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Jake Gyllenhaal: I'm Not Gay, Plus No Brokeback Sequel


An interviewer for the Times Online talked to Jake Gyllenhaal when he was in London promoting his movie Rendition and asked him to clarify a comment he made about exploring homosexuality ("I don't think I'd be afraid of it if it happened") around the time Brokeback Mountain came out.

EnnisSaid Gyllenhaal: "Nothing like that has ever happened to me. I live in a different world. What I was trying to say was why leave out possibilities in my life? It wasn't meant to be provocative. No, I am not open to persuasion myself, but the idea of homosexuality is acceptable to me. I grew up in a city where half the people I know are gay. Both of my godfathers are gay...It was meant as a way of saying it was important for Heath [Ledger, his co-star in Brokeback Mountain] and I to have the movie exist as the movie, but also to have people know it was two straight actors playing those parts. Here are these two lonely people who find themselves through love. Love has no bounds and these two people found a connection in this massive, lonely landscape of Wyoming. Determining what was nasty and what was nice was always going to be hard for me with that movie. But yes, I got an insight into homophobia that I wouldn't normally have encountered."

On a related new, rumors of a Brokeback sequel starring Heath Ledger that emerged last week are apparently not true. Great news imho.

Incidentally, Rendition tanked at the box office over the weekend at #9, bringing in just over 4 million on 2,275 screens although a Towleroad reader writes in with a quick review: "The movie is really great and in my opinion a 'must see' to learn how our government flies suspected terrorists to Egypt for ruthless interrogation. This happens to be the seventh movie I have seen in a row which was extremely violent. And perhaps, this is what is hurting it."

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  1. "I got an insight into homophobia that I wouldn't normally have encountered."

    Heh, like all the interviewers assuming he's not straight just because he was playing the part?

    Posted by: Ryan | Oct 22, 2007 9:53:12 AM

  2. No, Ryan he means getting homophobic hate mail and threats. The interviewer mentions it before Jake makes that statement. Jake and Heath got hate mail, etc. during the BBM run.

    Posted by: TS | Oct 22, 2007 9:59:04 AM

  3. May I still pine for him? And, actually, it's kind of awesome if he's straight since he is SO cool with his gay following. A following, it should be added, that didn't buy tickets for his new movie. Maybe playing the fence is hurting more than helping?

    Posted by: timoney | Oct 22, 2007 10:19:00 AM

  4. I like him, but I don't like his comment "I live in a different world". We all live in the same one world, he just happens to be straight. You can't have gay people in your life and say you live in a different world than them just because they sleep with or fall in love with someone of a different gender preference than your own.

    His comment "it wasn't meant to be provocative" seems disingenuous because it was meant to be provocative or he wouldn't have said it, or at least clarified his statement at the time. That statement sucked in a lot of gay fans, and in my opinion that was the purpose of it.

    Anyway, he is a good actor and gay friendly. He just has to try to make sense when he speaks. You can't say you want to leave all possibilities open, and in the same paragraph say you aren't open to persuasion. That's like saying "I may go to Italy someday, but I will never go there"

    Posted by: Patrick | Oct 22, 2007 10:47:23 AM

  5. I don't think 'playing the fence' hurt the box office for 'Rendition'. Look at Jake's box office history. Most of his films faired poorly at the box office (with the exception of BBM ($87m) and the dreadful 'Day After Tomorrow' ($186m) which would have done the same numbers without him). He's one of those marginally, minimally talented brooders that Hollywood tried to hoist upon us these past few years to no avail. I've said it before, the boy ain't that talented...Oscar nom be damned - his BBM role was creepy and affected. And I don't recall seeing any performance from him worth celebrating.
    But the gays love him and keep him in the spotlight, for better or worse.
    But the gays love him and keep him in the spotlight, for better or worse.

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Oct 22, 2007 11:00:37 AM

  6. Patrick, I think what he meant by "I live in a different world" is that he comes from Hollywood/showbiz which is different than the world you or I have.

    Posted by: Meme | Oct 22, 2007 11:03:56 AM

  7. The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 22, 2007 11:08:30 AM

  8. agh, poor boy keeps talking himself into corners

    Posted by: jeff | Oct 22, 2007 11:16:45 AM

  9. Determining what was nasty and what was nice was always going to be hard for me about that movie." Huh?! WTF does that mean?

