Most of us tend to run away at the first sign of trouble—not towards it. But then again, most of us aren’t Lou Bloom.
Lou, played by Academy Award-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, is a desperate-for-work young man who finds his “calling” as an atypical Los Angeles crime journalist. He gathers a group of freelance camera crews and films crashes, fires…and even murder.
Reporting on all of the dangerous mayhem that occurs once the sun goes down, Lou becomes L.A.’s very own nightcrawler.
Directed by Dan Gilroy and also starring Rene Russo, Nightcrawler follows Lou on his high-speed adventures as he goes from being just an observer to starring in his own story.
Speaking to a group of journalists during a press day to promote the upcoming thriller, Gyllenhaal delved into playing this intense character, the state of today’s journalism and filming Nightcrawler in Los Angeles.
On labeling his character, Lou, as a “sociopath”:
As soon as you say he’s a sociopath, it’s like he’s over there, don’t worry, we don’t have to deal with that. In a way he’s a product; he does what he does. He’s enabled by Nina, Rene [Russo’s] character, and Nina is enabled by the heads of the station, and they are enabled by us. There’s a world we could maybe live ideally where someone like Lou wouldn’t be the head of a huge major network, but I feel like in the world we live in now, he probably would.
On basing Lou off a coyote:
Who lives in L.A. and has not had an exchange with a coyote, right? Like, every time I tell someone that I based this character off a coyote they’re like, “Ohhhh,” because who hasn’t been eye f*cked by a coyote? They are not intimidated by you at all…I’ve grown to love them because I did so much research and felt like I was one of them for so long playing this character.
On the state of today’s journalism and media:
I was taught and raised that it’s important to know, and be informed and make choices based on a number of different sources, not just one. I don’t think any story is good unless there’s a bit of indictment somewhere. I think “indictment” is the wrong word…unless there’s some sort of comment, some sort of commentary.
[…] There have been people who come up to me, who do work in the media, who’ve said, “I would buy that footage from Lou,” and that’s interesting to me. That’s fascinating, and I think it’s also true. You can go on any news site and scroll down, and we don’t want to read half of the things we have to read. And I’m sure [journalists] don’t want to cover it, but it’s important that people know it.
I have been more moved by the media emotionally. My heart has swelled from stories I’ve read, and I think that’s what’s beautiful about the job all [journalists] do, that we’re all part of it. And I feel that way about movies, too.
On filming Nightcrawler in Los Angeles:
This movie would not have been able to be made anywhere else. This is a Los Angeles movie, but I think it’s a movie about the world. And L.A., from my experience of L.A., has every single culture in it. It’s just this extraordinarily vast melting pot, but also the topography of it is really important. There’s the desert outside, and then there’s the city, the metropolis […] And there’s the green grass and the lawns we all create that are all man-made. And outside of that is wilderness and the animal kingdom.
Nightcrawler releases in theaters Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Click here to buy tickets!
Enter to win passes for you and a guest to attend an advance screening of Nightcrawler in Downtown L.A. on Tuesday, Oct. 28!