While shooting for a new movie during UFC 285, Jake Gyllenhaal showcased his chiseled physique and proficiency in mixed martial arts, leaving a lasting impression on many.
Jake Gyllenhaal stole the show during the UFC 285 weigh-ins
Later this year, Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal is set to star in a remake of the 1980s classic Road House, alongside Conor McGregor, which will be released on Amazon Prime. Gyllenhaal recently made a cameo appearance at UFC 285, where he ‘weighed in’ for a fictional title bout with retired MMA fighter Jay Hieron, who plays his opponent in the film.
The following day, the 42-year-old actor appeared in character as Elwood Dalton to film a scene in the Octagon between actual fights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Despite taking some heavy hits, Gyllenhaal landed a flying knee ‘knockout’ blow on his opponent, impressing UFC president Dana White, who commented on his muscular physique.
This isn’t the first time the Oscar nominee has played a fighter, as he starred in the 2015 movie “Southpaw” as a boxer trying to rebuild his life after a personal tragedy. To prepare for the role of a light-heavyweight world champion, the then-34-year-old actor gained 15 lbs of muscle and underwent several months of boxing training to become proficient in the sport.
Gyllenhaal underwent an intense training regimen, dedicating six hours a day to his workouts, which included 2000 sit-ups, an eight-mile run, and a combination of skipping, boxing, and weight training.
During an interview with Howard Stern, he confessed that he knew nothing about boxing prior to accepting the role and had to immerse himself in the learning process. Gyllenhaal said he trained twice daily for five months, starting with three-mile runs and gradually increasing to eight miles. His daily routine also included two hours of mitt work, heavy bag, and speed bags, although he admitted to being a novice in the sport, lacking basic jabbing skills.
He is now poised to co-star with Conor McGregor in “Road House” as an MMA fighter.
“Over five months, every single day, twice a day you just start learning the techniques. It took me two months to get the speed bag and feel confident with the speed bag.”
Gyllenhaal disclosed that he had engaged in actual boxing matches with professional boxers during his training, but had to cease several weeks before filming commenced as he could not appear battered and bruised in every scene.
He further elaborated, stating, “They were allowed to hit my face, and they did, but for most of the training sessions, we focused on body sparring. Then we progressed to full-on sparring, but six weeks prior to filming, we had to concentrate on choreography, as we needed to choreograph all of the fights.”
Despite taking a few punches along the way, Gyllenhaal enjoyed the training process.
He concluded by stating that the most intriguing aspect of acting was learning from professionals in various fields, and gaining insights into their work and experiences. He also acknowledged that being hit was part of the job, and it was a learning experience for him. Gyllenhaal added, “In fact, there are several actors who should get hit, and I’m one of them. It was okay.”
Following his impressive appearance at UFC 285, Gyllenhaal seems to have taken on the lifestyle of an MMA fighter, similar to Tom Hardy’s preparation for his role as a prizefighter in the 2011 film “Warrior.” Whether he continues to train in the sport, similar to Hardy, who trained for 12 years after his initial experience in martial arts, remains to be seen.