Jake Gyllenhaal, New Age philosopher-actor: “Every journey starts with fear”

I sometimes think Jake Gyllenhaal can veer too hard into the “sensitive poet-boy who will cry if you break him” vibe. Years ago, I thought he had the potential to be a very versatile actor, but after seeing him try and fail (IMO) at some action films, I see that he should just stick to his wheelhouse: dramas and romantic comedies. There’s nothing wrong with that. But Jake limits his options every time he poses for a photo shoot like this one – he’s the cover boy for the September issue of Details Mag. It’s a lovely black-and-white shoot, and Jake looks good. I like his beard – it suits him much more than the shaved head he was sporting last year (which was for a role, for full disclosure). But the vibe is very “I’m a sensitive dude, I could weep at any moment.” There’s nothing wrong with sensitive dudes. But – once again, just my opinion – there is something wrong with dudes who seem so “fragile”. I feel the same way about women too – Jake reminds me of Michelle Williams here. I mean, look at the cover! Jake looks like he’s about to burst into tears. Sack up, dude.

As for the interview… uh… Jake is “in character” (sort of) throughout the piece, and I really didn’t care enough to try to work out exactly what his character was supposed to be. Jake agreed to the cover because he’s promoting End of Watch, the film where he shaved his head and played an LA cop, along side Michael C. Pena. You can read the full Details piece here, and here are some highlights:

Jake on exercise: “I haven’t cycled in a long time… I don’t run anymore. Do I take care of my body and take conditioning seriously? Yes. But exercising regularly doesn’t fit the energy of the character I’m playing now.”

He wants something “real”: “My whole life,” he says, “I’d come to a scene and just ask for something real. I’d say, ‘Please, just tell me what’s going on. All the research, how your character picks up a fork, it’ll all come when we know the truth.’ Now the time’s come to turn that on myself”—searching, over and over, for the truth—”and it’s ‘Game on.’”

Fear: “Every journey starts with fear,” he says. “And I could say that’s what I want to embrace now. A real experience. Connection with the people I’m working with, so I’m helping them make something. And I want, overall, to trust what I know is right. There have been many times when I haven’t. If that’s what you asked, it’s what I’m asking myself now: Where is the line? What is the line? There’s so much context, it can be almost impossible to find. It comes down to finding the beating heart of a story—what’s this really about?—then remaining true to instinct in telling that story.” He looks straight at me—no, through me. “And I just had a déjà vu,” he says, tearing into his fried chicken.

Success: “What success really gives you is the freedom to fail and then try again,” he says.

Something: “I grew up on the other side of the camera,” Gyllenhaal says. “And yes, I do love making movies as much as being in them. I love actors, watching what they do, and I do love acting off-camera, and how it helps tell the story. But the camera eventually does turn to you, and then it’s a very different question. I don’t know if I have the answer to it yet.”

[From Details]

I understand all of the words, but it still feels like Jake is speaking in New Age-speak riddles. He enjoys fear. He’s looking for realness. He asks the questions. He needs The Truth. He is The Philosopher-Actor. And maybe he was just “in character” for a very “meta” film, or maybe Jake is just… kind of up his own ass, right?

Photos courtesy of Details.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

24 Responses to “Jake Gyllenhaal, New Age philosopher-actor: “Every journey starts with fear””

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. sara says:

    He just strung a whole bunch of words together trying to sound intelligent. And he failed.

    • beyonce's bump says:

      failed miserably, there is nothing worse than pseudo-intellectuals who think they are the smartest thing ever…smh. and Oh, he is not hot at all to me.

      • Izzy says:

        ITA w/ both of you. Slightly OT, but I saw a video clip of a red-carpet interview with Tom (my future husband) Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson, and ScarJo pulled the same pseudo-intellectual crap, and failed. She was talking to the interviewer about how her character related to those of Hiddles and Renner, and she said she’s just “kind of ambiguous” about them. She REPEATED it too! Unless I’m totally missing something, she meant to say “ambivalent.”

        Don’t use big words unless you know what they mean, you know what I mean?

        Now, someone please pass me a “libation”!

  2. Nessa says:

    All actors are up their own asses. I find Jake more likeable than a lot of other actors (he doesn’t seem like a total douche). He is so handsome, too.

  3. Lizzie says:

    This piece just sounded muffled because his head was so far up his ass. He is usually quite funny and….normal in his interviews. This was just flat out annoying to read, I eye-rolled all through it!

    • yoyo says:

      Agreed? I felt like he took sentences and played boggle with them, what a load of navel gazing actorish nonsense.

      I am however impressed by the fact that he can actually grow a full beard, not every man can do that and a lot of these emo boys/men usually can’t get more than patchy weirdness going on, I’d actually been wondering if the patchy weirdness was an linked somehow to the emo-ness but apparently not cause Jake can grow a full beard and he’s all emo all the time. Oh well too bad. I too hoped a few years ago that he could be the next generation all around actor. I guess not.

    • Little Darling says:

      I thought the same thing…he is SO much funnier than this. Honestly, all the real talk made me want to bang my head real hard. And I adore him!

  4. grace says:

    WTF? Weird interview. He seems to be in a funk lately.

  5. Mia 4S says:

    The Catwoman headline on the main page reminded me; apparently the choice for the new Batman came down to Jake and Christian Bale. Some even reported Jake was the favorite of one of the producers until Christian blew everyone away in a screen test. Sliding doors huh?

  6. Kelly says:

    That interview was so sappy that when I got to the line about “tearing” into the fried chicken, I thought, “Oh man, Jake, please stop crying.”

  7. marie says:

    I think he’s sniffing his own farts, he’s never done anything for me..

  8. Talie says:

    I don’t get what happened to him and who he really is…is he gay? Is he finished? Why did he disappear so long? Why did he “date” Taylor Swift?

  9. ZigZagZoey says:

    LMAO marie!
    He has never done anything for me either, except bug me.
    He takes himself WAY WAY too seriously.
    I hate seeing pics of him.
    Seems like one of the most boring people on earth imo.

  10. Jacq says:

    He was really good in Jarhead. That’s about the only action film of his that I can name…

  11. Incredulous says:

    “Am looking for something real”

    *Is a professional make-believer*

    Want something real, quit acting and go find a well paying job in this economy.

  12. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I thought every journey started with one step. Don’t forget to put one foot in front of the other. Let go of your inhibitions. Be the real you. Open your inner eyes. Don’t be blinded by err … the realness … of others.

    Ugh, I can’t stand sensitive poet dudes that seem like they want to cry at a sunset. He’s never done anything for me sexually and I don’t think he’s honestly that good of an actor. He always seems to be Jake in every movie.

  13. hoganbcmj says:

    For people who are unhappy or have major issues in their lives, fear is a key motivator. Usually if you can learn to face your fear, you can overcome the obstacles that are keeping you from being happy. I believe that anyway.

  14. dooliloo says:

    W…tf did I just read???? just shut up Jake, shut up!

  15. Amy says:

    Ewww. Could’ve done without the photo of him lighting up.

  16. Yup, Me says:

    Haha! Love it. Somehow, I could totally imagine sitting with him in a moody setting with candles and incense and talking deep spiritual truth and nonsense over a “special cigarette.” That IS what he was smoking, right? Maybe they should have finished the interview first.

  17. DANDILION says:

    Another emo-baby whine smoking downer.. he’s like endlessly laboring and running in place going no where!