Yahya Abdul-Mateen II terrorised Jake Gyllenhaal with 'Ambulance' driving (exclusive)

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·3-min read

Watch: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on his Ambulance driving experience

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II gave Jake Gyllenhaal a terrifying time during the shoot for Ambulance thanks to his stunt driving skills.

The Candyman star was able to spend plenty of time behind the wheel thanks to his role in Michael Bay's film as military vet turned bank robber Will Sharp, alongside Gyllenhaal as his brother Danny.

When their heist goes wrong, the duo commandeer an ambulance to make their escape, with a wounded cop and first responder Cam (Eiza González) on board.

Read more: 6 Underground star says Michael Bay is "Marmite filmmaker"

"I did a lot of driving," Abdul-Mateen told Yahoo. "Last night, I was thinking about the movie again and looking back like 'yeah, that was me driving that ambulance'. It was cool, man.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II get behind the wheel in 'Ambulance'. (Universal)
Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II get behind the wheel in 'Ambulance'. (Universal)

"I did a test drive thing where we set up orange cones and I had to drive all around the cones and try to make the ambulance swerve.

"In a way, it was like a dream job, getting to terrorise Jake just a little bit in an ambulance. You feel like a kid sometimes doing that stuff."

Read more: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talks role in Candyman

Gyllenhaal confessed that he 'had a little more faith in the stunt driver' than he did in Abdul-Mateen when it came to blasting down the freeways of Los Angeles in the cumbersome emergency vehicle.

He said: "I'm of the belief that you leave the acting to the actors and the stunts to the stunt men and women.

"In the end it actually was really fun. Even when he was doing stuff and having fun and playing with me, I trust Yahya. I trust him in a scene as an actor and I trust him with my safety — about 75% of the time."

'Ambulance' features some impressive vehicular stunts. (Universal)
'Ambulance' features some impressive vehicular stunts. (Universal)

The movie is an intense thrill ride, featuring action set pieces aplenty — as viewers will expect from Transformers director Bay — and Abdul-Mateen said the film "will never let you relax".

He revealed that he and Gyllenhaal would step outside the ambulance and do press-ups and jumping jacks between scenes in order to keep their energy levels and intensity as high as the story required.

Read more: Jake Gyllenhaal and other extreme celebrity fitness regimes

"As soon as you relax even just a little bit, something else is gonna change in the story to get the heart pumping again," he said.

"We didn't always need that help because you've got Michael Bay on set, so you have the high energy. But sometimes you've got to step out and make sure that you can raise your energy to the level of the stakes."

Gyllenhaal spoke of his excitement that the movie, which was shot in LA during lockdown restrictions at the end of 2020, will be shown on cinema screens rather than streaming platforms.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II worked to keep their intensity high while filming 'Ambulance'. (Universal)
Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II worked to keep their intensity high while filming 'Ambulance'. (Universal)

He said: "This is a movie where you go and drive and have a terrible time finding parking and spend too much money on candy and popcorn and go and sit down and bring your friends and your family.

"It's a full-on experience and really what's cool about it and sets it apart is that it is all so practical. There are so few special effects in this movie. It's all practical. It all happened.

Read more: The Matrix Resurrections SFX team reveal stunt secrets

"That in itself is deserving of the theatrical experience. It really brings you back and it's a whole lot of fun. To have people going back to the theatres is hugely relieving and hugely exciting."

Ambulance is in UK cinemas from today.

Watch: Trailer for Michael Bay thriller Ambulance

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