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

Gyllenhaal

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.”

Comments

  1. says

    “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?

  2. TS says

    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.

  3. timoney says

    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?

  4. says

    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”

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. says

    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.

  8. Robbie says

    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. :)

  9. says

    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!

  10. Jordan says

    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.

  11. Jon says

    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.

  12. NO says

    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.

  13. anon (gmail.com) says

    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?

  14. Str8WorksToo says

    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.

  15. BigBaller says

    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.

  16. midak8 says

    Leave Jake alone!!!! :)

    He is one of the most eloquent and gifted people I have ever encountered. There is way too much picking apart of everything he says and does. Give the dude a break. He has worked his butt off trying to promote Rendition for the past several weeks all over the world– a real team player for New Line, but also speaking for his political beliefs. A nicer person you will never find. I and many others just love him to pieces.

  17. David Robison says

    I agree with most of what MIDAK8 says. I don’t think JG is all that articulate. What I think he was trying to say in the interview was that he’s straight, but would not commit himself to NEVER having gay sex or gay love. Many gay men have sampled the other side once, twice, a few times, and are still gay. Bisexuals go both ways (actually or in fantasy/desire) most of the time.

    People are just troubled by liminality–something that doesn’t fit into a neat category. Like, um, sex!

    And Jake’s beard is so hot I want to smell it just like Conan O’brien go to.

  18. Jerome Shipanik says

    why are so called straight guys talking about Jake? it all sounds homophobic to me…..I saw all his movies and liked them all….and his sillyness in interviews are fun to watch….is he gay or straight? does’t matter to me…he comes from a great family and his sister is a pretty good actress too….

  19. EM says

    Oh it’s all spin imo. And Reese -I think that’s spin too.

    Poor guy doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going and prolly has to pander to the wheels of Hollyweird never knowing what to say for the best.

    He really paints himself into corners. This interview makes him sound uptight and a bit arrogant, like ‘I’m fine with gays as long as y’all know I’m in a different world from them’. What happened to the ‘I wouldn’t be afraid if it happened?’. Now he’s not ‘open to persuasion’.

    Odd. Just unnecessary really. Make me think he’s not quite genuine. Not a bad actor though.

  20. David Robison says

    Jaimie, do you know that for sure?

    I actually do have a connection, not a direct line mind you, but a reputable 2-degree connection and I feel perfectly fine standing behind what I wrote.

  21. Anon says

    The “I wouldn’t be afraid of it…” comment was a direct reference to the BBM characters, especially Ennis and the level of paralyzing fear in him. Gay interviewer, talking about homophobia as it is articulated by gay men themselves, which is an aspect not often addressed in popular magazine articles and Jake said, “I wouldn’t be afraid of it, if it happened…” It was a pretty wide-ranging discussion, and of course there were cuts and edits and people took that statement and ran with it. I haven’t got any problem with Jake being straight. I think he did grow up in a different world, in a lot of respects.I don’t think he meant it in a derogatory way. And we are an oppressed minority. So de facto…and de jure’… we have grown up in a different world than our straight bretheren. Culturally and socially our lifestyle and our issues are unique…albeit similar to those of other minority subsets.Imagine how beautiful the world would be if more kids had been raised like Jake. Funny isn’t it. Being attracted to other men,and finding a man like Jake, who is, in many ways, an ideal man. Physically beautiful,engaging, and his openness and comfort level is such that he is capable of maintaining genuine relationships with gay men, and with being in a non-professional environment with them, and he is straight. So what happens. Instead of applauding him for his steadfastness, he is villified, threatened and insulted by the larger society for his attitudes, and ripped to shreds and criticized by so many of us. We need more Jakes. And we won’t find them if, every time they reach out to us, we piss on them.

  22. Paddie says

    re: different world – I took that to mean he is in a different world where there ARE lots of gay people and gayness is accepted. The sad thing for me is that Hollywood seems to be the most homophobic spot in America. If half the people he meets are gay, why are there no gay Hollywood celebrities?

  23. devilgirl says

    We also have to remember that his comment about “not being afraid of it if it happened” was printed in OUT magazine. What else is he going to say to a gay reviewer at a gay magazine, about a gay-themed movie? I am sure Jake didn’t want to offend anyone, and he has since said that he loves the fans who love Brokeback and who love him and Heath for bringing such empathy and emotions to their roles. Jake tends to speak like my ex: he says things very innocently, so as not to offend, but not to make a huge, sweeping statement either, and sometimes he paints himself into a corner b’c people immediately start saying “why did he say THAT?” or “what did he mean by THAT?” By saying “I live in a different world” I think he was saying, “Hey, I’m straight, but gay people are cool.” But ofcourse, some drama queens are going to take offense to that too. *sigh* There are times when I really feel sorry for Jake; no matter what he says, he catches shit for it.
    And Paddie: why are there no gay celebrities? There are. They just have to hide to continue their careers. Just like gay athletes. Now you know why no one comes out until after their careers are over.

  24. devilgirl says

    Anon said:
    “So what happens. Instead of applauding him for his steadfastness, he is villified, threatened and insulted by the larger society for his attitudes, and ripped to shreds and criticized by so many of us. We need more Jakes. And we won’t find them if, every time they reach out to us, we piss on them.”

    Bravo!!! I absolutely agree. Why piss on the straights who actually empathize and care about us? Are you all just mad now b’c he never confirmed or denied, and now that he’s said he’s straight, you’re all tizzed out? Jeez,lighten up. It’s nice to have such a hot, talented, straight guy on our side. I for one love Jake and whether he’s gay or straight, purple or pink, I will always be a fan b’c he seems like a wonderful human being, apart from his hotness and his sex appeal and his talent.
    Let’s try to remember: baby steps, people, baby steps. Let’s not shit on those who do support us just b’c they don’t play on our team.

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