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‘Road House’ star Jake Gyllenhaal says there's one key to a great on-screen bar fight

Gyllenhaal also shared the one scene that made him want to remake the 1989 Patrick Swayze cult classic.

The quintessential movie bar fight — full of bodies flying, wild punches, glass shattering and furniture breaking — gets a hilarious new twist in the remake of "Road House" starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal reprises the role of Dalton — made famous by the late Patrick Swayze in the 1989 cult classic — while putting an updated spin on the bouncer with a haunted past tasked with keeping the peace in a rowdy dive bar.

Early in the movie, Dalton pummels multiple goons in a parking lot after they bust up a bar in the Florida Keys. In perhaps a movie first for a bar fight, he then drives the guys to a nearby hospital to get patched up.

Dalton’s unorthodox kindness after a brutal confrontation jumped out to Gyllenhaal, 41, when he was considering starring in the remake of the Swayze classic, which is directed by "The Bourne Identity's" Doug Liman.

"It was the reason I wanted to do it," Gyllenhaal tells TODAY.com about that scene. "The first line where he says, 'Do you have insurance?' I think, to me, is a genuine question, and it really made me laugh. (That whole sequence) is the reason I wanted to play the character."

Conor McGregor Jake Gyllenhaal in "Road House."
Mixed-martial arts star Conor McGregor (left) makes his acting debut as the villain Knox in "Road House."Laura Radford / Prime Video

In the updated "Road House," which begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video on March 21, Dalton is an ex-UFC fighter recruited by a bar owner named Frankie (Jessica Williams) to work at her place in the Florida Keys.

In the original, Swayze is a New York City nightclub bouncer — or "cooler" — hired to provide security at the seedy Double Deuce, a road house in Missouri.

The new Dalton's dark past comes from a stunning moment during his UFC career, now leaving him as a loner looking to evade the spotlight.

Like in the original, he develops a romantic relationship with a local doctor, played by Portuguese actor Daniela Melchior.

"I would say she can smell trouble, and she’s attracted to it, maybe mostly because of her daddy issues," Melchior tells TODAY.com about her character, Ellie.

And of course, it wouldn't be "Road House" without some wild bar fights. Gyllenhaal says he feels there is one characteristic that defines an entertaining and cinematic bar brawl.

"Chaos," he says. "That’s what the big bar fight is about. It just starts and there’s no sense.

"I think we had an incredible stunt team on this film that’s just one of the best," he adds. "We had ex-fighters, we had just incredible professional stunt people working throughout the bar on every single scene."

It's ironic considering how many bad guys he roughs up in the movie, but Dalton comes off like a nice guy, echoing Swayze's famous "be nice" speech in the original flick.

As Dalton, Gyllenhaal even asks his adversaries if they have medical insurance and the whereabouts of a local hospital before knocking them out.

Patrick Swayze
In the original movie, Patrick Swayze's Dalton was "the best cooler in the business." Jake Gyllenhaal reprises the role. Aaron Rapoport / Corbis via Getty Images

"He’s definitely kind of the stillest, and most confident in his stillness, that I’ve ever played," Gyllenhaal said. "One of the things I took from the original film and from Mr. Swayze was this kind of real confidence in observation.

"He’s a character that stays still and watches until he can’t any more, really. And I love that about him," he says. "And I also think his intention in the end always, even in that first fight, is to help people out, which I love about him."

That sense of calm is offset by the maniacal henchman played by UFC star Conor McGregor, 35, in his first acting role.

McGregor plays the hulking Knox, a bruiser recruited by a land developer (Billy Magnussen) to get Dalton out of the way.

McGregor is used to fighting all out at full speed in the UFC, which took some adjustment when choreographing fight scenes with Gyllenhaal.

"The funny part is that he had unlearn how to fight," Gyllenhaal said. "To learn how to fake fight is a whole other skill. We had to even slow it down."

McGregor is known for his swaggering persona in UFC, all the way down to his trademark walk into the octagon, but he put that aside offscreen.

“Dalton is actually a little bit darker than Knox, so we’ve got a hero with a dark side, and we’ve got the villain with an almost playful, good side,” McGregor said in a statement. “It’s a nice little balance.”