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Jake Gyllenhaal Recalls Absurd & Massive The Day After Tomorrow Shoot

Jake Gyllenhaal looks back on the absurd and massive scale of The Day After Tomorrow shoot and how it solidified his feelings about acting.

Jake Gyllenhaal looks back on the absurd and massive scale of The Day After Tomorrow shoot and how it solidified his feelings about acting. Gyllenhaal starred in the 2003 film as Sam Hall, son of Dennis Quaid’s paleoclimatologist Jack, who is trapped in New York when a major storm surge brings in tsunami-like waves and flooding the city, trapping Sam and his friends inside the New York City Public Library. His father races against time to reach him before the impending new ice age freezes Sam and his friends to death.

Alongside Quaid and Gyllenhaal, the cast for The Day After Tomorrow included Sela Ward, Emmy Rossum, Ian Holm, Arjay Smith, Austin Nichols, Dash Mihok, Jay O. Sanders, Kenneth Walsh, Perry King and Nestor Serrano. Co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich and inspired by the novel The Coming Global Superstorm, the disaster thriller debuted to mixed reviews from critics, who praised the special effects and action sequences while directing criticism to the poor screenplay and ludicrous science presented in the film. Despite the mixed reviews, The Day After Tomorrow was a box office smash, grossing over $552 million against its $125 million budget.

Related: Roland Emmerich’s Favorite Disaster Movies

While appearing on Vanity Fair‘s series of actors revisiting their career timelines, Jake Gyllenhaal looked back on filming Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow. The Oscar nominee recalled the “absurdity” of filming on a “massive” heated soundstage in the freezing winter of Quebec and how it helped boost his confidence in his profession. See what Gyllenhaal shared below:

“One of the things I remember about that film, which I think it defines moviemaking and being an actor in movies totally, is that we were filming in Montreal in the dead of winter and Quebec winters are not for a slouch. It was freezing and yet we were shooting on a stage, a massive stage, that was heated to 80 degrees and then we were shooting in fake snow inside that stage pretending like we were freezing cold. [Laughs] That just sort of encapsulates the absurdity of what movies are and how you desperately need your imagination in order to make these things work. And also, there are these great moments of the size that movies can be, like the grand nature of making movies that is just so beautiful and I remember walking on set and there being the front steps of the New York City Public Library on a stage in Montreal and a water tank the size of, I don’t even know, it was just massive with cars submerged up to their windows and a thousand extras and a machine that could make a fake tsunami. I just thought, ‘This is just the best job.’”

Jake Gyllenhaal as Sam Hall and company in The Day After Tomorrow

Roland Emmerich is best known for his work in the disaster genre and is credited as one of the key figures in helping revive the genre in the ’90s alongside Jan de Bont with Twister, Michael Bay with Armageddon and James Cameron with Titanic. Emmerich’s first effort in the genre came with 1996’s Independence Day and would continue in the subsequent 25 years with hits such as The Day After Tomorrow10,000 BC and 2012. Despite most of his films scoring large box office returns, most have received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics for his poorly written screenplays, uninteresting characters an inaccurate historical and scientific plots while some have commended him for delivering popcorn entertainment.

Gyllenhaal’s The Day After Tomorrow experience seems largely in line with how critics and audiences feel about Emmerich’s films in general, delivering something that’s both absurd and massive in its scale. Though fans of the actor may not have the movie in their lists of favorite Gyllenhaal roles, his time on the set and cementing his love for the job should serve as a charming look back in history. Audiences can revisit The Day After Tomorrow streaming on HBO Max now.

More: Every Jake Gyllenhaal Movie, Ranked From Worst To Best

Source: Vanity Fair

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