The Oscar-nominated actor told David Gregory on Today that he spent “almost every morning five days a week fighting these kids in Echo Park at a great dojo. I got basically beaten up by these 14 to 20-year-old kids every morning.”
As the actor told Celebuzz in an interview, he and his co-star Michael Pena spent five months preparing for their 22-day shoot. They completed tactile training, fight training and the aforementioned ride-alongs, which included a visit to a murder scene. However, these five months weren’t just about training, they were also about building a real life friendship between the co-stars.
What did Gyllenhaal, 31, say his gritty new movie is really about?
“It’s about friendship, that’s what the movie is all about,” Gyllenhaal said.
“We shot all the scenes in the car in a day-and-a-half and that’s like 30 percent of the movie,” he said of the time him and Pena, 36, spent together. He added, “The reason why I gravitate to a movie is the heart in it and what it’s really trying to say.”
The Brokeback Mountain star mentioned the duo “had to prepare like that” for the raw and intense film as it’s shot from the point of view of police officers so the audience can feel as if they are in the car with them. In order to get that real feeling, it only makes sense they went
In addition to End of Watch, which Gyllenhaal also executive produced, the versatile actor will be making his debut in an off-Broadway play about a family.
You can watch Gyllenhaal’s entire interview above.
End of Watch hits theaters on Friday, Sept. 21.