people see Jake, as a leading man.

The way Fuqua describes it to Deadline in a new interview, before Southpaw, before they started working together, Jake Gyllenhaal = Robert Pattinson. Like some kind of lightweight. Like we were going around questioning his, I don’t know how else to say it… balls.

“He sure has grown up. I love this guy. I met Jake years ago before he did End of Watch, and I saw something in him. I told him he needed to do more masculine films because I could see he had this power in him, and good size, and great expressive eyes. When I met him I said, ‘You’ve got to start doing that.’ And I watched him start. Working with him was a great experience because he’s so committed and gives his heart. You’re going to see in this movie, how far he has come. I asked this guy from day one, ‘I need you in the gym every day. I need you to train every day.’ And I said, ‘The word is sacrifice.’”

I don’t know what version of Jake Fuqua was watching but I didn’t get that impression, did you? Did you sit around thinking Jake needs to be in more “masculine” films?

Anyway, whatever. Fuqua’s found his answer and Jake practically lived in the gym at his request which, it turns out, is why he and Alyssa Miller broke up. Fuqua confirms:

“Literally. I think he broke up with his girlfriend because he was just in the gym every day. He was training like a fighter. I had him sparring, really getting hit. I put him in situations where I wanted to see what he was made of. No one but fighters understand the sacrifice it takes to be a fighter.”

The result? Fuqua declares that:

“(Jake’s) a man now. There’s something in his eyes that people don’t see. He’s got anger in him.”


Attached – Jake in New York today.