Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal: The Man, The Beard, The Controversy

For as long as I've known Jake Gyllenhaal (which isn't long, since I don't know him), he has been growing beards.  And before anyone jumps in with an outdated Jake-is-gay comment (*so 2005*), let me clarify that I'm talking about the lush patch of facial hair he sprouts at staggering speed - seriously, what is this man's testosterone level - between every movie he has ever filmed.

Over the years, Jake's beard has been a point of incessant conversation and division.  Is it hot?  Is it not?  What does it smell like?

No firm conclusions have ever been made.

All fans must deal with it and all fans must decide for themselves where they stand.  Because like the phases of the moon, the tides of ocean, and the arrest warrants of Paris Hilton, it is a constant of life that Jake Gyllenhaal will grow one.  So today, in honor of Jake (once again) growing his beard, the traditional symbol of his not-giving-a-fuck-itude, I offer a celebration of... 

The Top Four Years in the Life of Jake's Facial Hair

Third Runner-Up:  The Year 2000!

Alright, Jake was unable to grow facial hair, because he was 12.  But I couldn't find a rational reason not to post this picture:

Second Runner-Up:  The Year 2006!  

As it kicks off, 2006 truly seems poised to become The Year of the Beard.  In the frenzy of the post-Brokeback era, Jake's fanbase expands to the point that his beard is named "Dill" by an overzealous fan and a since-deleted blog by the name of "Save Our Dill" is created to lobby for its continuing existence.*

April gives us this:

But by June, trouble surfaces.  Jake seems to be hiding his beard in public.  Out of shame?  The future suddenly looks uncertain.

And sure enough, mere weeks later, Jake scales down to a stubbled look.  (Overcome, women flock to him in parking lots.)  The remainder of the year is spent primarily clean-shaven.

First Runner-Up:  The Year 2007! 

No question about it, no one thinks 2007 has it in it.  But then BAM!  The month of May happens.

With nearly a year of clean living behind him, things go radically off course and Jake...flirts with a mustache:

The mustache (clearly) doesn't flirt back.

Though it's gone by the next day, the floodgates have opened, paving the way for an experimental and yet-to-be-explained Wolverine phase in June:

By October, the line between what we think we know and what's actually happening is blurring.  Though tradition states that Jake must shave before making his promotional rounds, Rendition's publicity tour is done (gasp!) with the beard intact.

Tumultuous as the year is, though, it ends on a conservative note.  Mere weeks after flaunting the beard on every television station that would have him, Jake coldly casts it aside for a "sexier" 5 o'clock shadow...

Which brings us to...

Winner:  The Year 2010!

One might ask how this year can be named victor when we have not yet seen its close.  But this is brave new territory...  So unstoppable has the beard growth of 2010 been that Jake could shave tomorrow, spend the last four months of the year smooth as a baby's behind, and still the champion designation would remain.

Because 2010 has not only already given us this:

And then this:

And then this:

It's the year that's giving us this.  In real time.  Right now.  The mother of all Jake beards:

2010, I bow down to you.  When you started, I glibly broadcast far and wide that you would grace us with a beard.  But you have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty.  If only that Save Our Dill girl was around to see what she's been missing...

*The Becky who started "Save Our Dill" is not the same Becky who is otherwise known as Prophecy Girl.  Turned out the fandom wasn't big enough for two Beckys.  The victor lives on (and is anti-Dill, though pro-Jake-not-giving-a-fuck-what-I-or-anyone-else-thinks :)). 


CigarattesAndCoffee August 31, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

I'm still hoping he shaves soon D: I much prefer stubble/clean shaven than the beard!

Nothing Really Matters August 31, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

Darling I'm not sure I like a bit of beared! Lol!

Leslie August 31, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

He's great however he is. :)

Anonymous,  August 31, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

"what is this man's testosterone level"
Nice, fanning myself here

"flirts with a mustache...the mustache (clearly) doesn't flirt back"
Damn, you're good! I'd say you need to write a book, but then you already have :D
Always a pleasure to read your brain PG!

