WEIRDLAND: Peter Sarsgaard: Living in a sexy grey sepia-toned place

Friday, October 23, 2009

Peter Sarsgaard: Living in a sexy grey sepia-toned place

Peter Sarsgaard and Jake Gyllenhaal, "InStyle" magazine photoshoot, 2007.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard at 'Jarhead' Photocall, on 15th December 2005, in Madrid, Spain (new gallery additions). Pictures courtesy of

"In Jarhead, he was a U.S. Army sharpshooter helping Jake Gyllenhaal find a target. He supports his fellow actors, even when it means stepping out of the spotlight.
Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan on the set of "An Education".

"Sarsgaard, 38, has his toughest and most high profile assignment in Lone Scherfig's An Education, playing opposite British newcomer Carey Mulligan as the elder fox to her young rabbit. His job was to make a detestable predator seem human. As usual, he aced it.
Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal at "An Education" premiere on 5th October 2009.

Q. The role of David is such an unsavoury one, but you don't come across as creepy. You don't hate him for what he's doing with Carey Mulligan's Jenny.
A. "I really feel they're in similar circumstances ... they both live in a grey, sepia-toned place, and they both want to live extraordinary lives. They both want to experience art and culture and music and visit different places and they don't want to be stuck in the times that they're in."I didn't see that as creepy or weird because I never saw his angle on her as sexual. I saw it as a guy who didn't get to experience his teen years, who didn't want to screw a 16-year-old girl so much as be a 16-year-old. That was always my take on it."Q. Did you have to fight the instinct to judge David?A. "No, because the role was so well written. It's really rare I get to act in something where I don't want to change lines. I really felt like it was all there on the page. A lot of times as an actor I'll fight the intention of the scene and play it the opposite, and really intellectualize something and have to work on it like a writer/director as I'm acting it. But I had a fantastic director and writer and it was just easy."Q. You really nailed that refined British accent.

A. "I worked on it. I had a bit of one already. I grew up watching this soccer show and I got used to their vocabulary of Briticisms. I would do one as a kid and I played one role on stage where I had a British accent but it was more Cockney, which was actually easier for me. You feel much more expressive doing lower-class accents."
Q. You're very generous with Carey. Not every actor would be that way with a newcomer.A. "I knew we had something with her and I pride myself in shining a light on someone, and hitting the ball back where they can crush it. I feel like I knew what her strengths and weaknesses were and I knew where her sweet spot was and I challenged her. At the same time, halfway through I realized that she was working me just as much as I was working her. I thought I was dealing with someone who didn't know what they were doing on film and she hadn't done that much and after a while I started to go, `Oh, no! She's actually running the show!'Q. What actors do you look up to?A. "Sean Penn was the star of my first movie, Dead Men Walking. He took me and the girl he was to rape in the film out to dinner before he did that scene. Some actors might have avoided us, hoping to really scare us and freak us out, but Sean knew there was plenty of that. He wanted to work on the opposite emotions, to reel us in and make us feel confident about him. He was very aware of what he was doing. Just to watch how someone behaves as an actor can be very revealing."

Q. What motivates you as an actor?
A. "I'm really interested in the work. I really like working on a scene. Making a movie forces me to have these brief intimate relationships with people that last three months, even if the characters aren't romantic with each other"."I like the lifestyle of it. I enjoy observing people and thinking about what makes people do things, what makes people do good things, bad things. This character David really tapped into something I've been thinking a lot about in the last eight years or so, which is that we all construct an idea of reality that is not reality. Mine is different from yours, me in this given moment, that's the conflict of those realities. That's what makes things interesting. I think David believes in his version of the truth all the time." Source:

Trailer for 'An Education' - starring Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, and Emma Thompson.

In the post-war, pre-Beatles London suburbs, a bright schoolgirl is torn between studying for a place at Oxford and the more exciting alternative offered to her by a charismatic older man.


rosadimaggio63 said...

I like too much Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
She is very beautiful woman.-
But JGy is firt !!!!

rosadimaggio63 said...

Opppsss firt = first

Kendra said...

Jake is first plate, then Peter would be a good dessert :)

happy weekend, Rosa!