What did Jake Gyllenhaal ever do to you?
Ink has been spilled over Jake Gyllenhaal and all about how evil he is. But let's be real: Is he really that bad? Hollywood (and Hollyweird) is filled with legitimate, actual, bona fide predators, and Big J is most certainly not one of them. You can blame him for being cringe, or sometimes being in bad movies, or for not being as cool as Ryan “The Goose” Gosling, but don’t go around saying all these mean and terrible things about him.
Here are the facts.
Firstly, Jake Gyllenhaal almost certainly smells bad. He spoke about his reduced amount of bathing in a bizarre interview that also included him waxing poetically about natural loofahs, but I guess that’s actors for you. In doing so, he joined the weirdly long list of actors that don’t shower, a list almost as long as the Polanski petition (which he did not sign, by the way). This bad smelled-ness of him shows his willingness to behave as the common man who might not have time to shower after a hard day's labor on the field.
Secondly, he isn’t Armie Hammer. Armie Hammer has claimed to enjoy eating people. Jake Gyllenhaal has never. Some people might have accused him of being a bad boyfriend, but nobody has ever accused him of method acting as a zombie.
Thirdly, he was in some movies I liked. People might be mad at him, but personally I thought that his acting in “Nightcrawler” was really good and elevated the film to something truly special. His portrayal of Lou Bloom as an ambulance chaser was riveting, and he definitely deserved the Oscar for best acting, an award for which he was somehow not even nominated.
Fourthly, there is no “Sad Boy Summer” edit of "Brokeback Mountain."
Fifthly, he has been standing for his beliefs for a long time, and I respect that. He campaigned for John Kerry back in 2004, something I wish I had done. He also likes to keep it chill though, and has said that "It frustrates me when actors talk politics; I'm political and I make choices in my movies that I think are political. I try and say things with what I do.” What a standup guy!
Sixthly, he sometimes dates people older than himself. Criticism has been brought upon Gyllenhaal for pulling a Leonardo DiCaprio, yet he dated Reese Witherspoon when he was 27 and she was 31, something Leo would never do.
Of course, there are some valid reasons why some people would dislike him. Humans are not a monolithic group, and people will have valid reasons for disliking a man I personally find unimpeachable. For example:
They may have thought his performance in Spider-Man 7 was over the top. That is valid, although I subscribe to the belief that he personally overacted to provide a foil to Tom Holland’s mellow portrayal of Spider-Man. They may be homophobic. Some people might have watched "Brokeback Mountain" and erroneously believed Jake to be gay or bisexual. He has, however, said, “You know it's flattering when there's a rumor that says I'm bisexual. I've never really been attracted to men sexually, but I don't think I would be afraid of it if it happened.”
They don’t like the Hollywood system, and prefer the homegrown indie scene. Although Jake Gyllenhaal has appeared in some lower budget films, some might object to his deep connections to Hollywood. Many of his godparents are acting royalty themselves, which might displease those who abhor nepotism.
They are jealous. It is known that people want to either be Mr. Gyllenhaal or be with Jake Gyllenhaal. He was, of course, the sixth most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish man in the world in 2012. Jewish men ranked seventh through 7,830,005th might feel overshadowed by this. Luckily for them, the year is now 2021, so they’ve got another chance to be on that list. And to all those who want to be with him, tough luck. Last I heard of him, he was dating a very successful pop musician, and I doubt he’d leave her for any of you.