Jake Gyllenhaal’s 5-month boxing camp for Southpaw movie
Hollywood star Jake Gyllenhaal went all-in to prepare for his role as a boxer in the movie Southpaw, spending no less than five months in training to make his fight scenes look authentic.
Prior to filming the movie, Gyllenhaal had lost 30lbs for his inspired performance in Nightcrawler, but for his role as light-heavyweight boxer, Lou Bloom in Southpaw he needed to regain that weight, plus pack on an extra 15lbs of muscle.
Add to that a need to learn boxing techniques from scratch and it was clear Gyllenhaal had his work cut out for him.
”I didn’t know how to box and I was just terrified that I’d look like an idiot in the ring,” Gyllenhaal told The Telegraph. “That was a motivation for me getting in shape.”
Gyllenhaal underwent a grueling training camp that included two, three-hour workouts every day of the week for five months, plus 2000 sit-ups a day for good measure.
The star was training under the guidance of Terry Claybon, a former boxer who had branched out into being a Hollywood fight choreographer and over the years has worked on major movies with the likes of Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Nicholas Cage, Kevin Spacey and Ben Affleck.
Claybon worked hard on Gyllenhaal’s fundamentals, with the actor noting that, “we spent weeks on my jab alone, footwork also – all the most frustrating things.”
Gyllenhaal appeared to relish the process though, and in the end he fell in love with the technical aspect of ‘The Sweet Science.’
”You are throwing angles, not because of strength, because you’re trying to hit something – you’re throwing it for the angle itself and the accuracy of the angle.
”I started to understand boxing not just as sort of a brute kind of aggressive sport, but as a science with a specificity that only requires five pounds of pressure to knock somebody out.”