Updated on 03/25/2022 15:14
- Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II play two bank robbers in Michael Bay’s new action movie Ambulance.
- But the surprise of the film is Eiza González, who plays a kidnapped paramedic.
- At the press conference in Berlin, the stars tell how exhausting the shooting in a moving ambulance was.
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal likes a challenge. In the Netflix film “The Guilty” he played a police officer whose work was limited to a few rooms. The place of action was a switchboard.
The new film from legendary action director Michael Bay, “Ambulance”, ups the ante. The actors spent a lot of time in a moving ambulance speeding through the streets of Los Angeles. No wonder the stars picked up some minor injuries.
“You keep hitting your head somewhere,” said Bay on Tuesday at a press conference in Berlin. “Jake hurt his shoulder, Eiza hurt her head. The ambulances are incredibly fast and reminded me of tanks, they’re so massive.”
How hard was the filming for the cast? “It was difficult to act in an ambulance,” says Gyllenhaal. “You have no room to do anything, you’re limited to one spot.”
The cramped space in the vehicle commanded respect from Gyllenhaal: “If I find it difficult to act in this small space, then I can’t imagine what it’s like for a paramedic who has to do his actual work in such a small space . Saving lives every day. That closeness always reminded me of that.”
“Ambulance” is not only an action spectacle, but also pays tribute to all paramedics at the same time. “It was a great pleasure for me to play this role,” says Eiza González, who plays Cam in the film, who is kidnapped by Danny and Will Sharp (played by Gyllenhaal and Abdul-Mateen II).
“Paramedics are superheroes. The more information I gathered about what their day-to-day lives are like, the more impressed I was with them. It was difficult for me to do extensive research for the role during the pandemic in order to play it as believably as possible. Because before we started filming, Los Angeles had the highest number of corona cases in the world, so I would stand outside the hospitals and try to watch the paramedics interact and communicate with each other.”
Bay hired an actual paramedic who was on set every day helping González. “I was fortunate to work on set with our paramedic, Danny. She was amazing.” She spoke to her a lot and asked her how she would react in this and that situation.
Producer Bradley J. Fischer reports that Ambulance took several years to produce: “We worked on the script for eight years and from the beginning we wanted Michael Bay to direct it. We sent him the script, but he was busy with the ‘Transformers’ movies. Thankfully, at some point he decided to read the script and eventually agreed to direct the movie.”
Bay was excited about the idea of the film after reading the script. “I’ve done a lot of action movies in my career, but this time I wanted to make a movie that emphasized the suspense and the dynamics of the main characters. I wanted the audience to feel like they got into a totally broken crime and how a decision gets more and more out of control.”
Bay wanted to shoot the film in Los Angeles “because the city is a character in the film and that’s where I grew up.” The 38-day shoot there, at the height of the pandemic, was “a bit scary for him, because the streets were empty. At the same time, it also made it safer. Everything was sealed off, there was no other way than to the film set.”
The actors were enthusiastic about working with director Bay: “Michael is just super cool. The whole collaboration was great,” says Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays Will Sharp in the film. “He loves what he does, and that’s contagious. What a lot of people don’t know: Bay is quite sensitive. Every film fan knows that he can shoot great action sequences. But it’s also important to him that the emotional scenes don’t get neglected .”
Gyllenhaal also only found words of praise. “Michael is the epitome of a director. He moves you and tells you where to go. He infects you with his energy. Michael also gives you the freedom to do your best work.”
For González, “Ambulance” was the first real leading role she was cast for – and for that she is “forever grateful” to Bay. “As an actor, you hope someone gives you the chance. I never thought it would be Michael Bay for me. He’s been a champion of diversity throughout his career. More people in Hollywood these days are champions of representation, eh is great. But it’s important to shine a light on the people who have been there from the start. When you watch Michael’s films, it reflects the real world every time.”
The mismatched brothers Will and Danny risk everything: a bank robbery is supposed to bring in 32 million dollars. What was supposed to be quick and clean turns into an explosive chase through the streets of LA. Fans have known for a long time that of course it has to be like this and not otherwise, because “Ambulance” is the new film by Michael Bay, the specialist for crazy stunts and crazy action scenes. In our clip, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Jake Gyllenhaal and Eiza González share what it’s like to work with the king of blockbusters. “Ambulance” will be in cinemas from March 24th. (Teaser image: 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved)