Gyllenhaal’s new film Stronger sees him portray real-life hero Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Gyllenhaal’s powerful performance is supported by an impressive cast including Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson as well as spearheaded by talented director David Gordon Green.
Stronger (our review) is out now on Digital Download and available to own on DVD and Blu-ray from 9th April and to celebrate we’d like to take a look at the careers of its talented cast and director.
A success story for child actors and with a varied filmography, Gyllenhaal made his screen debut at a young age in the film City Slickers alongside Billy Crystal and thus his career began. What followed was proof that Gyllenhaal had the ability to shine in any role. In Donnie Darko he played a high school student who struggles with authority whilst also being manipulated by his rather odd imaginary friend; Frank, a monstrous six-foot rabbit only he can see. Gyllenhaal won his first Bafta award and earned an Academy award nomination for his tragic performance in Brokeback Mountain alongside Heath Ledger as he played a man pushed by society to hide his identify whilst carrying on his affair with another man.
Gyllenhaal has risen to the challenge of portraying real life characters such as political cartoonist Robert Graysmith in Zodiac as well as tragic expedition group leader Scott Fischer in Everest. In his latest film Gyllenhaal portrays Jeff Bauman, a 27-year-old, Boston man who lost both his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Gyllenhaal successfully conveys a deeply personal account of the heroic journey of Jeff, that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity.
This Canadian actress can safely say she can do it all after portraying up to nine different characters in hit TV show Orphan Black. Critically acclaimed for being a chameleon when it comes to portraying a variety of personalities, Maslany won a Primetime Emmy Award and received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her work. One of her earliest roles was as Ghost; a young girl with sinister intentions in the horror film Ginger Snaps 2. What followed was strong supporting roles in both TV and film before she became a recognisable name in Orphan Black.
Maslany is also not a stranger to portraying real life people, in Woman In Gold she shared the role of Maria Altman, an Austrian-American Jewish refugee who battled to reclaim Nazi stolen paintings. Whilst Helen Mirren portrayed her in later years Maslany beautifully represented her younger years as Maria attempts to escape the war whilst leaving her beloved country and family. In Stronger she took on the challenge of playing Jeff Bauman’s real-life girlfriend Erin Hurley. As the film delves into Jeff’s struggle of physically and emotionally managing after the bombing, Erin is the heart of the film, as she tries to support him in every way whilst she adjusts to it all herself.
An English actress with an incredible and long lasting career backlog, Miranda Richardson really has done it all. She has challenged herself and entertained us in a variety of genres, including period drama, comedy, animation, fantasy and more, whilst also balancing her commitment to the English stage. Her earlier roles included Steven Spielberg’s Empire of The Sun alongside a child actor you may have heard of… Christian Bale. Next came her Bafta award winning performance in Damage and her Golden Globe winning performance in Enchanted April. In 1999 she managed to pull off devious and dangerous in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and comedic gold as she returned to playing a childish caricature version of Queen Elizabeth in Blackadder: Back and Forth. Richardson is loved by grown-ups for her versatility as well as children and teens thanks to her role as the scheming and vindictive journalist Rita Skeeter in The Harry Potter franchise.
Her role as Jeff Bauman’s caring but troubled mother Patty in Stronger coveys a sense of sadness for a woman who is struggling to help her son so instead chooses to both enable him when he becomes unenthusiastic about recovery and attempt to make him some kind of celebrity hero in the news.
David Gordon Green
David Gordan Green has offered up a variety of projects to the cinema screens and seems to effortlessly switch between and dramas, thrillers and comedy. He seems determined to not pigeonhole himself in one genre and try to tell interesting stories no matter whether they’re laugh out loud or complete tragedies. His directorial debut was the 2000 film George Washington which he also wrote and was widely praised by critics. What followed was more independent stories like The Real Girls as well as psychological thriller Undertow starring Jamie Bell and Dermot Mulroney. Next came his submergence in comedy as he directed The Pineapple Express and Your Highness where twice he teamed up with James Franco.
Gordan’s latest directional effort sees him teaming up with Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson to tell the inspiring story of Boston bombing victim Jeff Bauman. It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires a man’s inner courage to overcome devastating adversity. Filled with raw emotion, humanity and humour, Stronger is the inspirational real-life story of the man who became the living embodiment of “Boston Strong.”
Stronger is out now on Digital Download and available to own on DVD & Blu-ray from 9th April.