In Columbia Pictures’ terrifying thriller, Life, Oscar-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal stars as astronaut David Jordan who has the distance and remove of a man who has spent over 473 days on the International Space Station.
No one knows this home better than he does. The new crew members joining him are there using his home in space as a base for their game-changing mission.
Also starring Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, Life is about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.
The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa, who previously dazzled critics with Safe House. “I think Daniel Espinosa wanted to create a world that was suffocating, in a way,” says Gyllenhaal of his director. “In other movies, you can separate yourself from the reality of what you’re seeing. Daniel wanted to create an environment where everything was truly alive. Not only feeling that from the creature itself, but also truly alive emotionally.”
Gyllenhaal was intrigued not only by the script’s scares, but the larger ideas behind the characters. “It was a beautifully paced, terrifying script. It’s a fun idea – you think you know where it’s going, and then it evolves into something where you really, really don’t,” he says. “The life form is literal, but it’s also an incredible metaphor for what can happen. Curiosity is one of the most important human traits, but I think searching too far can be full of hubris. In that way, the life form is a repercussion for that kind of curiosity.”
While Gyllenhaal was attracted to the project for the script and story itself, he also saw a way to honor a family legacy with his role. “My grandfather was a doctor, and Daniel and I talked about the similarities in my character to my grandfather,” he says. “It’s a bit of an homage to him.”
Jake Gyllenhaal has established himself as one of the finest actors of his generation. With his new production company Ninestories, he is also on his way to becoming a filmmaker of note – sourcing material, developing it from the ground up, collaborating with bold storytellers, and shepherding the projects through release.
In 2014, Gyllenhaal starred in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, which he also produced. Playing an eccentric loner who finds his calling as an investigative crime journalist who will stop at nothing to get the story, Gyllenhaal received BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics’ Choice, and Independent Spirit Award nominations and was recognized as Best Actor citations from numerous critics’ groups.
Working with some of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers in both independent and studio films, Gyllenhaal starred in Ang Lee’s classic Brokeback Mountain, for which he received an Oscar® nomination and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor; David Ayer’s End of Watch, which placed in several critics’ Top 10 Films of 2012; Jean Marc Vallee’s Demolition; Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw; Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest; Denis Villeneuve’s highly acclaimed films Prisoners and Enemy; Richard Kelly’s cult hit Donnie Darko; Jim Sheridan’s Brothers; Duncan Jones’ Source Code, David Fincher’s Zodiac; Sam Mendes’ Jarhead; John Madden’s Proof; and, most recently, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, for which he earned a BAFTA nomination.