Actors undergoing physical transformations is nothing new anymore, and it seems to be a sure way to get the attention of awards voters. One need only look at how going frail worked in Matthew McConaughey's favor last year in Dallas Buyers Club. Another actor in the midst of a career resurgence is Jake Gyllenhaal, who has completely reinvented himself with End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy, and this year's Nightcrawler which saw him drop a ton of weight until he looked sickly. But what may be more amazing is the complete 180 he's pulled since then, as he is completely ripped in this first image from Antoine Fuqua's boxing drama, Southpaw.
It's an amazing turnaround for Gyllenhaal, and Fuqua had nothing but high praise for the work he put into training his body. Fuqua tells Deadline...
"I asked this guy from day one, ‘I need you in the gym every day. I need you to train every day.’ And I said, ‘The word is sacrifice.’ Literally. I think he broke up with his girlfriend because he was just in the gym every day. He was training like a fighter. I had him sparring, really getting hit. I put him in situations where I wanted to see what he was made of. No one but fighters understand the sacrifice it takes to be a fighter.”
That's a Hell of a commitment but the results can't be disputed. After a troubled start, Southpaw seems to be shaping up just as nicely as Gyllenhaal's abs. Penned by Sons of Anarchy's Kurt Sutter with Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker co-starring, the film centers on a troubled lefty middleweight who loses everything in his personal and professional life, and must literally fight for redemption.
Southpaw is expected to open in 2015.