Since I've started this blog, the most frequently asked question I've gotten - by far - is if I've met Jake Gyllenhaal. And the honest answer to that question is YES.
I know that for many, this Jake business is very new, and so is this blog. But I've actually been writing about Jake for almost 4 years now. I wrote a blog called Jake Watch in 2006 and 2007, and in its day, it was a very, very popular site. In fact, after iheartjake.com, it was the most popular Jake Gyllenhaal site on the internet. It was also the very first Jake Gyllenhaal blog on the internet, and while none of us ever openly acknowledge it, all of the other Jake blogs out there right now are written by former readers of Jake Watch (such was its vast and considerable influence).
Jake Watch wasn't started by me. It was the brainchild of the brilliant and incomparable britpopbaby, who was nice enough to let me help her out when her creation became too big for her to handle alone. Over time, we became an unstoppable team, and we did more crazy things together than I could ever cram into a single blog post.
But I was able to cram all of those things into a book, which is what I've been doing in the 2 1/2 years since Jake Watch ended.
The book we will get to...but since I know Jake Watch isn't familiar to everyone, and is in the distant past for even those who are familiar with it, I wanted to periodically re-post some of the best stuff we did over there. And what better way to start than re-posting something that I get asked about several times a week...
So, yes! I have met Jake Gyllenhaal (or should I say, Jake Gyllenhaal has met me, lucky guy)! Here is the story, from September 8, 2007:
[Background: I was at the Toronto International Film Festival. To set the scene, Rendition was a month away from its theatrical release in the United States and Jake's last movie was Zodiac, 6 months earlier.]
The above picture was not taken during the portion of the afternoon where I talked to Jake. This was the portion of the afternoon where I captured this image with my camera even though all my eyes caught was THE BACK OF HIS HEAD. I mean, seriously. How many times can that even happen to a person?!
Then he came back out of the building. The extremely short version, because I am tired (details later!):
PG (who has taken a magazine from her hotel room and opened it to a two-page spread advertising Rendition): Jake, can you sign this?
PG: I run a website for you.
Jake (looks up and smiles): Oh, yeah?
PG: Yeah, Jake Watch!
Jake: Oh, wow! OK!
Jake and PG smile and look at each other and awkwardly nod until other autograph seekers distract Jake's attention away. PG starts snapping pictures.
PG: I'm taking some pictures of you. I hope that's OK.
Jake (looks over and smiles again): Sure, that's fine.
PG: Thank you!
[Click for big versions.]
(This is not zoomed; I was really that much up in his grill. You can see my reflection in his sunglasses. I'm wearing a pink shirt.)
Then Peter Sarsgaard [also in Rendition] came out.
PG: Peter, can you sign this?
PG: Uh, sorry it's a picture of Jake.
Peter (laughing): It's fine.
Peter then signs his name boldly across the picture of Jake. He steals PG's Sharpie to sign autographs for several other people.
PG: Can I take some pictures?
Peter (smiling): Sure!
Peter: Whose Sharpie is this? (to PG) Was it yours?
PG: Yeah, thanks.
Meanwhile, a WireImage photographer caught a picture of PG and Sarsy conversing. Just so you know I'm not making this up (and shhh! don't tell them I'm posting their picture!):
(PG and Peter shared a moment earlier in the afternoon when he arrived and she yelled, "PETER!!!" and starting jumping up and down and waving even though she was at that point quarantined across the street. He waved back. It was a good time for everyone.)
THEN, at the world premiere of Rendition, Jake was kind enough to walk by me again on the red carpet inside the building:
There wasn't a lot of (any) talking at that point, but I'm sure it was because he didn't want to be distracted. No doubt he was still ruminating on our ground-breaking discussion from earlier.
Meanwhile, [a friend who was with me] was taking the following video so that everyone would have the chance to experience the hysteria of waiting for Jake to whiz by:
[And then we went inside the theater and watched Rendition for the first time in the same room as Jake himself! Except Jake left about 10 minutes in and there were several hundred other people in the theater and my seat was up so high that had I flung myself down to his level, I likely would have been killed on impact. But it was a fun adventure! And that is the incredibly true story of the time I met Jake Gyllenhaal. Although this was not the only time I've seen Jake Gyllenhaal, but we'll save that story for another day...]