Jake Gyllenhaal! He sure is a studly, full-grown adult male.
But he wasn't always that way. Much as we'd like to think that he sprang forth into existence in his current form, this is sadly not so. Like the rest of us, he was once younger, and has gone through some awkward stages. But what makes Jake special is that unlike us, his youthful awkwardness is documented in photographs available for all the world to see!
So today, I thought we'd take a look back at
A Brief History, Because He Used to be (Even) Dorkier
1988 - At the tender age of 7, Jake performs "Born in the USA" for his father, who decides to video tape it and many, many years later submit it to a late night talk show. Fans the world over lay awake every night wondering why there are screencaps of this, but no video...
1991 - A 10-year-old Jake is cast in City Slickers, giving the public their first glimpse of the boy who would one day be Jake Gyllenhaal. Barely into the double-digits, Jake already shows signs of being a heartbreaker.
1994 - Father Stephen directs an episode of "Homocide: Life on the Street," and, by a totally random and unrelated coincidence, a 13-year-old Jake guest stars. He's such an awkward child that Stephen insists he hide his face in a wall for most of the time he's on screen.
Sometime in the 1990s - Jake graduates to puberty! Experimenting with bold wardrobe choices, he walks into this photo shoot, which is undated and no one knows what it was for, except to embarrass him later in life.
1999 - Watch out, he's legal! At 18, Jake lands his first lead role in the movie October Sky. Despite this break, he still looks more like your lab partner from sophomore biology than a movie star.
2000 - Once a Lakers fan, always a Lakers fan, Jake greets the new millennium with the same hairstyle he's now had for half of his life. This year is the turning point for him. Really, it could have either gone up or down from here...
2001 - But it goes up! As his career begins to take off, Jake thinks, 'Hey, maybe I'll go goth for a while, because that makes sense.' Indeed, despite the dye job, the new look is an improvement.
2002 - Career on fire after a series of movies in which he seduces women twice his age, Jake loses the Converse (but keeps the cowlick). He's now famous enough to hang out with mega-stars, like Macaulay Culkin, and party mega-hard, like drinking all the Evian he can handle. I sense we're on the verge of making a breakthrough...
2003 - FINALLY IT STARTS TO COME TOGETHER.
2004 - 2009 - Jake makes a bunch of movies and develops the ability to grow facial hair.
2010 - As he marches steadily towards 30, Jake is now walking around looking like this:
And that, my friends, is everything you ever needed to know about Jake's progression to adulthood.
WHEW. Indeed, it was a long and difficult journey as he grew into his man-self...but as the saying goes, anything worth doing is worth doing well.