Anonymous,  August 31, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

LOL, excellent post, PG, what detailed research. :D I thought there could be nothing worst than the Rendition promo beard but unfortunately, the 2010 version is indisputably the champion of humongous Jake beards. If Jake doesn't shave soon, we'll get past the Grizzly Adams/Sasquatch stage and on to ZZ Top. *shudders* I don't know if I could survive through that.

By the way, I'm very surprised noone in the last post's comments posted a pic of Jake in the blue trunks. That's my favorite commando Jake. :)


Libbytown August 31, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

Mmmm, I can't help it, I love Mountain Jake 2010. Why should he deny his man-ness?

Vanessa August 31, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

& Lena, may I second that? PG, this post today is beyond informative & just downright hilarious!

Olympia, WHAT??? He was commando in blue trunks? Oh yeah, if they were SWIM trunks, of course he would be commando! I'm such a dork! >;-P

OK, I need to find that pic NOW! Anyone have it???

penny25,  August 31, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

I'm so happy to see this blog is back. Man I missed you guys. This is hysterical! Prophecy Girl, you are a living legend.

I love Jake with a bit of facial fuzz but this beard is getting completely out of control. Still would though!

"It's the year that's giving us this. In real time. Right now. The mother of all Jake beards" the 24 throw back
had me in stitches!

gyllenhaalisgr8 August 31, 2010 at 2:23 PM  

PG - kudos on a most excellent post (not that others are not great in their own right). But timelines are so nice and retrospective. But the beard still has to go!

Becky Heineke August 31, 2010 at 2:40 PM  

Thank you, penny25! You have made my day/week/month/year by calling me a living legend (and not a "washed up has-been," which, not gonna lie, I've occasionally felt like since being back :D).

Olympia, I was *thisclose* to mentioning the blue trunks! But then the Jarhead pic emerged and where do you even go after that?? Vanessa, in IHJ's archives, there's a set from Maui in 2005 (which I actually posted some of in this post) with a Famous Picture. It's in there somewhere; I was going to say "look closely" but you really don't have to... *snicker*

You know, on a purely aesthetic level, I've never liked Dill...but I gotta admit, the 2010 reincarnation has me fascinated. It's like we're all just sitting here waiting to see how far it'll go and how long it'll last. I can honestly say it was a joy to put this post together and reflect back on the years and beards that came before to bring us to this point...

Anonymous,  August 31, 2010 at 2:44 PM  

Dude, this was epic
"he's 12" Haha, but yes that picture was classic.

I still think he suits the stubble the best, or the 5 oclock shadow. That beard makes him look... like a hobo. Maybe he wears fake beards so his fans won't notice him (well good luck cause that's not working!) because DAYUM that beard grows fast! XD


Leslie August 31, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

I'm starting to wonder what's under the fur . . or if we'll even recognize him if he ever does decide to start up the chainsaw - cuz I think that's what he'll need if he keeps going at this rate. Sheesh.

I still like him . . no matter what he looks like. He's got a great personality and sense of humor. *cutesmile* I've dated enough really good looking guys to know that looks only go so far - it's everything else that counts.

Call Me Mo August 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

The beard can stay, but the "I may or may not have slept in this outfit" style should go. But hey, whatever floats his boat.

Vanessa August 31, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

Thanks PG for the link back to that post! I totally forgot the year & about made myself insane searching earlier thru IHJ archives, & could not find it until now.

I have to just squee, FUCK YEAH!!! I will take THIS "Wet Jake" or THIS "Wet Jake" *ANY DAY*! Olympia, you are so right!

& for the record, if Gylls ever looked like THIS or even THIS, it would not matter to me one bit, if I had a shot in Hell at hittin' that!!!

OMFG, I would be all over him in a heartbeat even if he looked like RIP VAN WINKLE!!! >;-P

Vanessa August 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

I guess I should clarify that "THIS Jake" in the blue trunks looks hotter than hell, but the other pics were used to show said commandoism as well as THIS "Wet Jake" whose trunks are practically falling off of him! ^_^

Can I just make an observation here, that ANY "Wet Gylls" is unbelievably HOT? **fans self** I think I need to take a cold shower asap... >;-P

Sam August 31, 2010 at 4:52 PM  

im Anti-Dill...i might have to start a campaign soon for the dill to be removed....

