Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Demolition’ And Advice To Child Actors

Jake Gyllenhaal has been adopting some pretty destructive habits lately.

Gyllenhaal, who stars in the new indie film, Demolition, remarked to Fox411 about how people somehow manifest their thoughts in physical actions. The story is about an investment banker who turns to unconventional ways to deal with the death of his wife.

“I’ve always believed that there is the idea that in order to figure anything out you always have to kind of take it apart and look at it and see what it is and then discard some things, and then try to, and they come back, whatever it is. It’s funny when the character takes the figurative, that idea, and puts it into the real world because he’s so confused because he’s so numb that he doesn’t know what he feels he doesn’t know how to really feel so he just interprets it literally.”

The Tribune described how in the film, Gyllenhaal has to do a lot of performing in the physical sense. The character “loses his wife in a traffic accident, pours his heart out to a vending machine company and smashes his own home with a sledgehammer. But perhaps Gyllenhaal’s biggest challenge was having to free-style dance through throngs of New York commuters, as his bereaved Wall Street banker character throws out society’s expectations.”

Gyllenhaal, 35, admitted to a bit of stage fright during the filming in the street.

“I was really very nervous about that sequence. The director Jean-Marc Vallee said, ‘You’re going to just dance around’ and I thought, ‘Oh God, what is this going to be like?’ You have all those feelings of fear and embarrassment. And then, I was also nervous (that) it was going to be recorded, you know, for film, for a long time.”

Being New York, however, the commuters didn’t even really seem to notice.

Gyllenhaal did the bulldozing himself, handling the heavy equipment, the epitome of the difference between the men and the boys. He admitted that it is a stress release.

“I feel like any physical activity is usually pretty cathartic in a way.”

Gyllenhaal’s co-star is Judah Lewis, as Hollywood Elsewhere described, “whose age is being kept hidden for some reason but who seems to be around 14, has a certain je nais sais quoi X-factor ‘star is born’ thing going on.”

Gyllenhaal had a few words of advice for young Lewis and child actors in general.

“I think any professional business for a child where they’re not allowed to necessarily be a child is always dangerous. You know? I think kids should be allowed to be kids. But I also think that, I always believe in an education, I think that you can have however much talent and people can tell you that or not but an education has always been the thing that’s gotten me through.”

Lewis plays Naomi Watts’ son Chris, according to Hollywood Elsewhere, a “bordering-on-too-pretty kid with longish blonde hair who may be gay. Lewis’s eyes have a certain ‘extra-alert but masking something vulnerable and uncertain’ quality, and Chris has the usual rebellious, cigarette-smoking, rock-and-roll-dancing early teen thing down pat. Whatever ‘it’ is, Lewis has it.”

Jake’s first film was City Slickers in 1991, when he was 11-years-old.

“My parents, even though I was acting at a young age, always emphasized (education) and I went to school and I was lucky enough to go to college and as a result of that I think I really know what good material is. I know what moves me because I read the great material.”

Gyllenhaal admitted that child actors have an edge.

“I would also say to any adult actor that if you want to learn the most from a scene always find, if there’s a child in the scene, or a young adult follow them because they’re closer to something more honest than you’ll ever be just by the nature of them being younger.”

Demolition opens in theaters on April 8.

[Image via Featureflash/Shutterstock]