Jake Gyllenhaal has channelled his inner ally by commending Strange World for its portrayal of queer people.
The actor praised the film’s direction for trying to “normalise the normal” in an interview with Variety on 16 November.
The film, which is the first Disney picture to star an “openly gay teen romance in a feature,” sees a family of adventurers travel to different worlds.
During the film’s world premiere, Gyllenhaal said: “I think what’s so great is they normalise the normal, you know? It just is what it is, and that’s how we are. To me, that’s our world.
“That’s what’s so beautiful about [Strange World], and that was actually told to me very very early on and I thought, ‘that’s so beautiful, that’s exactly how every movie should be.’”
Roy Conli, Jake Gyllenhaal, Qui Nguyen, Don Hall and Jaboukie Young-White attend the Strange World multimedia event at Picturehouse Central. (Getty)
The Brokeback Mountain star plays protagonist Searcher Clade – a spontaneous, reliable member of the Clade family who is known as the greatest explorer of all time.
He is joined by Jaboukie Young-White, Dennis Quaid, Lucy Liu and Gabrielle Union in the film, which was released on 23 November.
The film saw disappointing box office figures on release, grossing just $4.2 million on its first day and around $800,00 during previews.
Critics also weren’t sure how to feel about the film, with reviews ranging from commendation to sheer bewilderment.
The LA Times called the movie “vibrant, weird,” and “visually stunning” while praising its beautiful “subterranean world” and “thematic swings.”
Meanwhile, a review from Vulture said: “Much of Strange World’s audaciousness is front-loaded into its concept, and so little of it comes through in the execution.”
Despite this, many have lauded the film’s depiction of its LGBTQ+ characters for “[normalising] love in a way most movies don’t.”
When discussing queer character Ethan Clade, director Don Hall said: “His gayness is one part of him. He’s also bold and wildly empathetic, which is why he becomes sort of the conservationist in our film.”
Gabrielle Union, who plays Meridian Clade, said that the film depicts a family “that was incredibly supportive of their child’s identity.”