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Jake Gyllenhaal and the art of the identity crisis

August 08, 2012|By Matt Donnelly
  • Jake Gyllenhaal goes deep for his craft, but does he reveal anything as the September cover star of Details magazine?
Jake Gyllenhaal goes deep for his craft, but does he reveal anything as the… (From left: Damon Winter;…)

It's been a long winter for Jake Gyllenhaal fans, and not just because the adorable actor has some major hibernation beard going on in the above photo.

Gyllenhaal has been well off the map, filming movies such as September's "End of Watch" and shuffling around Brooklyn playing uncle to sister Maggie Gyllenhaal's little ones. 

To herald a new slate of films, along with a blatant endorsement of his commitment to the craft, Details magazine has selected the star for the cover of its all-important September issue. But what does the profile reveal?

It seems to suggest that in his sixteen-month absence (his last film "Source Code" premiered in March 2011, three months after his breakup with Taylor Swift), there are many Jakes that traverse the land.

If only.

Here are just a few of the insights into Gyllenhaal's (maybe) identity crisis:

The super-fit Jake of lore, "Jarhead" and "Prince of Persia" Jake, is long gone. The six-packed blockbuster hunk is dead. 

"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," Jake said. 

Likewise, matinee idol Jake is gone. The toothy-cuteness monster that ran around nude in "Love and Other Drugs" has been sidelined.

The article has nary a mention of Swift or any other romantic entanglement that could position Gyllenhaal as a love interest, though it does feature a moment when, over dinner with the actor, the author observes servers of both sexes lingering too long at the table. (Have to keep the sex appeal alive, no?)

Instead of puppy-dog Jake, we get bullet points of the agonizing preparation he's done for "Watch," which sees him as a South L.A. cop facing bloodshed and violence alongside his loyal partner. 

"Five months, for a 22-day shoot," he told the mag. "Three nights a week in ride-alongs with cops. Fight training every morning at a Kenbo Karate dojo, and I got the ... kicked out of me. Then the shooting range, shooting past each other's heads, with live ammo."

Director David Ayer warned of the changes that would come with such commitment (there's that craft again).

"'Friends are going to say, 'That's the Jake I've always known,' but somewhere deep inside, you'll know otherwise,'" Gyllenhaal recalled Ayer as saying.

At his December birthday party, Gyllenhall reveals, half his guests were police officers he'd met on ride-alongs for the film. No fixtures like Adam Levine and Michelle Williams, bro?

And finally, there's his next film, "An Enemy." Wherein Gyllenhaal plays a frumpy history professor obsessed with a narcissistic actor, as the men are identical. Gyllenhaal will play both parts. Did it just get meta in here, or are you still looking at the cover? 

We'll take any ol' Jake he's willing to give: the tabloid-weary star dissolving into his work, or the 31-year-old heartthrob who just kicked off his Oscar campaign in the profile in question.

They just might be one and the same.


Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal are over

Jake Gyllenhaal in SXSW bathroom fight with photo-happy fan [Poll]

Gyllenhaal, Cruise, Cage turn out for 'Prince of Persia' premiere, Bruckheimer footprint blowout 

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