What was the main attraction of Love and Other Drugs for you?
Jake Gyllenhaal: I just think there comes a time in different people’s lives where they say: “Do I have real love? Do I want real love? What is real love?” When I read this, I just jumped. I very rarely have a moment where I get excited and I go: “Somebody wrote this for me and they don’t know it.” I’ve also always wanted to get naked with Anne again in a movie and I felt like this was an opportunity to help her!
Anne Hathaway: I really believed Jamie and Maggie’s love on the page and I’d had such a wonderful time working with Jake on Brokeback
Mountain I believed that we could get there again, hopefully with greater results because we didn’t really love each other that much the last time.
How did you feel about doing so much nudity and would you have done it if you weren’t in such incredible shape?
JG: I do honestly believe that Anne would have changed her body to however it needed to be changed for the character. But that’s the kind of actress she is. Me, on the other hand, it’s purely vanity! The nudity is an essential part of this story and I think it was one of those things where when you’re working with someone like Ed you know that it’s going to be done well, no matter what. I think we all decided that if we were going to tell a love story, one of the essential elements of a love story is sex – and it should be. So, if we were going to be as open and intimate in the love story as we could be, we’d have to do the same thing in the sex. I don’t know about you guys but I’ve never had sex with boxers on and it’s an odd thing to watch actors do.
AH: When it came to decide how the character would look I did a lot of research into the side effects that Parkinson’s medication has on the human body and I actually found that in the majority of cases it causes people to lose weight, so that was my jumping off point for how I was going to look in the film. Had the medication caused people to gain weight and I would have gained weight and still done the nudity because I think the nudity is a really essential part of the story and shows the intimacy that Jamie and Maggie feel together and how their relationship shifts from sex into love. We really approached it from a very prepared place. Some of the intimate scenes required even more trust and were even more difficult to get to and to get yourself into that place and sustain it for a long period of time, to be able to return back to those emotions again and again and again.
Jake, one of the key scenes in the movie is where Maggie asks Jamie to list four things he likes about himself. Could you do that about yourself in real life if I asked you to?
JG: I think it’s a testament to how much Anne and I legitimately care about each other that we could probably name four good things about each other and we have, because we’ve been asked that question a few times. And I actually enjoy it, because I enjoy thinking about how much I admire her and talking about it, because it’s nice and because it’s rare.
AH: I think, though, that the reason you can trust that we like each other is that we would also tell you four bad things about each other too.
Anne, one of the most powerful scenes is when your character runs out of medication and turns to Scotch. What sort of emotional and physical toll does doing stuff like that leave on you personally?
AH: I’m still learning a lot about how to do my job on camera and off, and this job really confused me in a lot of ways. I didn’t know how not to take her home with me. I think in some ways because she’s such a different character than me, I was afraid to let her go at the end of the day because I thought: “Oh my gosh, what if she’s not there in the morning?”