Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals How the MCU Changed His Perspective on Acting

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Jake Gyllenhaal MCU Spider-Man Marvel

Nearly three years ago, Marvel Studios officially concluded the Infinity Saga with Spider-Man: Far From Home, the second of three web-slinging solo films in the MCU. While it's moved into the background due to the record-breaking success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, this movie became a hit in its own right for the franchise behind Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal made his impact on the story with his live-action take on Quentin Beck, who became the high-tech supervillain Mysterio after starting off as an ally to Holland's Spider-Man. His influence was felt throughout various scenes in No Way Home as well, and even though the character didn't return for a second outing, there's a very real chance that he's still causing his own mayhem.

In the real world, Gyllenhaal has taken numerous opportunities to speak highly of his time working with Marvel Studios, heaping praise upon Holland for helping him handle the pressure he felt to be great in his role. More recently, he gave fans some insight into how the time he spent on the Spidey sequel helped him look at his entire profession as a whole in a new way.

Gyllenhaal's Eyes Opened Working in the MCU

Jake Gyllenhaal

MCU star Jake Gyllenhaal spoke with Vanity Fair in a retrospective on his career, which included his time playing Mysterio for Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Looking back to when he started that film, he felt that he was "taking (himself) too seriously" with his work and that he'd lost a part of who he was at the time. Far From Home allowed him to be a little less serious with his craft and, in a way, become the performer that he'd imagined being for a long time:

"What was interesting, when I went into Spider-Man: Far From Home... I think I was taking myself too seriously. In fact, I’m sure of it. I think I had really lost that sense of play and fun that I am. That sort of, that class clown that I talk about that found that idea of just popping a shoulder and making a funny face. It was such a cathartic thing to be able to throw away all that seriousness and really become the actor that I think I’ve always wanted to be in a lot of ways."

The MCU sequel gave him a new sense of gratitude for what he gets to do as he looked at how it's "all about the family of making a movie" when he's working on a project. With a smile on his face, Gyllenhaal gushed over how his time working on Far From Home made him realize just how fun acting is and that he should enjoy the moment and the people he works with:

"And find the play and the fun and the gratitude that I’m here and I get to do this. And, oh my god, like it’s all about the family of making a movie. It’s all about the experience that you have with the people you’re making that film with. And, I think that we go through journeys in our life where we’re finding ourselves and, in the case of Spider-Man, I think I realized, 'Hey, you know, acting is really fun. You know? Enjoy it! And the people here are fantastic! Enjoy them and enjoy the life around you cause life goes by super fast.'"

More Fun Than Ever for Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal is no stranger to massive Hollywood productions, having earned plenty of critical acclaim for movies like Brokeback Mountain and Nightcrawler. Once he joined the cast of Spider-Man: Far From Home, though, he got the chance to dive into something that was much more fun and loose than what he'd done for most of his life in the business.

The MCU's movies are inherently more fun and wild than many of the other movies Gyllenhaal had done in his career, especially with his specific role as Quentin Beck being something of a crazy character. He led the way in some of the movie's craziest scenes and moments, stringing along the heroes all the way through before revealing his plan to become the newest superhero post-Iron Man's death.

Even for all the stars that have shared how much they love being in the MCU, Gyllenhaal's experience seems to go to an even deeper level as he finds more of whom he wants to be as an actor. Whether he comes back for another round as Mysterio is a mystery, but it's heartwarming to see how the Spidey sequel gave the Hollywood veteran such a new perspective on his craft.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is available for purchase via digital and physical media.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.