Jake Gyllenhaal ratchets up the intensity in this new trailer for Nightcrawler. The indie thriller (out Oct. 17) stars Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom, an aspiring television reporter who prowls Los Angeles at night, looking for fresh crime and disaster footage. The character’s eager, well-rehearsed “hire me” speech provides the audio for the teaser trailer, but the visuals tell a different story: Bloom being chased away from a crime scene by police, witnessing car crashes, and dragging a corpse into the street for a better camera angle. The final seconds of the trailer show Gyllenhaal’s character in a TV news studio, looking silently into the camera with an unsettling, unflinching stare. Try not to shudder.
Gyllenhaal is having a bit of a mid-career renaissance right now, with his nuanced performances in Prisoners, Enemy, and End of Watch winning critical raves. He went the extra mile for Nightcrawler, losing a large amount of weight in order to convey that Bloom is “literally and figuratively hungry,” as he told Us Weekly. At one point during shooting, Gyllenhaal became so absorbed in a scene that he spontaneously punched a mirror and cut his hand, requiring a trip to the hospital. (That scene can be glimpsed in the teaser.)
Perhaps inevitably, Gyllenhaal’s offbeat film choices and extreme dedication have been inspiring comparisons to Matthew McConaughey. Too bad “Gyllenhaalissance” doesn’t have the same ring.