By Nick Romano
February 20, 2019 at 09:35 AM EST
  • TV Show

For Jake Gyllenhaal, when it comes to performing a monologue live on stage, “you just gotta roll with it.” Even if there are distractions.

For example, the actor, 38, was in the middle of a big speech in his new play Sea Wall/A Life when a woman started coughing “really, really loudly” from the audience.

“I felt so bad for her,” he said while relaying this story on The Tonight Show on Tuesday. “And so I just asked her if she was okay in the middle of the monologue.”

According to his own impression of the person coughing hysterically, the woman tried to fight through her fits to say she was fine. “I ran off stage and I got water and I gave it to her,” Gyllenhaal said.

That’s the stage life for yah.

Gyllenhaal’s Sea Wall/A Life is playing at New York’s Public Theatre, which he says is already close in proximity to other bars and theaters in the city, which means you hear a lot of what’s going on outside its walls.

“Things happen every night but usually when you’re doing a play, you know, a phone goes off or something happens,” the star shared. “Any random thing happens in an audience every night. So many strange things like opening up a candy that you can hear so loudly.”

The other night, he mentioned specifically, “someone was singing in the hallway, like warming up their voice, and everyone could hear it.”

Again, you just gotta roll with it.

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