Jake Gyllenhaal likes hard to love characters

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When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
September 24th, 2013

Jake Gyllenhaal likes to play hard to love characters.

The 32-year-old actor - who is known for taking on complex roles - admits he is always attracted to a part that has a hidden depth, like his latest Detective Loki, in 'Prisoners' because he likes something that he can get his teeth into.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, he said: ''I look for something in the story that offers love in a more complicated way. I don't look for darkness, whatever that means, but in my mind, darkness acknowledges great light too. I think when it comes to a character, I'm moved by folk that I might struggle to love at first; characters that I have to do enough research on and think enough about to be able to really fall in love with them. Recently, in particular, that's what's been happening. I love Detective Loki. I found it hard to let him go.''

The hunky star also spends a great deal of time researching his roles - watching 100 hours of footage of police interrogation for a three minute scene in 'Prisoners' - and even pushes his brain to the ''point of exhaustion''.

He explained: ''I don't think my approach to acting is all necessarily in service of the character. I think, selfishly, I've put it in service of myself, my perspective on the world and helping my life. I have an overactive brain and as a result of that, I can really get in my own mind. So I like to try and exercise it to the point of exhaustion. I think I took all the work from research but I used it therapeutically, too, in a strange way. I realised with that type of research how much it changed my life and what a wonderful thing the job of acting is, in that it can give you perspective on the fact that what you do really isn't that important at all.''