Jake Gyllenhaal on Why He’s Acting in a New Off-Broadway Play: “I want to come home at the end of the day and be wiped out and feel I’ve torn my heart out”

Jake Gyllenhaal is taking a step away from film projects to star in the stage production of Roundabout Theatre Company’s, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet.

In the show, the actor plays a man named Uncle Terry, ‘a heartbroken drifter with the mouth of a sailor.’ “The intentions of Terry are very different from anything I’ve played before, especially his vicious side,” Gyllenhaal noted.  “It intrigued me so much, and that was the sign.  I want to come home at the end of the day and be wiped out and feel I’ve torn my heart out from acting and feel fulfilled.  At this point I don’t have the desire to do anything other than projects that make me feel this way.”

“I wasn’t really listening to myself about the kinds of projects I wanted to do,” he told The New York Times.  “I had to figure out what kind of an actor I wanted to be and feel confident going for that.”

Gyllenhaal, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Brokeback Mountain, has had some career missteps with films like The Day After Tomorrow and The Prince of Persia.  “Early in your career it’s hard to know everything for yourself, and asking questions isn’t always a welcome thing in Hollywood, where everyone seems like they know what they’re doing.  Around the time I hit 30, I asked myself if I was respecting acting as a craft, and if I was doing the right projects that deserved my attention and where I’m learning in a way that you might not feel at 15.  So now it’s like I look at acting more as building little delicate cricket cages, with care and more thought.”

For more info on the play, click here

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