Call Me Mo

"I may or may not have slept in this outfit"

haha!!!!! That can go too, i agree!!!!

i have a strange feelin that this beard is sticking around a little longer. i hope im wrong

Becky Heineke August 31, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

^^^ I'm with you, Sam. This just doesn't feel like a one-off fling to me. There's staying power in that beard...

Well, I guess we all know how Vanessa spent her day. ;D HA! (Though let's hope for all involved we never get to the Rip Van Winkle stage... D:)

Katie,  August 31, 2010 at 8:06 PM  

Jake has clearly reached all-time I-could-give-a-fuck and he's clearly demonstrating that to everyone. Which is just SO actor of him.

On an un-related note: I just watched Brokeback for the first time. Despite my personal views on homosexuality, I was totally enamored by Jake's character and performance. And I LOVED the part where he stands up to Lureen's dad at the dinner table. And I loved seeing Jake in the husband/father role, especially with Anne. There's something about seeing him in that element that was just so intense for me. (Despite all societal cliches, mind you!)
AND I had to share this with fellow Jake fans...I kind of hope that Jake & Anne end up together in real life. I know she's seeing someone else and she doesn't fit the short-blond-mega star bill. And ideally, I would be the one he ends up with.(yeah, I know) There's just something kind of adorable about them together, and she's one of the VERY FEW actresses out there I would actually be cool with him being with. (too bad he doesn't consult with me on those issues!!)

Anyway, feel free to disagree with me I just had to share somewhere since I've been pondering such things for almost an entire day now. (GASP!)

KD,  August 31, 2010 at 10:41 PM  

Great tag. That is all.

(Plus I am SO anti-Dill. Can't stand Dill at all. 5 O'clock shadow at best, maybe. But like Katie said, he's reached the pinnacle of "IDGAF" which is very "SO actor".)

KATIE - You aren't alone girl. I've mentioned a few times in LaOD posts that I love, love, love Anne Hathaway and secretly wish that he and Anne did get together in real life. I think they'd make such a great couple. But alas, if it happens it happens, if not then not. I'm certainly not going to start any rumors or anything. As long as he keeps being the talented, gorgeous man that he is. ;)

Lola,  August 31, 2010 at 10:41 PM  

Wow Katie I can't believe you just now watched BBM, so you liked it huh? I actually just bought the movie online(I've already seen it)after going to several stores and none of them selling it. I did by The Notebook which is a good segway into who I would like to see jake date. I think Rachel McAdams fits the bill and they have a lot in common, But if he doesn't end up with Rachel Anne would be my second choice.

KD,  August 31, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

Wow, I need to revise that. I guess it's not a secret since I mentioned it before! LOL.

Katie,  August 31, 2010 at 11:56 PM  

Lola, yes this is the first I've seen of BBM. Admittedly, I was very hesitant to watching it because honestly I just haven't been all the comfortable with the idea of Jake & Heath portraying such roles. I know that's very close-minded of me but that's just how I feel. And I'm still not 100% comfortable with the movie and its most certainly not my favorite Jake movie. Mostly what I liked about it is what I shared before about Jake's character. But I know both Jake & Heath were very hesitant about the roles as I was to watch it. And they both did tremendous jobs. I just never really fully bought their relationship, and maybe that's my personal stance on the whole issue anyway (sorry if I offend anyone, you are certainly welcome to feel about it how you want and I do not disregard that) and the subsequent distance I probably put between myself and what was actually going on. But I loved seeing them both in the cowboy role and I loved seeing Jake as he was. But I certainly respect anyone whose opinions differ on the film than mine and I appreciate Jake & Heath for making this movie.

Leslie September 1, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

I'm thinking he kinda might still have a little "thing" for Natalie Portman.

From what I've read/heard from both sides, he and Annie (as he refers to her) are just good friends - she actually was a shoulder to whine on when he was breaking up with KD. I'm assuming maybe she did the same this time with RW. I don't see him with Rachel at all, sorry.

