One of my favorite movies of 2014 is opening this weekend: writer-director Dan Gilroy’s debut feature, Nightcrawler. In the film, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a guy desperate to score a job. While on the hunt, Lou stumbles across a “nightcrawler,” someone who captures footage of fires, murders and all sorts of chaos to sell to new stations and Lou comes to the conclusion that the gig is perfect for him. While I’ve seen Gyllenhaal deliver some great performances End of Watch, Prisoners, Zodiac and Brokeback Mountain, his work in Nightcrawler takes him to the next level. It’s easily one of my favorite performances of the year and absolutely worth a full price ticket to see this weekend when the film opens. For more on the film, read Matt’s glowing review or watch the red band trailer.
During my exclusive video interview with Dan Gilroy he talked about casting Gyllenhaal, the actor’s weight loss, the positive reaction from critics, deleted scenes, the experience of making his directorial debut, where the idea came from, unproduced scripts, writing Superman Lives for Tim Burton, Stan Lee’s The Annihilator, future projects and more. Hit the jump to watch what he had to say.
- :06 – Talks about the casting of Jake Gyllenhaal and how the success of the film hinged on whether the lead actor could balance the high-wire act of the character.
- 1:45 – When did he find out Gyllenhaal planned to lose so much weight? Says he would ride his bike to set and eat only salad all night, so that he was literally hungry while doing his scenes.
- 3:05 – Talks about the tight shooting schedule of the film, which was shot mostly at night. Says it was Gyllenhaal’s idea for the character to wear his hair up in a “man-bun.”
- 4:35 – The immensely positive reaction to the film from critics.
- 5:18 – Deleted scenes. Says there were about 3 scenes that didn’t make it into the film, which totaled about 7-9 minutes.
- 5:55 – The editing process. Says they had 16 weeks to edit.
- 6:37 – Where did his inspiration come from to explore the world of stringers/nightrcrawlers? He’s been thinking about it for two decades.
- 7:50 – Directing for the first time. Says the biggest hurdle is getting an actor who trusts you.
- 9:00 – Unproduced scripts. Most of his are owned by studios.
- 9:37 – What is it in the Gilroy genetics that makes them all so talented?
- 10:32 – Talks about writing Superman Lives for Tim Burton. Describes Burton’s vision for the film and talks about why it fell apart.
- 12:45 – Discusses the parallels between Burton’s vision and Man of Steel. Says Burton’s film had a lot of humor.
- 14:35 – Says Warner Bros. had built tens of millions of dollars worth of sets when they pulled the plug. Talks about how close the movie was to happening.
- 15:25 – Does he still have interest in exploring superhero stories? Says he wrote a script for The Annihilator for Stan Lee a few years ago.
- 16:30 – Talks about how superhero movies are the safe bet right now, and he’s more interested in taking risks.