The host played it off perfectly, starting the interview off like any interviewer would, with a simply timed question about Gyllenhaal’s affinity for playing darker characters.
“I have this belief that if you go into the dark sometimes it can be illuminating. And I like those characters because they’re kinda fun to play, but I also think there’s an opportunity for, you know, I think… “
And out pops this crazy looking life-sized doll of fear right next to Gyllenhaal’s chair — complete with pigtail braids and a yellow dress that doesn’t do anything to diminish how absolutely scary this person looks.
All Gyllenhaal can do is shake his head for a few seconds as he regains his composure. Then he stands from the chair and asks, “Where is that guy? Bring him back.”
Luckily, the fun still isn’t over because when Gyllenhaal sits back down, DeGeneres gives us an instant replay of the actor’s face when the doll-man-thing popped up from the box. It’s priceless.
Though Gyllenhaal never had the opportunity to answer DeGeneres’s question, we also talked with Gyllenhaal about his latest film Nightcrawler and got the scoop on the development of his creepy character Lou Bloom.
“Spending as much time in the mindset of someone like Lou and really, when I started losing weight and I started staying up at night and stuff, just chemically, it’s a very interesting shift in your mind. I wouldn’t say it was hard or anything — or even really challenging — I would just say it was so different from how my mind works then. I was in a different mindset. You become unaware of, you know, your emotional responses to things, and they seem normal and they’re not. It’s like that kind of stuff. But it translates into a character, and I think that it was an incredible journey.”
Nightcrawler hits theaters Oct. 31 and is definitely worth the watch.