Jake Gyllenhaal says he dropped 'a little over 20 pounds' and credits his mental approach to the character for his dramatic weight loss.
Jake Gyllenhaal looked noticeably thinner when he attended the Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills Monday night, October 21. On the red carpet, he said his major weight loss was for the sake of art. He lost some of his muscles for his role as a struggling, freelance video news reporter in "Nightcrawler".
The "Prisoners" star said his mental approach to the character helped him shed his weight. "I can only approach things from a mental place," the once-bulky star explained to E! News. "Like I'm playing a character who's hungry, figuratively and literally, who's driven in ways to do things and succeed at any cost."
"And I think that defines a generation in a lot of way so I wanted to get their mentally and then have it transform me physically, because I am not one to rely on science as much as I am on just sort of instinct. That's sort of the character," he went on. According to him, he lost "a little over 20 pounds" to prepare for the movie.
People might see his technique as "a strange one," the 32-year-old actor said to PEOPLE at the event, "but I love what I do." He elaborated, "It's not different than getting into character for anything. It's more about believing where you are and being present where you are."
Gyllenhaal follows the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale who went from bulky to bony to play an HIV-positive man in "Dallas Buyers Club", due in the U.S. on November 1 this year, and an insomniac in 2004's "The Machinist" respectively.
Before them, there was Tom Hanks who packed on 30 pounds to play baseball coach Jimmy Dugan in 1992's "A League of Their Own". He then dramatically dropped from 225 pounds to 170 pounds for 2000's "Cast Away" to portray a man stranded on a deserted island.
McConaughey even asked for diet tips from Hanks as he's preparing for his "Dallas Buyers Club" role, "I actually called Tom and had a great conversation with him about what he learned about losing weight for 'Philadelphia' and 'Cast Away'."