Jake Gyllenhaal appeared on The Howard Stern Show this week to discuss his new Netflix thriller The Guilty (our shoulders have yet to descend three-days post viewing) and share some insights from his incredible career.
Rewinding two decades, Stern asked Gyllenhaal about his time filming the 2002 dark comedy The Good Girl opposite Jennifer Aniston. Specifically, what was it like filming love scenes with your on-screen crush? In a nutshell, glorious torture.
In the film written by Mike White (The White Lotus), Aniston plays a woman who is bored in her marriage and job at the local grocery store. Gyllenhaal plays a new employee who sparks Aniston’s curiosity, and the pair engage in an affair. Filmed in 2001 during a hiatus from Friends, Aniston had already reached A-lister status and understandably made for easy crush material.
During this week’s interview, Stern revisited previous comments Gyllenhaal had made about filming The Good Girl when he revealed that he had a crush on Aniston at the time, which made filming ‘torture.’ “Oh yeah, it was torture, yes it was,” said Gyllenhaal. “But it was actually not torture. I mean, come on. It was a mix of both.”
"Weirdly, love scenes are awkward because there are maybe 30, 50 people watching it. Maybe if you have a closed set that’s less," continued Gyllenhaal. "That doesn't turn me on. Most of the time it's oddly mechanical. And also it's a dance. You're choreographing for a camera."
To help reduce the chance of any protrusion (Stern’s words), Gyllenhaal said that Aniston was quick with a suggestion on how to make sex scenes comfortable for everyone. "I do remember a pillow. The pillow technique was used. That was just preemptive and generally always used when actually in a horizontal place in that movie.”
While the movie also included several storage-room make-out scenes, the pillow was used anytime the actors and their characters were in bed. "I think that was actually Jennifer's suggestion. I think she was actually very kind to suggest it before we began,” laughed Gyllenhaal, who was 21 at the time of filming with 32-year-old Aniston. “She was like, 'I'm putting a pillow here.' That was all she said. I think I remember that."
While not all of us get to film sex scenes with our Hollywood crush, the pillow technique will likely gain some traction thanks to Gyllenhaal’s interview, which will help many men avoid very uncomfortable conversations/protrusions.
Not only does Gyllenhaal’s latest interview with Stern act as a reminder that Aniston has been a smoke show for decades, but it’s likely going to give The Good Girl a big boost for streamers.
In addition to his not-so-surprising comments on Aniston (did/does anyone not have a crush on Jennifer in 2001/2021?), Gyllenhaal also touched on his time working with the late Heath Ledger on Brokeback Mountain, the generous acting advice he received early in his career from Chris Cooper, and what it’s like being a new member of the Marvel Universe.
Typically tight-lipped about his personal life, Gyllenhaal also admitted that things are going very well with girlfriend Jeanne Cadieu, adding that he hopes to be a great husband and father someday. Time to display our pillow technique, which involves crying directly into the softest part of the bedding for an hour straight.
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