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Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Show Their Sensitive Sides


Jake Gyllenhaal was getting emotional last Thursday night.

Along with Tom Sturridge, he stars in “Sea Wall/A Life,” a pair of monologues about men who are committed to their wives, now playing at the Hudson Theater in Times Square.

“It’s an unusual thing to see in drama,” Mr. Sturridge said. “We’re so used to dramatizing conflict, it’s rare to see men who deeply love the women in their lives.”

Fortunately, enough terrible things happen to both characters to keep things interesting. The opening night crowd, which sat riveted through the intimate, pared-down production, included Anne Hathaway, showing off her baby bump in a pink dress; Maggie Gyllenhaal; John Mulaney; Anna Wintour; Kate Walsh; and a brigade of superheroes from the Marvel universe: Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Cox.

“Normally as an audience you’re told you don’t exist, you’re not there,” Mr. Sturridge said. But in this play, he added, “we’re all in the room together.”

In the play’s quieter moments, one could hear sirens blaring from the street, thunder from above and the jingly silver jewelry worn by Nur Khan, a downtown nightclub owner, who also attended the premiere.

The intensity was such that Mr. Gyllenhaal teared up at curtain call.

“As a performer, it’s so profoundly refreshing to come onto a stage and say, ‘I’m scared, I’m vulnerable and I’m sensitive,” the actor said at the after-party at the nearby Redeye Grill (“Home of the dancing shrimp!”). “And I’m not afraid to say I do love things very deeply.”

His enormous blue eyes swelled and quivered with emotion.

“There’s something beautiful and humbling about knowing that you’re truly a vessel for beautiful words,” Mr. Gyllenhaal said.

Cate Blanchett was feeling something, too, but it was a different sensation.

“I’ve got a bunion, and I have just totally worn the wrong shoes,” she said Monday night at the Metrograph cinema on the Lower East Side, where her latest film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” was being screened.

She leaned up against a velvet rope to take the pressure off her foot. “So, I’m just going to prop myself up here,” she said.

Ms. Blanchett sported a chic blonde side ’do and a black tuxedo by Alexander McQueen, with sleeves that erupted in a riot of bunched, electric-blue satin. She plays the film’s title character, a gifted architect who goes missing from her family.

“This movie is a portrait of a genius, and to do it proud you need to cast a genius,” Richard Linklater, who directed the film, said just ahead of her on the red carpet.

He wore a custom Western shirt made as a tribute to the 1959 film “Rio Bravo,” which was signed on the cuff by Angie Dickinson, one of its stars.

“Cate’s got a great work ethic,” Mr. Linklater added. “I think it’s the Aussie in her.”

Would Ms. Blanchett agree? “Prrrobably,” she said, elongating the word with a smirk. “I think we’re quite practical, and filmmaking is problem solving.”

After the screening, the cast, which included Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, Troian Bellisario and Zoë Chao, lingered for a supper of roast chicken and “pink penguin” cocktails — a concoction of gin, rosé and cranberry juice which features in the film.

Barbara Bestor, an architect from Los Angeles who helped Ms. Blanchett prepare for the role, said the film was a step forward for the profession.

“It’s been a long time since ‘The Fountainhead,’” Ms. Bestor said, referring to Ayn Rand’s 1943 libertarian call to arms. “And we need to move past that view of architecture.”


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