Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals He Attended Murder Scene With LAPD to Prepare for ‘End of Watch’

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It was the ultimate life altering preparation for the new cop thriller End of Watch.

“I had no idea what to expect when I went on the first ride along,” the film’s star Jake Gyllenhaal told Celebuzz in an interview to promote his upcoming action drama film about two police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department who come upon a startling discovery, making them the targets of a drug cartel.

“I didn’t know what I would encounter.”

What the 31-year-old uncovered on his first night out on the streets with the LAPD — a graveyard shift — changed his perspective forever. It was a true-life horror story.’

What happened?

“It was a gang shooting,” Gyllenhaal, who starred in Brokeback Mountain, added.

“It was obviously drug related. One gang member was walking down the street and another one was pulling out of his car and it was having to do with some issues between two different sects of a gang.”

Gyllenhaal and his costar, Michael Pena, 36, spent five months rehearsing and researching for their roles, often accompanying police on ride-alongs in a bid to give them unique insight into Los Angeles’ underbelly and the thin blue line that exists between mayhem — and the rest of socierty.

“Of course it was scary, but it was also thrilling and also really life affirming,” Gyllenhaal added, during the interview at Toronto International Film Festival.

“It changed my perspective on my life and my perspective on my work.”

The gritty new police drama — End of Watch hits theaters on Sept. 21 — was shot documentary style on the streets of Los Angeles.

In the movie’s climactic sequence, Pena and Gyllenhaal are chasing down a perpetrator when he pulls to the curb and flees on foot. In the driver’s seat, Pena wanted the wheels to squeal as they skidded to a stop, but wound up crashing into the parked vehicle.

“I stopped early — six seconds of screeching — crashed into the car,” Pena told Celebuzz. “We got out and finished the scene. It’s in the movie.”

Gyllenhaal, who executive produced End of Watch with a mini-budget of $7 million, found several things flashing through his head as the car careened out of control.

“We only have one car, we only have one stunt car, we only have on dash-cam shot-car, it’s going to be hours before we can fix the hood of the car,” sighed Gyllenhaal, when he chatted to Celebuzz.

“All of these things went through my mind as we were sliding into the other vehicle.”

“The car started bumping against the back of the van and then started rolling on the opposite side of the street,” said Gyllenhaal.

“Ultimately, as dangerous as it was, it was pretty fun, too.”

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