Jake Gyllenhaal is back on the big screen this week with Spider-Man: Far from Home—the actors first major tentpole release in almost a decade, after 2010s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The film drew controversy for casting Gyllenhaal instead of an actor of Iranian descent to play the lead—and the actor seems to agree the criticism was more than fair, though he stopped just short recently of saying as much. Gyllenhaal did, however, explicitly say that his Prince of Persia experience changed the way he thinks about which roles he should accept.
Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Gyllenhaal said, “I think I learned a lot from [Prince of Persia], in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick, and why Im picking them. And youre bound to slip up and be like, That wasnt right for me, or That didnt fit perfectly. There have been a number of roles like that. And then a number of roles that do.”
Spider-Man: Far from Home debuts Tuesday, and finds Gyllenhaal playing Mysterio—a role that allows the actor to stretch some of his wackier muscles. In his review of the film, Vanity Fair chief critic Richard Lawsonwrote, “Plenty of big stars have shown up to play roles in various Avengers movies, but something about Gyllenhaals specific presence brings a dark metatinge to the whole thing—this fallen Prince of Persia here to warn us about the dangers of franchise worship. Sort of, anyway.”
The irony of Gyllenhaals role in Far from Home is that, as Yahoo points out, the actor was reportedly once in the running to play Spidey himself; after Tobey Maguire injured himself ahead of 2004s Spider-Man 2, Gyllenhaal was rumored to be on a list of potential replacements. “I heard the same thing,” Gyllenhaal told Yahoo. “The truth of the matter is, in the end, hes Spider-Man. …There are so many roles in my career where I was up against another actor, or something happened that possibly couldve happened, but didnt happen, but maybe it would have…Eventually my belief is when an actors played a character, particularly in a movie, the characters theirs, and thats that.” So no one else better try and muscle in on Mysterio; that ones all Gyllenhaal.
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