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Jake Gyllenhaal is a seasoned actor who has experience on everything from small independent films to major blockbusters, but even he was a little intimidated by his first day on the set of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
Gyllenhaal brings his talents to the MCU next week in Spider-Man: Far From Home, in which he plays a version of longtime Spidey villain Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio. Gyllenhaal's inclusion in the MCU, as a version of Mysterio apparently from an alternate Earth, is a much-anticipated addition for fans, and has already earned praise from early screenings. Clearly, Gyllenhaal managed to fit right into the megafranchise, but according to co-star Tom Holland, he had a less encouraging first day on the job.
Holland was on Late Night with Seth Meyers Tuesday to promote Far From Home, and explained that he was "quite nervous" when Gyllenhaal was cast as Mysterio because he was someone he'd always "looked up to." Then Gyllenhaal showed up on his first day of shooting, and Holland found he actually had to become the veteran actor when his more experienced co-star was thrown by the Marvel Studios way of working.
"What Marvel do, sometimes, is they will completely change the lines overnight," Holland explained. "So you'll walk in on Monday morning and all of sudden you have a three-page monologue about interdimensional rifts and all this kind of crazy stuff. So Jake was like, he was like panicking. So I found myself on day one with working with one of my idols like 'It's OK, man. It's OK. This is just how it goes over here in the Marvel world.' So it was really weird."
Dialogue rewrites that stars don't receive until the day of shooting are not uncommon on major blockbusters, particularly when filmmakers are trying to enhance the sense of interconnectedness that runs through the entire MCU. Far From Home will, after all, be the first MCU release after Avengers: Endgame, so it has a lot to address about the fallout from that film while also standing on its own as a satisfying Spider-Man story.
Still, while rewrites of that kind are not unheard of, it's easy to see why Gyllenhaal would have been intimidated. You show up for your first day in a cape and a big armored chest piece to co-star in one of the most successful franchises in history, and suddenly all of your lines are different? It sounds a little like a bad dream. Thankfully, with Holland's help, Gyllenhaal seems to have gotten through it.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters July 2.