Despite 30 years of film and theater acting experience, it turns out even Academy award-nominated Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t immune to getting a bit of anxiety on set. While the seasoned actor has earned critical-acclaim for his performances in films such as Donnie Darko, Nightcrawler, and Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal has revealed that none of his previous tense and dramatic work quite prepared him for what it would be like to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.
In an appearance this week on the Howard Stern Show, Gyllenhaal told Stern acting in a Marvel movie was “a whole different craft,” explaining how production would “move with ideas” and how his late entry to the MCU was “hard.” The actor says it was like jumping on a moving train.
“It’s hard, man. That acting is hard. All of it. That world is enormous. And I joined that world way into that run; a train that was already moving. Normally, I come in way early on, and I get to figure it out [..] If someone has a good idea, they will shift an entire day around that idea.”
According to Gyllenhaal, his nerves ultimately got the better of him on the first day of shooting the second entry in Marvel’s Spider-Man series, shocking even himself. Gyllenhaal says he then had to turn to Peter Parker himself (Tom Holland) to help him work through his anxiety and remember his lines.
“I was freaking out,” he said. “It was a scene with [Samuel L.] Jackson, Tom … there were a number of actors in that scene. And I remember not being able to remember my lines. I was the wooden board. And they were like, ‘Whoa.’ And I went up to Tom Holland and was like, ‘Dude, help me out.’ He’s like, ‘It’s all good, man. Just relax.’ It was like he was me in so many situations. And I finally did. I just put a lot of pressure on [myself] because I love that world.”
Ultimately, fans and critics agreed that Gyllenhaal delivered a pretty fantastic performance as Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, in Spider-Man: Far From Home, continuing the current Spider-Man‘s track record of creating real powerhouse villains for Holland’s Peter Parker to face off against. The next entry in the Spider-Man series, Spider-Man: No Way Home, swings into theaters December 17, and will feature Alfred Molina reprising his role as Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doc Ock, much to the delight of longtime Spidey fans.