Jake Gyllenhaal says Tom Holland helped him cope with anxiety while filming 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. This December will see the release of the MCU’s third and potentially final solo Spider-Man movie, titled No Way Home. The Jon Watts-directed film will pick up where Far From Home left off, with Peter Parker’s (Holland) identity having just been revealed to the world. Now that everyone knows he’s Spider-Man, Peter’s life gets turned upside down, which prompts him to seek out Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for assistance.
Not only is Peter’s secret identity gone, but he’s also been framed for the murder of Mysterio (Gyllenhaal). Spider-Man: Far From Home initially positioned Mysterio as a hero from another universe who was the only one with the ability to defeat destructive creatures known as the Elementals. However, as fans familiar with Spider-Man lore knew all too well, Mysterio was little more than a villainous charlatan who pretended to be a hero when in reality, he was creating fake chaos. Peter got the upper hand by the end, but Mysterio’s reach will still be felt well into Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Gyllenhaal put on a memorable performance as Mysterio, particularly once the truth behind his motivations was revealed. However, the actor had a difficult time settling into the Marvel universe. Speaking on The Howard Stern Show earlier this week (via THR), Gyllenhaal admitted that on his first day of Spider-Man: Far From Home, he got so anxious he kept forgetting his lines. Luckily, Holland was able to help him through it. Gyllenhaal said:
“I was freaking out. It was a scene with [Samuel L.] Jackson, Tom … there were a number of actors in that scene. And I remember not being able to remember my lines. I was the wooden board. And they were like, ‘Whoa.’ And I went up to Tom Holland and was like, ‘Dude, help me out.’ He’s like, ‘It’s all good, man. Just relax.’ It was like he was me in so many situations. And I finally did. I just put a lot of pressure on [myself] because I love that world.”
Gyllenhaal is perhaps one of the most skilled character actors working today, yet even he gets overwhelmed by the sheer size of a Marvel production. Spider-Man: Far From Home was the 23rd movie in the long-running franchise, meaning it’s probably bigger than before and also operating like a well-oiled machine. For newcomers like Gyllenhaal, it can be a lot to process. Thankfully, he worked through it with Holland’s help, further solidifying the genuine friendship between them that has become something of a viral sensation among fans.
Gyllenhaal is probably a pro at navigating Marvel productions by now, though he likely doesn’t have a part in Spider-Man: No Way Home. There are theories about how Mysterio could return, but most signs so far point to him having a spiritual presence rather than a physical one. Nevertheless, Gyllenhaal managed to make his mark on the MCU with his signature go-for-broke style, even despite being riddled with nerves on his first day. If anything, Gyllenhaal’s Spider-Man: Far From Home story is an inspirational one, because it shows that even Oscar nominees like him get anxious sometimes. Stars… they’re just like us!