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Jake Gyllenhaal Says ‘Exercise Always Helped Me Get Through’ Ahead of “Road House” Release

The Oscar-winning actor shows off his ripped physique in the 2024 remake about an ex-UFC fighter

<p>Gary Miller/Getty </p> Jake Gyllenhaal; 2024 SXSW Conference and Festival

Gary Miller/Getty

Jake Gyllenhaal; 2024 SXSW Conference and Festival

Jake Gyllenhaal's ongoing physical fitness plays a vital part in his overall health.

The Oscar-nominated actor, 43, is featured for the spring 2024 Men’s Health digital cover story. For the in-depth interview, he discussed the preparation that went into getting “ridiculously ripped for Road House” — the upcoming film in which he portrays ex-UFC fighter Elwood Dalton.

<p>Men's Health</p> Jake Gyllenhaal Men's Health, spring 2024 cover

Men's Health

Jake Gyllenhaal Men's Health, spring 2024 cover

Speaking to the outlet, Gyllenhaal shared why he considers training an essential part of all the work he wants to do.

“No matter what was going on in my day, no matter what was happening in my life, exercise always helped me get through in one way or another,” he told Men’s Health.

“I’m always trying to find roles that allow me to stay physical. That means caring for not only doing my research and working hard intellectually but also taking care of the physical part of acting… I want to try to do this for a long time.”

Related: Jake Gyllenhaal Got a Staph Infection While Shooting Road House Fight Scene: ‘My Whole Arm Swelled Up’

He added that he jumped at the opportunity after discussing the project with friend and Road House director Doug Liman because it “is so unlike me.”

“I went, ‘I’m in. That sounds like the craziest idea.’ I remember being like, ‘Let’s do that!’ Where Road House sits for me is a place of ease. This movie fits in a space where I’m just like, ‘I’m having fun with my friend,’” Gyllenhaal said.

<p>Amazon MGM Studios</p> Jake Gyllenhaal in Road House, 2024

Amazon MGM Studios

Jake Gyllenhaal in Road House, 2024

Road House is a remake of the 1989 film of the same name starring Patrick Swayze.

The Southpaw talent and the late actor costarred in the 2001 science fiction thriller Donnie Darko.

“I knew him to be one of the most generous, kind people that I have met. He was just funny and loving, and all throughout the years, we stayed in contact,” Gyllenhaal said of Swayze, who died of pancreatic cancer in September 2009.

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He was 57 years old.

“If Patrick were around, I would have loved to be talking to him about this. He was a consummate artist, and he understood what it meant. I would hope that he would know that I have the utmost respect and love for him,” Gyllenhaal added.

The remake also stars MMA fighter Conor McGregor, whose appearance in the film marks his first-ever movie role.

<p>Laura Radford/Prime Video</p> Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor, Road House

Laura Radford/Prime Video

Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor, Road House

Gyllenhaal said when it came to working with the pro fighter, “there was an exchange of crafts.”

“It was just so cool to bring both of those worlds together. In what world would you see me fight Conor McGregor? No world but the movies… I did have to remind Conor pretty much before every take to not even by mistake punch me in the face, because we’d have to work the next day,” he quipped.

Related: Jake Gyllenhaal Says Road House Costar Conor McGregor Accidentally 'Clocked Me in the Face' While Filming

And while there was plenty of exercise to be done to compete with an MMA fighter on-camera, Gyllenhaal admitted that he did have a favorite cheat meal: “Vanilla cake with vanilla icing — ideally Yossy Arefi’s recipe in Snacking Cakes.”

In an exclusive with PEOPLE earlier this month, Gyllenhaal said it took “a village” to prepare him for the role, including his "incredible" trainer Jason Walsh, "wonderful" chef Paulette Tejeda, and a nutritionist.

Road House debuts on Prime Video on Thursday. 

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