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Jake Gyllenhaal Says It Was “Pretty Cool” Getting Personal Call From Christopher Nolan After Losing Batman Role


Jake Gyllenhaal opened up about losing roles in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! and Christopher Nolan‘s Batman Begins.

The Road House actor appeared on The Howard Stern Show and talked about how he handled finding out he was not chosen for the roles in the films he auditioned for.

In Moulin Rouge! the role of Christian, that ultimately went to Ewan McGregor, was down to Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, who the actor would wind up co-starring later in Brokeback Mountain.

“What I felt was disappointment when I didn’t get it. Both Heath and I were disappointed,” Gyllenhaal said. “But that’s Ewan McGregor’s part. You learn to go, ‘There’s another one. I can try and go in and audition for another one. I’ll get something else.’ You keep that attitude.”

Gyllenhaal continued with this mindset when he lost the role of Batman to Christian Bale in the Nolan-directed DC superhero film.

“To [Nolan’s] credit and to Baz [Luhrmann’s] credit, both of those directors called me personally to tell me [I didn’t get the role],” Gyllenhaal noted. “And they will tell you why.”

He continued, “When you get that far, there’s a real legitimacy to you potentially getting something. It’s not like they’re going, ‘Oh, thanks so much.’ They are going, ‘I saw these aspects of you that I really wanted in the role and are wonderful, but in the end, I ended up moving this way because it matches better with this person who is opposite you or would be opposite you. The color of their hair or their height, whatever it is!! There are all these non-factors that really are the inexplicable stuff that if you start to pick away at it doesn’t work, it’s not healthy.”

Gyllenhaal said that he reflects on how far he’s gotten and motivates himself to “just try and keep going.”

“I remember getting a call from Christopher Nolan and thinking, ‘I just got a call personally from Christopher Nolan. That’s pretty cool,” he added. “I’ve gotten pretty far. I went from them going they aren’t sure [about me] to a call saying they’re really thinking about you for this movie. So OK, I should keep going. I should just keep going.”

Gyllenhaal recently said that he would still want to play Batman.

“Oh, man. That’s a classic. It’s an honor,” he said in an interview with Screen Rant while promoting his new movie Road House. “Speaking of playing roles that other incredible actors have played in the past, to me actually roles that other incredible actors have played in the past, which, to me, actually, when I think about it, I’m going to play Iago in Othello with Denzel Washington, and I think about like the history of actors that have played that role throughout time, and I’m intimidated by that.”

He continued, “So that’s the first level. That’s what I’m working on right now. But of course. It would be an honor always. Those types of things and those roles are classics.”

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