Jake Gyllenhaal has been thinking about regret a lot lately — and that’s not a bad thing, he insists. “If you don’t listen to [regret], then you’re not going to grow,” he says.
The topic has come up a lot thanks to his latest movie, “Source Code,” in which Gyllenhaal plays a soldier tasked with jumping back into the last eight minutes of another man’s life to find the culprit behind a train bombing. All the introspection has led to one conclusion: Gyllenhaal isn’t interested in getting a do-over in his own life. “I wouldn’t redo or relive anything,” he says. “Regret is a great teacher if you listen to it.”
Bringing “Source Code” to the screen started with Gyllenhaal, who was given the script by the film’s producer, Mark Gordon. “The first 15 pages I read, I was like, ‘What the hell is going on?,’” the actor remembers. “I put it down thinking, ‘This … can’t be any better than the first 15 pages.’ Because I thought it would end up with, like, this guy turning into a dancing bear and floating up into the clouds.”
Gyllenhaal enlisted Duncan Jones (“Moon”) to direct and knew he had the right man after meeting him. “He was leaving really quickly because he had just met his girlfriend and they’d sort of just fallen in love,” Gyllenhaal remembers. “I was like, ‘That’s the kind of guy I like.’ Someone who will stop business meetings to involve himself in his own life.”