There was a time in the early 2000s when it seemed like all movie studios wanted to do was make disaster films. One such film was the 1996 released Independence Day, which was such a smash hit that Hollywood had no choice but to replicate it. That’s partly how we got 2004’s apocalyptic classic The Day After Tomorrow, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
The actor recently spoke to Vanity Fair about his career and the classic movie, in particular. He reminisced about the days spent filming the science fiction story and how it made him realize the “absurdity” of movies.
“One of the things I remember about that film, which I think it defines moviemaking and being an actor in movies totally, is that we were filming in Montreal in the dead of winter and Quebec winters are not for a slouch. It was freezing and yet we were shooting on a stage, a massive stage, that was heated to 80 degrees and then we were shooting in fake snow inside that stage pretending like we were freezing cold. [Laughs] That just sort of encapsulates the absurdity of what movies are and how you desperately need your imagination in order to make these things work.”
But at the same time, Gyllenhaal revealed he was also mesmerized by the massive creation of iconic oversized props and real-life locations to fit the plotline of the film.
“And also, there are these great moments of the size that movies can be, like the grand nature of making movies that is just so beautiful and I remember walking on set and there being the front steps of the New York City Public Library on a stage in Montreal and a water tank the size of, I don’t even know, it was just massive with cars submerged up to their windows and a thousand extras and a machine that could make a fake tsunami. I just thought, ‘This is just the best job.’”
Gyllenhaal can currently be seen in Michael Bay’s Ambulance, playing in theatres now.