Jake Gyllenhaal, brother of Maggie and ex of Taylor, is the star of Esquire UK this month. In the cover story, Gyllenhaal talks about his upcoming movie Southpaw, reminds us how good he looks while walking barefoot down the beach in beltless pants, and reveals that he think humans can be affected by the moon.

While discussing his intense method (one of “total immersion”), Gyllenhaal said:

I believe deeply in the unconscious...That you literally accumulate the molecules of the space that you’re in. We’re like 90 per cent water, so naturally we are going to be affected by the moon when it’s full: if the sea is, why wouldn’t we be? That seems scientific to me.

“That seems scientific” is a a beautiful phrase, isn’t it? You can add it to nearly any unsubstantiated claim for a wonderfully comedic effect. Like this, for example: “Haribo gummy dinosaurs speed up your metabolism because their shape is interpreted by the body as predatory, causing them to be processed by the digestive system more quickly than other gummies. That seems scientific to me.” See? Gorgeous.

Gyllenhaal continued:

So, if you spend enough time in whatever environment your character would exist in – the way I spent six months with police officers [preparing for End of Watch] – then the molecules of that environment must transfer somehow. And then you put it on screen, and people go, ‘I feel something that I don’t normally feel.’

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The molecules of the environment must transfer. They must! That seems scientific to him.

The director describes Gyllenhaal as “a bit of an oddball”. He’d hired him to put a different energy in his cast, and Gyllenhaal brought that in spades. “He’ll probably hate me for saying this, but he reminded me of Edward Norton’s character in Birdman. Brilliant when he’s acting, but weird in between, you know? He has a great sense of humour, but it’s not politically correct, necessarily. Like he makes fun of people’s accents, and he can go off in that direction, it’s actually quite brave. He gets away with it because it’s always in a loving way.”

“It’s actually quite brave” to make fun of people’s accents? This is testing me. As a proud Gyllenhaal fan since the opening weekend of October Sky, I am being tested. But Gyllenhaal says one interview isn’t enough to truly get to know him, so maybe I shouldn’t worry.

“The thing is, you’re never going to get to know me in two hours,” he says. “If you want to do this properly, we need to spend two months. But we can keep talking. Is there something we’ve talked about that excites you, that you can write about? Maybe I can give you some more information…”

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So, according to Jake Gyllenhaal, you can’t truly know Jake Gyllenhaal unless you spend two months with him - or about two lunar cycles. Taylor gave him three full moons and it still didn’t last, so who knows what to make of any of this. I just hope the Oscar speech he gives next year for Southpaw isn’t as filled with as many bizarre moments as this.


Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.