The actor recalled working with the Friends star on the 2002 film during an interview on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday. When Stern asked him if it was “torture” to film love scenes with Aniston, 52, Gyllenhaal said yes because he liked her so much.
“Oh yeah, it was torture, yes it was,” he said, laughing. “But it was also not torture. I mean, come on, it was like a mix of both.”
“Weirdly, love scenes are awkward, because there are maybe 30, 50 people watching it? That doesn’t turn me on,” Gyllenhaal, 40, said. “It’s oddly mechanical. And also it’s a dance, you’re choreographing for a camera. You can get in it but it’s like a fight scene, you have to choreograph those scenes.”
Almost 20 years after the movie came out, The Guilty star said what he remembers most from filming their loves scenes was the use of a pillow.
“The pillow technique was used,” he admitted. “That was just preemptive and used generally always when actually in a horizontal place in that movie.”
He added, “I think that was actually a Jennifer suggestion, she was very kind to suggest it before we began. She was like, ‘I’m putting a pillow here.'”
In April 2016, Gyllenhaal joked to PEOPLE that working with Aniston was “rough.”
“I will say, I had a crush on her for years. And working with her was not easy,” Gyllenhaal said of making the film with Aniston when he was 22. “I was – um, yeah. That’s all I’m going to say. It was lovely. It wasn’t hard, that’s what I would say.”
Gyllenhaal added it wasn’t Friends that put him on Team Aniston, but the way the actress presented herself.
“Not so much Friends, but kind of her personality from afar, and movies she was in,” he said. “And some of Friends – I’m not a huge Friends fan – but who she is.”