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Road House remake honors Patrick Swayze, says Jake Gyllenhaal

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LONDON — Celebrating the legacy of late actor Patrick Swayze was essential in remaking his 1989 hit movie Road House, says the new film’s star Jake Gyllenhaal.

In the 2024 version Mr. Gyllenhaal plays former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Dalton, who runs into trouble as he takes on a job as a bouncer at a bar in the Florida Keys.

“It was important to me. He originated the character and I wanted to bring it through,” Mr. Gyllenhaal said at the film’s premiere in London on Thursday.

Mr. Swayze, who passed away in 2009, and Mr. Gyllenhaal worked together on Donnie Darko some two decades ago.

“Patrick was always so lovely to me, so supportive at the beginning of my career. I carried with me some of the tattoos, we designed some tattoos in honor of him, just because I really loved him.”

The new Doug Liman-directed movie marks the acting debut for former UFC champion Conor McGregor.

The Irishman, who plays savage contract killer Knox, described the experience as “a learning curve.”

“I went in humble. I went in looking to learn. And I knew my level. I was a white belt and I’m a white belt still. I was blessed with an amazing cast who were patient and very helpful for me,” he said.

Mr. McGregor, 35, said he was not eyeing further Hollywood roles and would refocus on his UFC career once the publicity run for the movie ends.

“Not right now. I’m going to regroup after this work and get back to work for my fighting career. I’ve got more in the Octagon to do. I’m excited to do it. That’s where I’m at,” he said.

Some of Mr. Gyllenhaal’s fighting scenes were filmed in the Octagon in front of a real audience during the UFC 285 event headlined by Jon Jones and Cyril Gane. The 43-year-old actor spent some two months getting in shape for the stunts and action scenes in the movie, shot in the Dominican Republic.

The film also stars Jessica Williams as Frankie, the owner of the roadhouse, Daniela Melchior in the role of local doctor Ellie and Billy Magnussen as crime boss Ben Brandt.

“I hope you don’t compare ours to the original because I think art is not a competition. You got to just celebrate,” said Magnussen.

Road House starts streaming on Prime Video on March 21. — Reuters