Jake Gyllenhaal unwittingly shepherded Barry Jenkins’ new film If Beale Street Could Talk into production, according to the director.
Speaking to LA Times about his Moonlight follow-up, Jenkins explained how the Oscar-nominated actor was already in contact with novelist James Baldwin’s estate about a different project – which opened the door for other artists to offer their pitches.
“He had been talking to the estate, went through the channels and got them to respond to his queries about another project,” Jenkins recalled.
“And then I just happened to write them a letter, literally the next day. A woman at the estate… said, ‘Well, I felt kinda bad because we were listening to Jake Gyllenhaal and we don’t ever want to be the kind of estate that only listens to famous people’ – I was nobody at the time – ‘so when your package came through, we were like, we might as well listen to this guy named Barry Jenkins.'”
This was a mighty stroke of good fortune for the award-winning filmmaker, with the Baldwin estate coincidentally interested in working with lesser-known talent at the time.
Funnily enough, this isn’t the first time Gyllenhaal has got a project off the ground – he was the guy who convinced Jamie Lee Curtis to speak with eventual Halloween sequel/reboot director David Gordon Green about revisiting her iconic character.
Let’s hope Jake can focus on his own career now and finally sign on for that Spider-Man: Far from Home role…
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