Movie Bytes: Prince of Persia Hits Blu-Ray on 9/14! Interview with Jake Gyllenhaal!
True to the spirit of Disney feature films, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films transport you to the enchanted lands of Persia for this family-friendly (meaning no issues with sex, language or bloody violence) action-adventure film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton.
It’s a race against time when a rogue orphan plucked from the streets and becomes a member of the royal family reluctantly teams up with a rival princess to safeguard a mystical dagger that gives its possessor the power to reverse time, change the course of events and even possibly rule the world. Based on the computer-game of the same name, this film is chock full of stunts, escapes, fighting, and twists of fate at every turn. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a fun-filled adventure that will keep your pulse– or at least the under 12 crowd pulses pounding long after the credits end.
The supporting cast includes Ben Kingsley who does an amazing job at playing the king’s brother and Alfred Molino who plays the cunning sheik who gets included in many of the daring escapes.
Interview with Jake Gyllenhaal
QUESTION: You and Gemma Arterton have great chemistry on screen in Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time. That must have helped in the scenes where your characters banter together?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: Oh definitely! Those scenes I think were the best written and the most fun to play. They came so naturally and we shot them so fast. It was unfortunate that the ended so quickly. We might spend a month on an action scene and half a day on that scene (with Gemma). We would nail it and move on. She and I had a sort of tit for that thing. The first time we met she looked at me as though she was unimpressed and I looked at her like…’You should be! Why aren’t you?’…(joked). So that was it from the beginning, there was no acting required.
QUESTION: The weather in Morocco during filming was supposed to be so hot and sandy that it was almost like having sand in your mouth all the time?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: It was not that bad. It was ok. It was hot but it was fun. The desert is really cleansing…the sand exfoliates your skin….and there is a nice warm dry sun and you are sweating.
QUESTION: You must have been conditioned by Jarhead?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: I was. I make a lot of movies about turning back time and a lot of movies in the desert. It’s a very strange thing.
QUESTION: You have been Spider Man and Batman. Now in Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time you have become a sort of super hero?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: No! I am a video game adaptation. (jokes)
QUESTION: So how does it feel to finally have your own action figure?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: That is like fulfilling the dreams that I had when I was eight years old. When he is playing with an action figure what young boy doesn’t think that maybe one day…You personify anyway as the action figure character that you are playing with, so to be one is incredible. If you were to go back to the eight year old me and say that one day you will be playing in a movie that looks a little like Indiana Jones, or The Goonies and a couple of other things and it is the video game that you are actually playing called the Prince Of Persia…I think that my head would have exploded.
QUESTION: What was your inspiration for the movie?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: My primary resource was the video game. There were also books and different paintings of that time that were real inspirations. After I read the script I had a meeting with Jerry Bruckheimer and asked him what the movie was going to look like. Was it going to look like a video game or how I might imagine a typical Disney film? For instance, I wondered if I was to be wearing the red outfit for the whole movie. Jerry handed me this book (The Orientalist) and said that was how he wanted it to look. But apart from that there was not a lot of research. There was some research into weaponry and things like that. But I looked on it more like it was based on a fantasy world that was based on reality.
QUESTION: What is it like to make a big expensive special effects film like Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: The thing about a movie like this that is interesting is that people tend to only associate it with commerce. For me it was always that it was so much fun. It is differentiating the actor with the businessman and the actor who says that he wants to be a kid again and have a good time. It was so exciting! Every day I would drive to work and it was like going to a sporting event when you are the captain of the team. There were thousands of cars lined up along the road for five miles and there was an army of film crew and then the sets were 100 feet high – all built with perfect detail. I don’t think you see that any more on a film set. So often it is green screen effects that are done later. But we could shoot anywhere because the details were extraordinary and there were thousands of extras. And some more were added in later – to make it even bigger! I would get in there and every day I did feel like a kid.