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Jake Gyllenhaal starved himself and ran 15 miles a day to drop weight for role

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Actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation, Dustin Yellin

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation, Dustin Yellin

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Actors Hugh Jackman (L) and Jake Gyllenhaal attend the Warner Bros. Pictures' premiere of "Prisoners" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on September 12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

Actors Hugh Jackman (L) and Jake Gyllenhaal attend the Warner Bros. Pictures' premiere of "Prisoners" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on September 12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

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EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 19:  (L-R) Actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal attend the The Hollywood Reporter and Samsung Galaxy SIII private Hamptons screening of Open Road Films' "End of Watch"  at Goose Creek on August 19, 2012 in East Hampton, New York.  (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 19: (L-R) Actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal attend the The Hollywood Reporter and Samsung Galaxy SIII private Hamptons screening of Open Road Films' "End of Watch" at Goose Creek on August 19, 2012 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

Paul Zimmerman

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The actor fully immersed himself in his new character, and shed 30 pounds for the demanding role.

In ‘Nightcrawler’, Jake gives a twisted performance as a sleazy crime reporter in the thriller which will be released in cinemas on Halloween weekend.

The 33-year-old actor fully committed himself in the role, to the extent that he still bares the scars.

On set last year, Jake was filming a pivotal scene when he improvised and lashed out, hitting a mirror.

“It was just a choice in that moment that happened,” says Gyllenhaal, who suffered an injury to his hand and now retains a permanent scar.

Weighing 180 pounds, he was required to lose 30 pounds from his frame.

“I would try to eat as few calories as possible,” he told Variety. “I knew if I was hungry that I was in the right spot. Physically, it showed itself, but chemically and mentally, I think it was even a more fascinating journey. It became a struggle for me.”

Aside from the restrictive diet, where sometimes he just would not eat at all or else he would nibble on crackers or kale salad, he also took up running, jogging 15 miles a night.

When he wasn’t running or filming, he threw himself into character research.

To really understand “coyote-like” Lou, Jake would go shopping for vintage clothes, drive around LA looking for ideas and connected with the real-life paparazzi for inspiration.

 He also memorized every sentence of dialogue before the 28 day shoot:

“I would always be sad when we wrapped a scene,” he said, “because I’d think, ‘That’s the last time I’m ever going to say the line, and it’s so good. It deserves to be said again.’”

Nightcrawler will debut this Friday at the Toronto Film Festival.

Online Editors