Lola,  September 1, 2010 at 12:35 AM  

katie, thats fine I'm definitley more open minded when It comes to that subject. I admire that you stated your opinion on the matter very eloquently. aww leslie that sucks that you can't see them together, i don't know why but while he was dating RW i just got it in my head that they would be great together. I like Natalie too, but they've been friends for a long time. I wonder who he'll end up with some fans want him to date sombody who's not in the business, but i sort of don't want that i think i just want to know somewhat of who the person he is dating. I've always prefered Jake with a beard, but I'm starting to forget what he really looks like so I hope he shaves it soon!

KD,  September 1, 2010 at 1:34 AM  

"she actually was a shoulder to whine on when he was breaking up with KD."


I'm totally aware they're just good friends, which is why I'm pretty secure that my dream actor/actress couple will never come true. It's cool. I don't care too much who he dates or whatnot in any case.

Katie - your personal opinion and beliefs are your business. I think it's safe for me to speak for the group here and say that the people here at ISJ aren't around to judge. We all come from diverse backgrounds, age groups, and lifestyles and this will obviously create differences among us. We are all joined by our shared love for Jake and that's all that's needed essentially. I'm certainly believe that it's safe for any one here to express his/her opinion without fear of being harassed! (as long as it's done tastefully and not obnoxiously, am I right?) :)

KD,  September 1, 2010 at 1:37 AM  

OH WOW, TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT. I get now, after thinking about it for a couple more minutes, that "KD" stands for "Kirsten Dunst". Ahh, had me all excited for a moment, Leslie. LOL. Watta brain fart on my part. Hahahaa.

Becky Heineke September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

Absolutely, KD (and Katie). :) No judgment here as long as we can talk about things civilly. In general, Jake's fanbase tends to be very liberal and he has a huge gay following, so Katie, your opinion is honestly one we don't see much! :) Kudos for watching BBM anyway! I didn't realize you hadn't seen it, either. Unquestionably, Jack Twist was the role that brought more fans into the fanbase than any before (or since); something about that character is just really easy to fall for. :)

And KD, FOR THE LONGEST TIME after you started commenting, I thought "Kirsten Dunst" every time I saw your name. :D But I'm over it now. May the greater KD live on! ;)

coffeecat September 1, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

OK I'm not a big fan of the full-on Dill, but I am a big fan of his Grandpa Sweater! He's so retro he boomerang-ed right into the future. Jake you trend-setter you....

Vanessa September 1, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

LMFAO, coffeecat! I thought the exact same thing about the "Grandpa Sweater"! hah. Too funny!

Becky Heineke September 1, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

[Today in Your Obligatory Related-JW-Posts] Grandpa sweaters are totally a thing with him! And with fall just around the corner, who knows what we might be seeing from him soon??!

Becky Heineke September 1, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

(And by "from" I mostly mean "on.")

Anonymous,  September 1, 2010 at 2:13 PM  

Ha, what is it with the recent gossip about McAdams and Jake meant to be together. I keep hearing and reading about it more and more.
It would be very funny since I think Gosling dated Dunst at some point, a few years ago. Hahahaha, that incestuous Hollywood.
But honestly, I hope Jake ends up with someone smart and kind-hearted, looks count for shit over the long run. Someone cool and talented, a younger version of Susan Sarandon or Geena Davis.
Unfortunately I can't think of any young actress that cool and good at acting...

Anonymous,  September 1, 2010 at 2:15 PM  

you should write a book about the Gyllenhaal beard. the years of growth (or something like that)

I am hopeful it will be gone when he does the telethon.


Becky Heineke September 2, 2010 at 3:37 PM  

I keep forgetting about the telethon!! I should be more on top of that so I don't totally forget about it and miss it, which might actually happen, knowing me. :-/

Believe it or not, the beard did make the actual book, and in hindsight, I'm glad I downplayed it as much as I did. I had no idea how much the 2006/2007 versions were going to be overshadowed!

Anonymous,  September 26, 2010 at 2:01 AM  

I don't care much if Jake has a beard or not... I like him for his baby blues, his sense of humor, his smile... We keep talking and dreaming about him, althought he's not for us... So, I looked and looked and find a looked alike :) honest :) flesh and bone :) I call him my prince.


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