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On Jake Gyllenhaal a.k.a the Cutest Man Alive

Last week, the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George dropped a cast album. This revival featured adult heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal as George Sauret, the famous artist. I started listening to it and as I sat there, paralyzed from pure joy, echoes of “why is Jake Gyllenhaal the cutest man alive?” rang through my head.

I remember the day when I realized Jake Gyllenhaal was my favorite actor. I was on one of my all-day Netflix movie watching binges and after watching Donnie Darko, I decided to type in Jake Gyllenhaal’s name to find another movie of his to watch… and I realized I had seen every movie that was on Netflix that he has been in. (At that moment, it was Nightcrawler, Zodiac, Brokeback Mountain, Donnie Darko, and End of Watch.) So, I knew Jake and I had something special.

What impresses me the most about Jake Gyllenhaal as an actor is his range. I feel like a lot of people have an image of Jake Gyllenhaal as only being able to play these sweet, bright-eyed characters, like Jack in Brokeback Mountain and Robert in Zodiac. However, this man has played so many different characters, from uber-masculine characters in Jarhead, Southpaw, and End of Watch to wacky comedic characters in Okja. But perhaps most surprising and most exhilarating is his darkly evil turn in Nightcrawler. As someone who is almost always in a state of love for him, he managed to completely creep me out in Nightcrawler. And then, of course, last year, he played two different men in Nocturnal Animals and killed it as both of them.

And that brings me to my biggest gripe: the Oscars consistently ignores how talented this man is and how consistently he delivers crazy impressive acting performances. The only Oscar he’s been nominated for was in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain, which he lost to George Clooney for Syriana, a movie that no one remembers. And then since then… nothing. Not a peep. And he’s done so much awesome work since then. The Nightcrawler snub was a true crime, but I would argue he was more deserving for Nocturnal Animals than some of the nominees. Step yo’ game up, Academy Awards.

Then, I found out he sang. In 2015, Jake Gyllenhaal played Seymour in my favorite musical, Little Shop of Horrors, in the Encores! revival in New York. And when they announced the cast, I was like “Okay, Jakey, that’s cute; you got stunt cast in a musical… I’m sure it will be fun.” (Also, he’s way too attractive to play Seymour, but we’ll let it slide.) But, then, oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness, if you’ve never seen the videos of him singing in the show, I fully recommend taking a quick Youtube break from your next study session to look up “Sudden Changes / Feed Me (Git It)” because it blew me away. The man can sing! As one of the commenters said “Is there anything this guy can’t do?!” No, Captain Majestic; no, there isn’t.

Then, last year, he played the title character in Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, a role made famous by Mandy Patinkin in the 1980s. And yet again, I was like “okay, Jake, ya did Seymour which isn’t that complicated, but George is like ridiculously hard.” And then as I sat in Wiggin crying over the cast album, needing to hide my face during his famous song “Finishing the Hat,” I realized I need to stop doubting Jake Gyllenhaal.

Outside of his talent, he’s also just an adorable man and good person, no matter what Taylor Swift would like you to believe. If you watch interviews with him, he’s funny, endearing, smart and always just looks so excited to be there. He answers every question with such enthusiasm, even if it is just about his favorite color or what he thinks of space. He also can rock the beardless and no-beard look which is a hard task to accomplish. And even though he’s super cute, he always approaches looks and love scenes in movies like someone who has never realized they have piercing blue puppy dog eyes. He’s also a big celebrity proponent for women’s rights. He marched in the Women’s March in January and often speaks out on the misogyny present in the entertainment industry.

His friendship with Ryan Reynolds is the best celebrity friendship in America. After they released Life this year, they did a ton of interviews together and I once spent about three hours just watching them interact. Who knew that watching two people just being friends could be so freakin’ hilarious? (It might be the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal is the king of bad jokes, which he always laughs at.)

So, if you haven’t already become ridiculously obsessed with this man, now is the time! Between the new Sunday in the Park cast album and his new film, Stronger––in which he plays a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing––now is a great time to start! And if you need any recommendations, you can find me around campus, crying, listening to him sing.

P.S. Jake, if you’re reading this, I promise I’m really cool and not at all weird. Well, maybe a little weird. But definitely not a weird fangirl. Probably not.

 

Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

 

Mackenna is a senior who loves all things theatrical, a good cup of green tea, good music, good movies, and all the dogs. Oh, and would give up her humanity if given to opportunity to live as a baby bear.
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