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 22, 2007 11:40:36 AM

  10. Jeff Christ,
    I tend to agree with you (tho I love me some Jakey, he's treading the lines of overhype that Ryan Phillippe did a few years ago) but I personally think Gyllenhaal was nom'd not only for BBM but as a "collective nom" for his total work in BBM, Proof and Jarhead. He's not a bad actor at all, but he's no box-office draw-carry-a-whole-movie-himself caliber actor either, which, people try to sell him as now.

    Posted by: Derrick | Oct 22, 2007 12:07:13 PM

  11. Frankly, I think most of his fans are gay. I never hear my female friends talking (or swooning) about or over him that much and straight guys don't particularly idolize him as an actor in any sense.

    Posted by: Patrick | Oct 22, 2007 12:32:49 PM

  12. Jake is cute and all that, but I agree with Timoney's statement that he needs to try to make sense when he speaks. Even in interviews, he tends to talk 'round and 'round sometimes. I think he's trying to sound more grown up than he is. Age is such an individual thing, and I think he's a very young 26. I like to look at him, though. :)

    Posted by: Robbie | Oct 22, 2007 12:38:21 PM

  13. I'm kinda confused but if I understood him I believe he meant he could go either way. Sexuality being fluid, that's a pretty bold statement to make. Especially in the "world" we live in. I don't see my self sleeping with women but I know that under the "right" circumstances, I could sleep with a woman. I guess that makes me (and Jake) bisexual?! On a different note, he's a great actor and looks darn good!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Oct 22, 2007 12:40:12 PM

  14. Sad that Jake has to relent to spin control:

    Posted by: Jakey Rox | Oct 22, 2007 12:56:13 PM

  15. I just do not see what the attraction is to him, guys. He is just not that cute. (especially with that horrendous facial hair), nor an especially good actor. Plus, he obviously isn't interested in us like we are in him. Why the fascination?

    Anyway, Ryan Gosling or Chris Evans are so much hotter.

    Posted by: Jordan | Oct 22, 2007 1:03:46 PM

  16. ... But Chris Evans would kick your gay ass in a dark alley.

    Posted by: jeff | Oct 22, 2007 1:10:28 PM

  17. Jordan,

    I think you'll be able to figure out why there's "fascination" with him if you try to put yourself into someone else's shoes and imagine him to be hot (like Gosling/Evans are for you). It can't be THAT tough to 'understand' that some people find various people attractive that you don't.

    Posted by: Jon | Oct 22, 2007 1:14:33 PM

  18. Jakey Rox, this interview in the UK Telegraph was done when Jake was in London. It was before Jake was in NYC and that supposed sighting in Ted Casablanca's gossip rag column happened. So no Jake wasn't doing spin control.

    Posted by: NO | Oct 22, 2007 1:39:35 PM

  19. The man is in constant spin control if he's in the closet. Sad life.

    Posted by: YES | Oct 22, 2007 2:19:52 PM

  20. Yes, I think your email addy is saying something about you. Unless you are in Jake's bed then you don't know if he is in the closet or not.

    Posted by: Meme | Oct 22, 2007 3:57:27 PM

  21. I hope he doesn't become his generation's TOM CRUISE if you know what I mean.

    Beards can be expensive!

    Posted by: FunMe | Oct 22, 2007 4:11:24 PM

  22. He's somewhat charismatic for an actor, but probably has been miscast in his roles. He was fine if a bit uneven in BBM, though probably much too pretty for the role. He's going for laconic, but Clint Eastwood spoke through his gun and Steve McQueen through his driving. What does Jake have to compare?

    Posted by: anon ( | Oct 22, 2007 5:16:41 PM

  23. Andy, next time you publish a reader's review, please make sure it doesn't come from a 3rd grader.

    Posted by: Sean | Oct 22, 2007 5:18:22 PM

  24. I, for one, am glad he set the record straight (so to speak). I'm so tired of all these guys playing the "maybe I am, maybe I'm not" game. Of course, it's always the hot guys who leave the door open. When was the last time Phillip Seymour Hoffman made that kind of statement (and no, I have no idea about him). I can appreciate a good looking straight man without having to think "well, maybe he's gay and closeted."
    Bring back the straight guys.

    Posted by: Str8WorksToo | Oct 22, 2007 7:29:44 PM

  25. Has anyone ever considered the fact that Jake G might be bi-sexual. I mean, then he'd have the option of saying he's straight when he's in a relationship with a woman. Technically he wouldn't be lyeing.

    Posted by: BigBaller | Oct 22, 2007 9:09:18 PM

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