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Jake Gyllenhaal is a Ripped, Boxing Beast in 'Southpaw': VIDEO

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Jake Gyllenhaal plays Junior Middleweight champ Billy “The Great” Hope in Southpaw, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and underwent the full physical transformation, as you can see.

The film co-stars Rachael McAdams, 50 Cent, Rita Ora, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, and Victor Ortiz.

Watch the first trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson Open in ‘Constellations’ on Broadway: REVIEW

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BY NAVEEN KUMAR

If you’re short on reasons to love Ruth Wilson (Golden Globe winner for The Affair) or Jake Gyllenhaal (leading man of your dreams since the days of Donnie Darko), their magnetic performances in Nick Payne’s engrossing new play Constellations, which opened on Broadway last night at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman Theatre, prove they’re as formidably talented as they are beautiful, onstage as onscreen. (Yes, it seems some people really can have it all.)

Con2Payne’s drama, which arrives in New York after a critically acclaimed production at London’s Royal Court Theatre and West End transfer in 2012, delivers on its cosmic title—with a love story that is, quite literally, “timeless.” Set in what the program deems “The Multiverse,” the play’s romance unfolds in a world of infinite—or at least multiple—possibilities. The theory Payne explores, which may be familiar to sci-fi fans and wide-eyed physicists alike (Wilson’s character is among the latter), allows for the existence of parallel universes and eschews the notion of linear time. (Don’t worry: The show runs a swift 70 minutes.)  

Con5In this case, that means our two stars (get it?) together on a black stage, surrounded by white orbs (a striking scenic design by Tom Scutt), performing variations on a series of scenes that combine to form a multi-dimensional love story. What if he’d been married when they first met? What if she’d been less withholding on their first date? From minor shifts in mood to more divergent twists in plot, the repeated variations create a sort of rich, imaginative portrait of love in a world of possibilities.   

Under deft direction by Michael Longhurst, Gyllenhaal and Wilson bring fierce yet effortless dedication to every moment, shifting abruptly from one scene to the next with precision and grace. The overall affect is, at first, playful and engaging—the play’s opening line, posed by Wilson’s character: “Do you know why it’s impossible to lick the tips of your elbows?” (They both eventually proceed to try.) And as details of the story gradually become clear, Payne’s play turns increasingly thought provoking and ultimately quite moving.

Con3As Marianne, Wilson (whose London stage credits include starring opposite Rachel Weisz in A Streetcar Named Desire and Jude Law in Anna Christie, both at the Donmar Warehouse) balances goofy charisma with a palpable emotional depth. Gyllenhaal (who made his American stage debut Off Broadway in Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet) brings a more understated, hapless charm to the quieter Roland.

Payne’s play, whose conceptual daring owes much to ground-laying works by Caryl Churchill (Top Girls, A Number), may leave some audiences scratching their heads. But, whether the drama’s metaphysical questions interest you or not, these celestial bodies are well worth stargazing at. 

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Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon Open in ‘The Real Thing’ on Broadway: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: joan marcus)


First Look: Jake Gyllenhaal Dishes Out Beefcake as Boxing Champ in 'Southpaw'

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While you can still catch Jake Gyllenhaal in theaters as the wiry, nocturnal adrenaline junkie in Nightcrawler, if beefcake is more your taste you'll have to wait till next year to see Gyllenhaal flex his goods for his lead role in Southpaw.

The first photo over at Deadline shows Gyllenhaal as Junior Middleweight Champion Billy "The Great" Hope, a "lefty champ who loses everything in a personal tragedy and is forced to fight his way to redemption."

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Southpaw also stars Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Forest Whitaker, Victor Ortiz, 50 Cent, Tyrese Gibson, and Rita Ora.

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Jake Gyllenhaal On the Political Legacy of 'Brokeback Mountain' And What The Film Means to Him - VIDEO

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Speaking with HuffPost Live, Jake Gyllenhaal shared his thoughts on 2005's Brokeback Mountain, the film's legacy and political significance, and how his career changed after filling Jack Twist's boots. 

Said Gyllenhaal: 

Gyllenhaal1It's a beautiful story and it was very successful in many different ways and so that's what brought a lot of the attention. And it was at the time, culturally, it gave me the idea that movies can be important. That they do have some sort of political value...it's become something beyond what any of us could have imagined.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can catch Gyllenhaal in theaters in the crime thriller Nightcrawler. Check out our review here

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Weekend Movies: Jake Gyllenhaal is Brilliant in 'Nightcrawler'

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Jake Gyllenhaal's got something to sell - "I think you'll want to see this"  

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

It would be disingenuous to claim that Jake Gyllenhaal is unrecognizable in NIGHTCRAWLER. It's hard not to commit Gyllenhaal to memory once you've seen him. But it would be true to say that he is less recognizable in Nightcrawler. The effect is not unlike the rubberneck squinting at the new Renée Zellweger, trying to place the differences that unsettle you. The actor dropped 30 lbs to play his new character and lived on the night shift to prepare and it wasn't for the strenuously faux-noble reason of biographic fidelity. It must be method madness that led him to burrow into this altogether terrific star turn as Lou Bloom, a gaunt sleepless thief turned "journalist". The big difference with this Gyllenhaal is in the eyes. Those big impossibly romantic orbs have lost all their soft blueness. They're suddenly bulging from their skull, like they want to escape it. Or like they're planning to hypnotize you while the mouth delivers its mechanical sales pitch.

And with Lou Bloom, the sales pitch never stop. The night owl approaches each conversation like it's a job interview, checking off catchphrases and talking points from his mental checklist. This is all well and good for the film's first reel when Lou is trying to find a job. But when he chances upon an accident one night and sees nightcrawling freelancers filming it, the search is over; he makes it his mission to join this profession. It's here where his can-do "I'm a hard worker" salesmanship begins to ferment and spook.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Jake Gyllenhaal and Jimmy Fallon Have a Water War: VIDEO

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The card game War like you've never seen it played before.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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