Jake Gyllenhaal talks about the importance of male vulnerability & male friendships

Jake Gyllenhaal’s still got promotion coming out for what would have been his lead role in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George, which was due to premiere on London’s Savoy Theatre this summer. That show, like everything else, has been postponed. Jake will now do the show next year. Jake recently appeared on the cover of AnOther Man to promote it, and he also chatted with British Vogue for a feature. The interviews are remarkably similar. I’m an unkind and ungenerous person, because I feel like the interviews are so similar because Jake worked with a publicist to figure out what his new, “lighter” persona is supposed to be and these interviews were supposed to be the debut of that new persona. Don’t hate me for saying that! But after years of Morose Jake, it’s going to be a while before I accept Smiley Jake. Anyway, you can read the British Vogue feature here. Some highlights:

He’s decided that he’s “lightened up”. Some of it has to do with age, “seeing life as something that is, you know, fleeting, and the world being as it is now. I’ve turned to my family, I’ve turned to my friends and I’ve turned to love. I’m a little less interested in the work, I would say, and more interested in that.”

He’s thinking a lot about children & art these days: Do you see kids in your future, I ask? “Yes, of course I do. I definitely do. I think that’s probably the reason I see the end of the show the way that I see it. I know that’s why I see the end of the show the way that I see it. I’m not someone who has ever existed in a space where I’ve really known what’s coming next. But you do have to be open to it. And there has been no other time in my life that I can safely say…”

His parents protected his sensitivity. “I have been raised by a wonderful father who was always affectionate. My mother and my sister are some of the most extraordinary people I know. Our vulnerability with each other, our ability to communicate about how tough times can be is what I’m most proud of in my family. For everything I hope to pass on, that’s the most important. My mom always would say she saw me as a certain type of kid and she wanted to protect that. And admittedly, as much as they messed certain things up, they spent a great deal of time protecting that thing, that sensitivity, I think. I’m glad for that.”

He likes that men are finding ways to be vulnerable. “It’s very important we’re portraying men in a different way in film, in art. I remember being very young, very sensitive, and someone said I was a doormat. I think what they were trying to say, that’s full of its own very interesting complications, was that I cared. And things affected me. That potentially I wouldn’t be someone you would picture jumping off a roof into an exploding building. But I don’t agree with that. When I did Jarhead, the writer William Broyles said to me, ‘You are like so many of the guys I was in service with.’ I think that’s important to perpetuate in storytelling.” He pauses, before joking: “At the same time, that might just be me trying to get more jobs.”

His dude friends: “You’re making me feel very emotional about my friends. Those male friendships are very important to me.”

[From British Vogue]

The beginning of the feature is Jake making tea for the British reporter and insisting that he’s an Anglophile and he’s “about as British as an American can be”. He made the tea without milk, the reporter points out. LOL. But it’s clear that he does love London. As for the stuff about being a sensitive man who isn’t afraid to have close male friends and be vulnerable in public… yeah, Jake is that guy. And I cringe at some of the criticism and homophobia lodged at him for that vulnerability and sensitivity. But I also really wonder about this new “lightened up” persona. Is it real? Dude was such a moody, morose artiste for years.

Film Society Of Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary Gala

Sea Wall / A Life Opening Party

Photos courtesy of British Vogue IG, WENN.

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9 Responses to “Jake Gyllenhaal talks about the importance of male vulnerability & male friendships”

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  1. Annaloo. says:

    Yay and good for Jake.

    Totally unrelated, but is there a connection between his Dad and Trump? I keep thinking I heard something related to this…

  2. jferber says:

    Dude looks hot in that photo. Whatever his dad is or is not, I don’t think it’s fair to group him with his dad, since he may have very different views (I actually think he does).

  3. Riley says:

    Moody Jake or Smiley Jake, I’d still hit it.

  4. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I actually think the moody morose Jake WAS the fake. It was his “actor” character. I knew dudes like that and it’s why I always found it so inauthentic and funny. Because it’s so basic and obvious. ESPECIALLY if you’re around actors all the time and get to see it up close and personal. Dorky, sensitive goofy Jake IS the real Jake. He’s been in the game awhile now and he probably feels like he doesn’t have to prove anything anymore and can be more of who he actually is. Also- being the moody actor guy is exhausting

    • K says:

      I’m inclined to agree that this might be more natural Jake, though yes, it’s being sold to us and promoted as a certain angle on him. I mean, he’s a famous actor being interviewed, and you never know how much an interview has been edited/sculpted to fit the magazine’s agenda.

      I’ve dated guys who were Moody Artists and it was like an outfit they tried on for a while, looking for a way to feel interesting, powerful or rebellious. While deep down they might just feel intimidated by adulthood or uncertain about the future. My brother is one of my favorite people and he has a lot of loyal friends who respect him for being generally quite honest and empathetic. He’s not afraid to talk about wanting to find love, what he fears and what he cares about. (In my experience, many people become more emotionally free during their 30’s.) Really not macho or pretentious, and I see hints of that in Jake, too. Well, anyway, whether he’s a softie or not, I consider him one of my favorite male actors largely because of his phase of moody/ artistic/ strange films. He’s proven his range and is respected for his work, so he can relax and do whatever strikes his fancy now.

  5. Holly says:

    This guy is so hot to me I’ll watch anything he’s in. My husband calls him “your boy Gyllenhaal” and HATES him.

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    He’s alright. Whenever I read his stuff it always sounds as though he considers himself too much lol. But it’s weird reading this today because I was having a latet night text chat with my middle son. He turns 23 September 11. He’s going through that, ‘who are we and where did we come from,’ phase most people ponder in their early to mid-twenties. Anywho, we were talking about how boys have been raised historically. The boys and men we’re most appreciative of, currently, seem to have been raised with love and a daily reminder of what it means to care about people, things, themselves. Here at home, we never said things like, ‘suck it up you’re a guy,’ or ‘what’s wrong with you you’re acting like a girl.’ You know, shit along those lines. But when you consider how many men were roughly raised, it can be enlightening. I’m not handing out passes by any means and parental trends have positively grown in desirable directions, but we’re obviously not there yet. And as long as large swaths of contemptable people are raising children, we continue to have to endure. So if Jake insists on constantly talking about himself, the words he’s saying are most probably helpful to someone somewhere lol.

  7. Sportlady20 says:

    He’s hot. That’s all I’ve got

  8. ce says:

    Ok so here is a fun fact: Jake is a toxic misogynist and the rebranding won’t change that. His day is coming too