'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Director Dan Gilroy Finds His Legs With 'Nightcrawler'

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The filmmaker tell us about going to dark places with Jake Gyllenhaal — and why he didn't include a sex scene between the actor and the movie's leading lady, his real-life wife Rene Russo

"My name is all over this one," Dan Gilroy tells Off the Cuff about his new dark comedy thriller Nightcrawler, which marks the first directorial effort by the man who previously wrote such films as Freejack and The Bourne Identity.

"If you don't like it, I have to take responsibility for it. And vice versa," he says. So far Gilroy is enjoying the vice versa scenario as critics have taken to his story of a morally bankrupt man (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) who starts videotaping crime scenes to make a quick buck off of a local Los Angeles news station, run by Rene Russo. We prod Gilroy about what it was like directing Russo, who also happens to be his wife of many years.

"I learned a long time ago, creative arguments can be some of the worst arguments you can have with a person, really truly, because it's so subjective," he says diplomatically. And what of all the speculation about why he chose not to write a sex scene between Russo and Gyllenhaal's romantically entangled characters? Gilroy swears it wasn't for prudishness.

"Rene's done sex scenes with half of Hollywood!" he laughs, adding that had he found such a scene necessary to the story (which he didn't), "I would probably have watched from the monitor a few blocks away."

Gilroy also tells us what it was like roaming the streets of L.A. at night like a real-life nightcrawler to prep for the movie ("Jake was in the shotgun") and the long path that's taken him from growing up the son of a Tony Award-winning playwright in the woods of upstate New York, to being a Hollywood journalist who used to wake up at 5 a.m. to write scripts before work, to now being an awards season contending filmmaker.

"It's been a decades-long process," he says. "It's all a gamble."

Listen to Gilroy's full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff and be sure to subscribe to #pretapodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.

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