Over the past 13 years, Marvel Studios has steadily become one of the most successful and productive moviemakers in the business thanks to the efforts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Turning unknown actors and directors into megastars while also utilizing the talents of Hollywood's elite, the franchise is showing no signs of slowing down thanks to a flexible and malleable approach to delivering each unique entry.
With the MCU now standing as arguably the most popular franchise in the business these days, there are certain pressures that come from working with Marvel's elite team of producers and higher-ups . Even with films that utilize plenty of improvisation , like 2017's Thor: Ragnarok , fans have an expectation that Marvel Studios will put out quality material on a regular basis with the resources at hand.
For the constantly rotating roster of first-timers in the MCU from the Infinity Saga and beyond, this has often been a new experience that takes some time to get used to. This was particularly the case for a star from the end of Phase 3 who had to find new ways to excel at his craft just a few years ago.
Jake Gyllenhaal on His Anxiety During Spider-Man
MCU star Jake Gyllenhaal spoke with The Hollywood Reporter on his experience playing Mysterio in Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: Far From Home . Specifically, he expressed some of the anxiety he felt early during production as he learned about the Marvel Studios process.
Describing the MCU's world as "enormous," he revisited his first day on set for the film during an interview with Howard Stern, where he found himself fumbling over some of his lines as Quentin Beck. Expressing how much preparation he puts into all of his projects, he explained how he jumped onto "a train that was already moving:"
“It’s hard, man. That acting is hard. All of it. That world is enormous. And I joined that world way into that run; a train that was already moving. Normally, I come in way early on, and I get to figure it out.”
On a more positive note, he praised the way Marvel Studios considers new ideas that come into play during shooting, which occasionally means production will adjust for "an entire day" to make the ideas happen:
“If someone has a good idea, they will shift an entire day around that idea. For me, I loved it.”
Gyllenhaal looked back to a scene he had with Nick Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson and Spider-Man star Tom Holland where he couldn't remember his lines, forcing him to ask Holland for advice on the issue. Holland simply told him "It's all good, man, Just relax," helping to put Gyllenhaal at ease as he tried to put his best effort forward for a world he loved so much:
“I was freaking out. It was a scene with [Samuel L.] Jackson, Tom … there were a number of actors in that scene. And I remember not being able to remember my lines. I was the wooden board. And they were like, ‘Whoa.’ And I went up to Tom Holland and was like, ‘Dude, help me out.’ He’s like, ‘It’s all good, man. Just relax.’ It was like he was me in so many situations. And I finally did. I just put a lot of pressure on [myself] because I love that world.”
The Mysterio star felt the need to reassure Holland and his other co-stars that he would be able to do his best after a long run on Broadway doing "a one-man show for an hour and a half" every night on stage:
“I had to walk up and be like, ‘Look man, I just came off Broadway doing a one-man show for an hour and a half on stage, so I got this. Please, believe me.'”
Gyllenhall's Love for Mysterio & MCU World
Even for someone with such an extensive acting resume, plus having a sister in Maggie Gyllenhaal who starred in the highly-acclaimed DC movie The Dark Knight , the MCU was a whole new beast for Jake Gyllenhaal.
The bromance between Gyllenhaal and Holland is the stuff of MCU legend, although Holland's support for his co-star adds a new heartwarming wrinkle to their friendship. With Far From Home being Holland's fourth MCU movie at that point in time, he was all-in on the Marvel process and seemed more than willing to help Gyllenhaal give his best effort for his MCU debut.
In the end, their relationship on and off-screen helped drive the movie to wild success as Spider-Man: Far From Home became the first live-action Spidey movie ever to gross $1 billion at the global box office. With Gyllenhaal navigating an in-universe turn from supposed hero to jilted villain , his fights with Spider-Man were thrilling, all before he shocked the world by revealing Spider-Man's identity.
Mysterio will even play some kind of role in the highly-anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home this December, although it's a mystery if Gyllenhaal will embody the character again amongst so much other madness.
Regardless, his portrayal left an impact on the MCU Spider-Man's world, with Quentin Beck's actions helping kickstart the MCU Multiverse going into chaos.