We'll get to Prince of Persia in a second, but first let's talk about Jake Gyllenhaal, the song-and-dance man.
The 29-year-old actor tells me he's well prepared and gung-ho to star in a new movie adaptation of Damn Yankees, the legendary Broadway musical set in the 1950s about baseball fan Joe Hardy (Gyllenhaal) who sells his soul to the devil (Jim Carrey) to play ball against the Bronx Bombers...
"I sing," Gyllenhaal told me yesterday. "Of course, I sing. I've been singing since I was a little child." (Who could forget when he slipped into a dress and wig on Saturday Night Live to belt out a number from Dreamgirls back in January 2009.)
When the Yankees would begin production is still a question, "but it's definitely something that's in development," Gyllenhaal said.
We imagine busting out in song and dance won't be as painful as taking on his first action hero role in the new video game-turned-movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, out May 27.
He admits to "screwing up" his shoulders from all the hanging and grabbing onto things he had to do in many of the fight scenes. But even worse? "I tore off all the skin off both my hands from the palms to the middle of my fingers," he said. "Pretty much, all the skin was torn off. It was worth it for the result, but when it happened I walked up to the stunt guys and said, 'I tore off all the skin on my hands!' They were like, 'You are such a pussy.'"
Gyllenhaal laughs when I mention how he made headline news recently when he admitted to being afraid of ostriches after working alongside dozens of them in Persia. "It's important to admit your fears, Marc," he said. "They seem like very innocent birds but I'm told they could get very, very violent. You always have to watch your back. It's those things you find cute and cuddly that you just never know about."
Oh, as for going up against Sarah Jessica Parker and Sex and the City on opening day, Gyllenhaal mentions Carrie Bradshaw & Company's trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. "But If you wanna see people who really know how to ride a camel," he cracked, "then you really should see Prince of Persia."