While the rest of Hollywood was taking in the Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend, some have descended on Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. This includes the cast of the forthcoming art-world drama Velvet Buzzsaw, the second collaboration between stars Rene Russo and Jake Gyllenhaal and director Dan Gilroy after 2014’s Nightcrawler; it also stars Natalia Dyer (of Stranger Things fame), Billy Magnussen, and Zawe Ashton.
Among the Velvet Buzzsaw cast’s press obligations was an interview with the Hollywood Reporter’s video studio, where Gilroy said of Russo’s character, “She’s soulful, spiritual, she has a touch of melancholy.” Except he doesn’t say “melancholy.” Not really. What he says is “me-lan-choly,” like “broccoli.” And Jake Gyllenhaal is not having it.
“It’s melancholy, Dan,” Gyllenhaal says, totally placid but a little tartly. “Oh, it’s melancholy,” Gilroy says, snapping. “I always get that word wrong.”
It all gives the impression of being a gag that’s played out several times before—Russo smiles to herself as she listens, shaking her head, as if she’s already heard this specific description of her character and this specific argument already. (It helps that Russo and Gilroy are married; their daughter, Rose Gilroy, is an aspiring model who has walked for Dolce & Gabbana.) Gyllenhaal even says it: “That is not the first time today,” he adds, eyes wide. As Gilroy waxes on about Russo’s character—“I wanted to sketch Rene the way…”—Gyllenhaal cuts him off. “All right, all right,” he says, and Russo, her head tilted back and eyes closed, adds: “I forced him. I forced him.”
This is to say, everyone is extremely salty, and will continue to be salty until this interview is over. Gyllenhaal says some very nice things about Gilroy and Russo, and Russo tells him he’s very positive: “You’re so positive, that’s great.” But no, Jake Gyllenhaal is not positive! “I am not positive,” he says. “Let me be very clear, I am not positive.” You got that?
Toward the end of the video, Gilroy says sarcastically, “If Jake can make it, anyone can.” (They all sound perfectly good-natured as they say these things, if you can believe it.) “I think that’s enough. I think that’s the perfect way to end this,” Gyllenhaal replies—and with that, the video ends, gone too soon. Please only give us ornery Jake Gyllenhaal from here on out.