Toronto Film Festival: Jake Gyllenhaal says he ‘finally played a superhero’

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Jake Gyllenhaal has said he finally feels like he has played a superhero with his latest film Stronger.

The actor portraying Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the Boston Marathon 2013 bombing, in the film.

Gyllenhaal said: “a lot of people ask me, ‘When are you going to play a superhero?’, and now I feel like I finally have.”

He described Bauman as “a total inspiration to me”, as the film premiered at the Film Festival of Toronto.

“What I learned from this movie is vulnerable, you are open, everything Jeff shares on the imperfections of himself, which makes him one of the strongest people I know.”

A photograph taken of Bauman immediately after the bombing showed him being pushed in a wheelchair by paramedics after losing both his legs in the explosion, which left three people dead.

Scott Garfield

The image became synonymous with the attack, and Bauman later published a book of memoirs, in which the film is based.

“It is a real honour for this to happen, it’s surreal for me,” said Bauman of the realization of the Strongest.

He joked that he had “never seen any of Jake’s movies” before the movie was made, but then admitted that he had in fact seen nearly all of them, and I was a big fan of the actor.

He speaks about his perception of the public opinion from the bombing, Bauman said: “I don’t like to be called a hero.

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“The people that saved my life, the people that threw me down to the ground, the police, the paramedics, who are the real heroes. There are heroes of all.”

Gyllenhaal also serves as a producer on the film, which opens in the uk in December.

The actor said: “I was very intimidated to meet with Jeff. There is No way that any of us could really match the reality of what he and his family went through this journey.

“But we share a similar sense of humor, there is something about our connection. David [Gordon, the director] was right in wanting me to play this part because we have a lot of similarities.”

Asked if now they share a bromance, the actor jokingly began to stroke Jeff’s prosthetic leg before to accept that they do.

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The couple is currently promoting the film in Toronto next to Gordon, the writer John Pollono and cast members Miranda Richardson and Tatiana Maslany.

“I’m not ready for goodbyes on the red caret, as Jake is,” Bauman said, “I’m like, ‘What can I do?'”

“But I love going home and spending time with my dog and my daughter, that is what I live, so it’s a good balance, and that is what you need.”


Read more from the festival:
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7 tips to write scripts of Aaron Sorkin
Lady Gaga ‘has not seen’ documentary
13 key films in the Film Festival of Toronto

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