The hunky actor shows off some fancy footwork—complete with gyrations, spins and slides—in Demolition, his upcoming dramedy in which he stars as a man who befriends a vending machine employee (Naomi Watts) and her son (newcomer Judah Lewis) after the tragic death of his wife (Heather Lind).
His big dance sequence takes place throughout the busy streets of New York City. Director Jean-Marc Vallée filled Gyllenhaal's iTunes with a mystery playlist.
"He gave me a mix of these songs I'd never even heard and that's his whole style," Gyllenhaal told me at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival opening night premiere of Demolition. "He didn't want me to listen any songs that would make me move. He wanted me to incorporate things I had never heard.
"I think it's one of those things where we all walk around, well, I'll speak for myself, and you're reserved and how you present yourself in one way or another or even to our friends or when you're out on the street and Jean-Marc just said, 'Let it go and who cares? Just let go and make a fool out of yourself.'"
It wasn't exactly in Gyllenhaal's comfort zone. "There's nothing more embarrassing while you're doing it and more relieving when you finish than something like that," he said with a big laugh.
Vallée was thoroughly impressed and even went so far as to compare Gyllenhaal to "Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly."
That's a good thing because Gyllenhaal also revealed at the premiere that he'd love to star in a Broadway musical sooner than later.