Actors battle the elements in the drama 'Everest'

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The true account of a 1996 attempt to climb the world's highest mountain is recounted in the new movie "Everest." Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke play experienced leaders who are both drawn to the beauty, and the challenge, of trekking to the top of the 29,000-foot peak.

They make it to the top, but a freak storm suddenly makes scaling back down the mountain a life-or-death situation.

The cast and crew shot much of the movie in Nepal, the Italian Alps and Iceland. Both actors could not have been more thrilled with being on location.

"For me it's a bit selfish," Gyllenhaal said. "It's like, I want to be out there in the elements. I want to live life as well as make a film, and that's what this year has been for me in a lot of ways. Learn from the experts and have them change my life."

"We had an extraordinary time," Clarke said. "Did some and saw some extraordinary things. Just the moments you have between set up...and you just send a picture saying I was here and (friends and family) just go, they can't believe it and actually neither can I."

Gyllenhaal thinks this movie has a lot to say, and not just to those who love the outdoors.

"I think the metaphor of the mountain is relatable to everybody, no matter what you do in your life," he said. "Whether it's your job or your life, we all have things in our life that feel like Everest and I think life itself is like that. That's the incredible thing about Everest, it's constantly begging that question. How far can you go? What do you want to do?"

"Everest" also stars Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Keira Knightley and Emily Watson.

It's rated PG-13 and is in theaters on Friday.
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