Jake Gyllenhaal: Kids Should Learn To Box

He transformed his body to play a boxer in gritty new movie ‘Southpaw’ and now Jake Gyllenhaal is trumpeting the results of his training, suggesting it would be great for children to learn.

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“It’s really something that can build self-confidence,” the actor tells Yahoo Movies.

“Not like ‘oo, I’m strong’, but how you feel. That’s something that’s irreplaceable when you learn it… It’s why I really encourage kids to do it and to start early.”

You can watch Jake talking about that and changing his physique in our video above.

Gyllenhaal is already garnering Oscar buzz for his performance, which sees him play a fading fighter who tries to get his life back on track after a series of personal setbacks. Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker also star.

The 34-year-old endured a gruelling training regime to get in shape for the role, including a strict diet, 2000 press-ups a day and constant boxing. Even production meetings were held in a ring.

“If you see the movie, I basically tried to become a boxer,” he says. “I trained like a boxer, so it wasn’t about putting a lot of weight on, it was about being agile enough and being in enough cardio-vascular shape to learn the skills.”

His transformation came off the back of a BAFTA-nominated performance in ‘Nightcrawler’, for which he lost 30 pounds from his usual frame.

Did he not worry about his yo-yo-ing physique?

“It did take a similar type of focus [for both roles]. To me it’s not as crazy and I don’t even think about them in the same breath,” he says. “There’re definitely effects it has on you – chemically, physically, psychologically – but they’re all for the character.”

As for that awards buzz, the humble star takes it with a pinch of salt.

“When you make a movie that works, even if it just works, that’s a miracle,” he admits. “To me, I’m at that place.’

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