Jake Gyllenhaal seemingly has a penchant for playing tough, brooding characters in a wide range of intense movies like Nightcrawler, Prisoners, and Tom Ford’s upcoming Nocturnal Animals, but there’s one set the actor says is almost too much for him to handle: that of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“I was so terrified the last time I was here,” Gyllenhaal says on Tuesday’s episode as DeGeneres plays a clip from 2014 showing a costumed figure leaping out from a prop table to scare the 35-year-old Oscar nominee. “I don’t like watching that back… it was genuine [fear].”
DeGeneres goes on to explain another plot to terrify Gyllenhaal, revealing she hid in the bathroom of his dressing room for over 10 minutes in the hopes of startling the Southpaw star upon his arrival for this visit.
“You never came in there!” she says as footage of the foiled prank plays, showing DeGeneres giving up and exiting the bathroom while Gyllenhaal excitedly shouts, “I knew it!”
DeGeneres has a history of staging simple (yet effective) scenarios to startle her guests. On Friday, she scared Ricky Gervais with a Donald Trump impersonator, and sent a terrified Ariana Grande through a Universal Studios’ American Horror Story Halloween Horror Nights haunted house for a hilarious segment on Monday’s holiday-themed episode.
Watch DeGeneres try to scare Gyllenhaal in the video below. The actor’s full interview — during which he discusses Nocturnal Animals, what it takes for him to shed his clothing for a movie role, and his apprehensions about returning to DeGeneres’ show for more potential terror — airs later today on Ellen. Check local listings for showtimes in your area.