Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman on Balancing a Tragic True Story with Humor in ‘Stronger’

     September 20, 2017

With David Gordon Green’s Stronger opening this weekend, I sat down with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman to talk about the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. If you haven’t seen the trailers, the true story drama stars Gyllenhaal as Bauman, an ordinary man who became a symbol of heroism and strength after losing both of his legs during the tragic 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Unlike the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Patriot’s Day, this film is mostly focused on what happened after the bombing, and how the event and the public affected Bauman and his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany), who was running the marathon at the time.


Image via Lionsgate

During the interview they talked about how they first met, the way the film is both honest to the true story while also keeping Bauman’s humor, Sean Bobbitt’s fantastic cinematography, how they looked at Milk for inspiration, and more. In addition, if you didn’t know, every time I speak with Jake Gyllenhaal I make sure to bring up David Fincher’s Zodiac. Don’t worry…the streak is still active.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis. You can also read Adam Chitwood’s very positive review here.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Baumanon:

  • How every time I see Gyllenhaal I bring up Zodiac.
  • Where did they first meet and how while they are trying to be honest to the story they’re also making a movie.
  • They talk about the great cinematography by Sean Bobbitt and the minimalist way he shot the film.
  • How they looked at films like Milk for inspiration.

Image via Lionsgate

Here’s the official synopsis for Stronger:

Stronger is the inspiring true story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany). Waiting for her at the finish line when the blast occurs, he loses both his legs in the attack. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the bombers, but his own battle has just begun. He tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family. It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity. Filled with raw emotion, humanity and humor, Stronger is the inspirational real-life story of the man who became the living embodiment of “Boston Strong.” The film also stars Academy Award® nominee Miranda Richardson and is directed by David Gordon Green.

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