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How Jake Gyllenhaal Completely Evolved His Prisoners Role From Script To Screen

In 2013, Jake Gyllenhaal starred in "Prisoners," a thriller drama film helmed by future "Dune" director Denis Villeneuve. In the film, Gyllenhaal stars as a detective, Loki, who is looking into the case of Keller Dover's (Hugh Jackman) daughter Anna, as well as the neighbor family's daughter, Joy. Alongside Jackman, Gyllenhaal acts opposite the likes of Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, and Viola Davis.

As Detective Loki, Gyllenhaal is ruthless and determined in his job — and not afraid to act aggressively; at one point, during an interrogation, Loki slams the head of the suspect on the table. At the same time, Loki acts empathetically and gently with Keller and his family while looking for his missing daughter even when a distraught Keller places blame on Loki.

But as it turns out, Gyllenhaal's role in "Prisoners" had a major evolution from script to screen. During an appearance on "Hot Ones," host Sean Evans asked the actor to name which character of his underwent a transformation from how it was written in the script to how it ended up appearing on screen. Gyllenhaal immediately brought up "Prisoners" and said, "The character was written one way but I could see the essence of something else in it."

Gyllenhaal's character was originally much more morally straightforward

As mentioned above, Detective Loki of "Prisoners" isn't afraid to push boundaries when it comes to his job — especially in the case of the missing girls. However, the character wasn't always written this way.

During the "Hot Ones" appearance, Jake Gyllenhaal explained, "In the first draft, it was a character that was much more, kind of, straightlaced. He was much more, sort of, trying to find an answer." He continued by saying that he found the ways in which Loki searched for those answers to be the most interesting. And he saw that Loki could be more enigmatic, and thus, more compelling. Gyllenhaal continued, "I wanted to be a mystery but determined, so that the audience had two things going on at the same time."

The actor went on to note that this kind of evolution is just a thing that sometimes happens with characters and that it is of no fault of the original script by Aaron Guzikowski. Gyllenhaal said, "Sometimes you just add on to things, you know, and they become something totally different than what was written on the page, but still with the same intention."