As part of their training for End of Watch, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena went on numerous ride-alongs with Los Angeles police officers on duty, and it didn’t take long for Gyllenhaal to get a taste of the ugly side of police work. In his first ride-along, Gyllenhaal, 31, witnessed a man get murdered in a gang shooting. "Jake actually saw somebody die in his first ride along," Pena told Uinterview exclusively. "And it’s kind of brutal, you know. We saw videos of what the cartels are really doing and they’re just, it’s a whole different world with those guys."

Gyllenhaal and Crash actor Pena underwent deep-immersion in preparation for the film. Writer/director David Ayers, who also wrote Training Day, had his stars experience as much as possible to ensure they gave an authentic performance. This authenticity required Gyllenhaal and Pena to become extremely close friends, which was difficult at first. But after many months of working together, and experiencing dangerous encounters side by side, the two eventually formed a serious bond, not just for the role, but for their safety. “We were two different people so we had to find a common ground and we were able to do it after three months of ridealongs,” Pena told Uinterview. “That’s when you’re like, [ok]. Because sometimes you have to step out of the car and the police officers are doing their traffic stops and people sometimes gather around and I remember a couple times it was like, ‘Oh God, we could definitely get into a fight,’ and then we’d look at each other and be like, 'I got your back you got my back, let’s go.' And those kinds of moments really lead you to have a real kind of brotherhood where I know that if I got into any trouble out there, I’m positive that Jake would have, that we both would have fought it out with whoever it was that was trying to attack us.”

The training seems to have as worked. Watch was released on September 21 and so far it has been both a critical and commercial success, grossing over $20 million at the box office.

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