shadows features The threesome
Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Ed Zwick talk about nudity, love and other drugs... • Page 1 of 2
hathaway, zwick and gyllenhaal
At the premiere: Hathaway, Zwick and Gyllenhaal
love & other drugs
hathaway and gyllenhaal

19.Dec.80 • Los Angeles
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Get Smart (2008)Becoming Jane (2007)

B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Love & Other Drugs When Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Ed Zwick walk into the room, there's definitely a sense that they've been through an experience together. Indeed, their film Love & Other Drugs is not only a pointed comedy about drug companies, it's also an emotional drama about personal illness and an unusually sexy romance. They look a little tired from jetting around promoting the film, but they're also extremely relaxed together, and comfortable enough to make lame jokes at each other's expense. Although no one mentions the rather striking contrast between Jake's deep tan and Anne's porcelain skin...

Anne and Jake, was working together again something that drew you to this project?
Anne Hathaway:
Well, I really believed Jamie and Maggie's love on the page. I'd had such a wonderful time working with Jake on Brokeback Mountain that I believed we could get there again, hopefully with a greater result, because we didn't really love each other that much the last time! The more conversations I had with Ed Zwick and [cowriter-producer] Marshall Herskovitz the more it became apparent to me that it was an adventure worth taking.

Jake Gyllenhaal: I just think there comes a time in different people's lives where they say, "Do I have real love? Do I want real love? What is real love?" When I read the script I happened to be in a period of time where that seemed to be a pertinent question. I very rarely have a moment where I get excited and I go, "Somebody wrote this for me and they don't know it." And I felt that way when I read this for the first time. I was loving the character at first and then I was crying at the end, because when he says, "Sometimes your life doesn't go the way you expect it to, and usually it doesn't. And if you follow life and not what you think it should be, then it'll all work out in the end." Somehow that just moved me to the core and I couldn't not do it. And then I've also always wanted to get naked with Anne again in a movie and I felt like this was an opportunity to help her, so I just dove right in.

I’ve always wanted to get naked with Anne again in
a movie.

Anne: So you're saying it was out of pity.
Jake: Yes, it was out of pity that I did it.
Anne: I hate you!
Jack: Well, I was the 45th actor to be offered the role, because after everyone heard they had to be naked with Anne they turned it down!

This is very different from the bigger epics you're known for.
Ed Zwick:
I've always been interested in the relationships in those larger stories anyway. I think that it was an opportunity to maybe strip away some of the spectacle and action and really focus on the performances. That was always what interested me most.

In the film, Maggie asks Jamie to list four things he likes about himself. Could you do that about yourself?
Now? I can think of few things more painful than naming four good things about yourself in front of a bunch of journalists!
Jake: I think it's a testament to how much Anne and I legitimately care about each other that we could probably name four good things about each other. And we have actually, because we've been asked that question a few times. I enjoy thinking about how much I admire her and talking about it, because it's nice and because it's rare. We could do that now, but it's hard to say four good things - erm, Anne said it well.
Anne: I think that the reason you can trust that we like each other is that we would also tell you four bad things about each other too.
Jake: That's true. I think both of us recognise the flaws and things that probably frustrate us about each other and the things we love about each other, and we are honest with each other about those things. And Ed is honest with us about these things too. He was in there with us with everything, even the love scenes, uncomfortably! And so it's sort of the three of us.

The real Jamie was on the set. How did he help you play him on screen?
I spent hours with Jamie, picking up his rhythms, picking up his stories and stealing from repetition in his conversation. There was a character that was written and that was pretty clear as to his personality, but then when I started talking to Jamie I would bring things to Ed. Like, he always goes, "Really? Really?" He always told these stories, I'd be at restaurants with him and we'd be talking and he would grab a waitress or someone around us and ask them where they were from. If I went to the restroom and came back, he would know their whole life story. He would know someone they were related to. It's crazy! I don't know how he does it, but a lot of the character is from him.
Ed: I think the scarier parts are the parts that are from you.
Jake: Yeah. And I had a very tough time getting into the pharmaceutical world and getting information from active reps. I talked to my doctors, and they gave me pharmaceutical reps to talk to, but it was hard to get the truth out of them about what happens. Jamie was really an essential part of it, along with people who would sneak information to me on set, whispering, "My brother is a drug rep and he just wanted me to give you this pamphlet about blah blah blah, but don't tell anybody that you got it from me!"

We asked ourselves how we could subvert the obligatory beats of
a love story.

And were the people in the convention scene really people with Parkinson's?
Yes, a few people were actors and a few people had Parkinson's.
Ed: They all had Parkinson's.
Anne: Yes, and some of them were also actors. The woman who is most heavily featured in that scene, the emcee of the support group, is an actress and she works with a disabled person's theatre group in Denver. She gave me a lot of different insights. I spoke with a few people with early onset Parkinson's Disease, not just about the physical symptoms or what the side effects were from the medication, or what it was like to be on that kind of a schedule, but also the anxiety of being sick and what it was like to have Stage 1. Because I think we are right to do so and make it very clear in the film that Stage 1 is very much about good days and bad days. And everyone asked me the same question: "Has she accepted her diagnosis yet?" Which led me to believe that there's a whole world of anxiety before you come to that moment. Michael J Fox very eloquently and gracefully describes his relationship with Parkinson's as having evolved to a place where he thinks of it as a gift. But it's quite a journey to get there and I think one of the strengths of the film - and one of the things that drew me to my character - was the articulation of that journey and getting to play that.

Was it tricky to adapt a book by and about a living person?
I think the book provided extraordinary context not only for Jake's character but for the universe the story takes place in. It was a moment in which a quiet revolution happened in America: for the very first time pharmaceutical drugs were allowed to be advertised on television and sold directly to the consumer. And the book created the whole ambient world, but that was only a point of departure. The story was very much an original creation that Charles Randolph began, then Marshall and I carried through, and Jake and Anne joined in. A lot of our experiences indirectly influence that story and how we approach various scenes. There are any number of conventions and pitfalls of the obligatory beats of a love story, and we asked ourselves how we could subvert those. Inevitably one character's going to say I love you to the other, or one person is going to get jealous - these are beats that are necessarily going to be in a love story, but it was our intent to find an original attack on each of them.


© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall