Los Angeles: ‘Southpaw’ star Jake Gyllenhaal admits he has started respecting boxing as a sport after working on the film.
The 34-year-old actor trained extensively for months to play Billy Hope in the new movie because he did not want use a stunt double for his fight scenes, reported Us magazine.
"I'll go to the boxing gym and I'll get bummed when I learn something new. I think, 'Awe, I could have put that in the movie!' I fell in love with boxing," Gyllenhaal said.
The actor said he did not wish to behave like "the actor who's just trying to protect himself."
"I didn't have a stunt double. By the time we started shooting, I had sparred enough - I mean, it was different (in practice) when I was wearing protection. But I remember, as soon as the real guys were there - we had real referees in the ring, real HBO fight cameramen - you don't want to be 'the actor' who's just trying to protect himself. If you get hurt, you get hurt."
However, the actor was nervous about getting in the ring for the first time as there was no scope of him cheat.
"When (director) Antoine (Fuqua) told me he was going to shoot it like real HBO/Showtime fights, that we weren't going to be pulling any punches, so to speak, I thought, 'Well, there's no real way to cheat here.' That's one of the great things about my job, I got to learn a new skill that I never would have and learn about a world I never would have," he said.