Compiled by: Jack Foley
In Roland Emmerichs The Day After Tomorrow, Jake Gyllenhaal
plays Sam Hall, son to Professor Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), a climatologist
who has been warning his colleagues that the planet is heading
for meltdown caused by global warming.
With Sam stranded in a New York, facing a second Ice Age, his
father faces a race against time to reach him.
Q: What made you want to do a blockbuster like The Day After
A: I love big movies and I always have. I love watching them.
Ive never been a cineaste, preferring just small, independent
films. I love big entertainment movies, so it wasnt really
a hesitation on my part.
It was just whether I would have enough to do whether it
would just be a movie about the weather, or be a movie about human
relationships, with a character you want to watch. I read it and
I thought it was awesome.
Q: Were you a fan of director, Roland Emmerichs previous
A: I loved Independence Day, and that was a big part of me
really wanting to do this movie. It has a great sense of humour
I found myself laughing at the secondary characters getting
squashed, like the reporter who gets hit with an Angelina [Jolie]
Q: Do you think this film will have the same impact on your
career as Titanic did for Leonardo DiCaprio? Are you worried that
A: With a story like that [Titanic], their love story was
the centre of the movie. But with this, the central relationship
is father-and-son, and I dont think theres ever been
a huge public response to a father-son love story, in the way
there would be to a love story. But, no, Im not worried
Q: So its a family story, in a way?
A: Yeah. The problems within the family, with people not paying
attention to each other, are the same thing we do to the environment,
and I thought that was an interesting idea. I dont think
its completely in the film, but I approached it that way.
I thought it was a beautiful metaphor. Its like, if we could
figure out the problems in our family, we could help the bigger
Q: I heard that Dustin Hoffman, who you worked with on Moonlight
Mile, advised you against taking the role
A: Yeah! He was saying You dont how many offers
youre going to get. Just wait it out and dont be impatient.
I said, Dustin, I really want to make this movie.
And I think hes been through movies that havent been
his cup-of-tea hed rather be the storm in the movie
than the storm itself!
And I totally respect that. But I grew up with those movies. I
go every Summer to all of them. Id be lying if I said I
didnt want to do it. Its a lie to say its a
career-movie, or its a lie to say the character was amazing
I just wanted to be in a movie like that.
Q: What was the hardest thing about filming?
A: Two weeks into the wave scene, when 700 extras were all
pissing into the tank, that was when I said to myself, This
seems to be a lot less romantic than I thought!
But most of it was pretty cool. We came very close to all vomiting
up paper snow when we werent using real snow, they
used the stuffing inside a baby-diaper.
Also, the scene when the water is rising in the public library,
they were sinking that room into the water, which had been recycled
from the 2 ½ weeks of us working with extras and
I was putting my head into it that day
the sacrifices I make!
Q: How environmentally aware were you when you were growing
A: I was always aware of it, and growing up being the
age I am we were always taught to recycle, and we always
had to have the tin can recycling man telling us to recycle in
elementary school, and teaching us what elements to put in the
trash can, and what to put in the recycling bin.
So I think I was brought up pretty aware of the environment. We
had Earth Day at my school, and I was always pretty
conscious of it, but I dont think I was ever really conscious
of the ramifications of what I did would have on the environment,
or, more importantly, what corporations in the world do, or have
This film has made me much more aware of how dire it is now, because
something like this could happen. Especially when a science fiction
director decides to find science fiction in reality, somethings
wrong. Its a little scary.
Q: Do you recycle?
A: I try to. I do recycle, and I try and plant trees to offset
the carbon dioxide I put into that atmosphere. I spend $400 a
year buying trees, to plant in a forest in Mozambique. Theyre
mango and nut trees, so theyre self-sustaining for the people
that grow them nuns that run this convent.
I do that, which is not really that accurate in terms of helping
things because it would probably be better to buy a hybrid-car
rather than plant trees, but Im trying to do my bit.
Q: What do you think the films underlying message is?
A: I think that there has always been a fascination with mythology
and metaphor, and it seems like this is a metaphor for clearing
things up and starting anew. I think its more about that
than the destruction of things people are watching things
they dont think could ever happen, or that are so dream-like,
and out of the ordinary and exist on another plane, it makes you
feel a little extraordinary yourself.
Q: So it carries a positive message then?
A: I think this movie is really about hope, in a much more
profound way than a lot of these big movies are. I feel like I
can say that, because I dont do them that much.
Its a movie where nobody saves the world, shoots a laser
beam and destroys the enemy. Its about us destroying us.
In the end, its about hope, that not everything is destroyed,
that we are the most resourceful creatures on earth and we will
figure out a way to live. That is cool. And thats not Hollywood
If theres one criticism about Hollywood, its that
they dont make things real. I dont buy that. This
is a movie about how we suffer the consequences; what happens
to Manhattan in this movie is very hopeful.
Q: Do you like to use your fame as an actor to talk about
A: It frustrates me when actors talk politics. Im political
and I make choices in my movies that I think are political. I
try and say things with what I do. I think its presumptuous
to say a movie will make a difference.
I think the intention with this movie is to have fun, but it also
does things that are political like America having to ask
Mexico for help. The President of the United States begging everyone
for help Im really into that!
I dont think it will have people protesting like they did
with The Passion
but it does raise issues. Theyre issues we all know about,
and take for granted. Hopefully, itll scare the shit out
of some people.
Q: Are you as fearless, in your own life, as you are in the
A: I prefer doing it in the movies its much easier!
The thing with this story, its not people doing super-human
things. Thats why I like it. I didnt have to get in
shape, work out, or go on a special diet. I was playing a normal
person, put in extreme circumstances.
Q: On a more personal note, is it true your great-great grandfather
spent his life collecting beetles in Sweden?
A: Thats what I was told as a child, and Id be
devastated if it wasnt true. Its true to me! But,
supposedly, he was a collector and cataloguer of beetles. Were
interesting people. He was knighted by the King of Sweden, and
we have a coat of arms. The Gyllenhaal family has a coat of arms