Jake Gyllenhaal And Anne Hathaway Go Semi-Method In “Love And Other Drugs”

Much has been written about Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway’s nudity and sex scenes in “Love and Other Drugs.” But how did these two research the heavier parts of their roles? After the jump, Jake shares how he learned about the world of pharmaceutical reps, and Anne describes how she was able to give a convincing portrayal of a 20-something woman with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease. Jake on researching pharmaceutical reps:

“The movie’s very loosely based on a book written by Jamie Reidy, and I had long interviews with Jamie for months before the movie started. We talked about the pharmaceutical world and his experience inside and outside of the book. It was kind of extraordinary how hard it was to get inside the world of pharmaceutical sales. I would go online and look stuff up and only find weird YouTube videos of girls in bikinis on Ferraris saying, “Become a pharmaceutical rep,” with Europop in the background. Then I started asking my own doctors—my grandfather happens to be a doctor—and I started meeting people. It was really hard to get inside Pfizer. Then [director] Ed [Zwick] found weirdly this diamond in the rough on the Pfizer website, the descriptions of every single one of their drugs—the side effects, the reactions, the chemical makeup. I would highlight things and memorize them, and Ed would have them spew them randomly in between takes to the people cast as doctors. I also found people would come to me randomly, like it was some secret, and say ‘My cousin is a pharmaceutical rep at Pfizer and wanted me to give you this,’ and hand me some brochure that only the reps get. It slowly started to open up. In the end, I talked with a dozen pharmaceutical reps.”

Anne on researching Parkinson’s Disease:

“Ed turned me on to the American Parkinson’s Association and they were instrumental with putting me in touch with a few people who’d been diagnosed around the age my character had been diagnosed. One of them was actually in the movie—Lucy, the woman at the Parkinson’s convention with the dark hair who is incredibly funny. She was one of the key people I talked to. Another woman named Maureen had a big impact. Maureen was very generous and took me to a few support groups. I was a little nervous because I’d gone to support groups for ‘Rachel Getting Married,’ but this one felt very different. Like many people, I’ve had experience with addiction in my life, but I’ve never known anyone who had Parkinson’s Disease and was coming at it from total ignorance. I was anticipating a bit of resistance from people in the support groups, but I was met with absolute openness and warmth. Parkinson’s is a very, very insidious disease but it doesn’t get a lot of attention. Everyone there was like, ‘Thank god for Michael J. Fox because no one would know anything without his advocacy.’ They shared their stories with me, and they shared their fears, and anxieties, and triumphs. I also spoke to neurologists. What became clear to me was that stage one, early-onset Parkinson’s Disease is about good day and bad days. We wanted to make sure to show the bad days honestly on screen. But so much of it is anxiety for the future, learning to understand what is happening to your body. I realized it was so important to imbue Maggie with the psychological trauma of her diagnosis and that she’s caught up in a world where all she can see is her own disease. Throughout the course of the film, she learns to accept it.”

Quotes were taken from a press conference for “Love and Other Drugs.”