US Magazine interviewed Jake at a celebration for his 2015 SAG Award nomination in NYC on Wednesday, and Jake revealed that he didn’t used a stunt double while filming Southpaw.
He revealed that he and director Antoine Fuqua wanted to achieve an equally larger than life character to portray late professional boxer Hope.
[We] discussed that there have been many boxing films done, and we wanted to make sure that we were shooting it in a way that was real,” Gyllenhaal explained. “In a way that felt authentic. We didn’t want close-ups and fake outs, we did medium shots and I was really fighting.
He also talked about all the gym sessions – and why it needed to be trained hard.
I knew that I had to train that way. Everything that I did before the film was about getting those fight sequences right, we shot all the boxing in the first two weeks. We tried to make it as close to the real thing as possible, obviously it wasn’t absolutely real, but it was as close as we could get.
Gyllenhaal recalled one brutal learning experience in the ring, which subsequently made him empathize more with his character.
I will tell you this: There was that initial [hit], it was the first time I really got hit. It was this moment where I think you ask yourself what you’re trying to experience. I’ve had those moments before. When I did End Of Watch, the first ride along I went on, someone was killed on. I had this moment, what am I doing this for? But there is a reality to the stories that we’re telling it’s a reflection of what’s really going on. There’s a responsibility. Getting hit in a boxing ring makes you understand. It makes you have empathy. I’m not going to say it felt good. But there is something about that experience that shows the real experience.