“The first quality of an actor must be empathy”

He has a most eclectic career as an actor and producer, sings beautifully (he’s starred in musicals), and can be both vulnerable and unsettling. Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be interested in everything from cooking, which he is very good at, to perfume. Now it smells like Luna Rossa Ocean, by Prada, to which it lends its image.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s huge gray-green eyes fill the screen. A frank, dreamy, extremely powerful look that pierces and shrinks the distance of the Zoom. There is more kindness than divism in the interview; more choppy reflection than lesson learned.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal showed his singing skills by performing ‘Across the Way’ from his home during confinement

Sølve Sundsbø

Hair much longer than in the photos that present it as the image of Prada’s new masculine fragrance, Luna Rossa Ocean; the polite and slow voice. Phrases are sometimes interrupted as if another thought was asking for passage.

I don’t think he likes talking about himself very much, but there he is, dialoguing and close. I want, and sometimes can, intuit something of the sensitive Jack Twist from Brokeback Mountain (2005), of the twisted and tormented boyfriend / parent of Nocturnal animals, (2016), from the villain of Spiderman far from home (2019), of Donnie Darko (2001), “the film that changed my life and my career,” he says.

‘Across the Way’ is a song that a good friend wrote and singing it during confinement was very natural. I had a lot of Fun

The list of his characters and films is much longer, because he started in this at the age of ten and has not stopped. Cinema, theater, musicals on Broadway and London … To see his level singing, you just have to see how he interprets Across the Way from home – it’s one of those pandemic songs – while having a coffee (or is it tea, which has its point and its British life?). One ends up looping the video. “It is a song that a good friend wrote and singing it those days was something very natural. I had a lot of fun, ”he says.

There are almost more videos than photos on her Instagram, with 6.5 million followers and comments from actresses like Ellen Pompeo or Jessica Chastain, to name the first to come out. “The networks are a means of expression, although not my favorite. That’s why I’m there ”, he says. What is privacy for him? “Do not answer this question,” he answers amused. Point for Jake.

The 2005 film 'Brokeback Mountain' gave Gyllenhaal worldwide popularity

The 2005 film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ gave Gyllenhaal worldwide popularity

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More than telling us what he is like, Gyllenhaal talks about how he would like to be: “Kinder, more generous, more empathetic. I don’t really know how to define myself, but I am clear that I wish I had these three qualities in abundance ”.

The last year and a half, the one in which almost everyone has looked more inside, albeit unwillingly, has made the actor realize “who are the really important people in my life. When I could connect with those I love, even if it was for Zoom, like now, I felt an infinite love for them ”. He has also enjoyed “having time and a few moments for myself and my feelings”, avoiding “that certain cultural convenience to hurry up”.

I don’t really know how to define myself, but I would like to be kinder, more generous, more empathetic

Some of your priorities have changed. He has connected more with his environment and – does that sound familiar? – he has cooked a lot. Nothing strange for someone who confesses to swallowing English cooking shows and searching the internet for Persian cucumbers. “I have cooked a lot more and I am glad. I will continue with it. I cooked twice a day and, although I tried to control myself, I ended up eating four ”.

Many want the normal. Jake is not so clear: “A part of me wants it, but another warns that it is precisely the normal what has caused all this. I do not know if I want to return to it, there are some changes that have been revealed positive and that we should maintain. It normal it always gets a lot of people in trouble, ”he says.

I’ve cooked a lot more during the pandemic and I’m glad. I will continue with it. I cooked twice a day and, although I tried to control myself, I ate four

When we ask him what an actor must have, he does not doubt: “Empathy. Something that the effect of success, celebrity and things like that do not help to generate. Another one: “A pure actor knows how to listen. Everyone I admire does very well. And that’s not just for actors. Listening to others is something that I try to practice more often in my life, ”he explains.

The living echo of ‘Brokeback Mountain’

“I never imagined that worldwide repercussion”

The echo of Brokeback Mountain, where he shared the bill and charisma with the late Heath Ledger, is still heard 16 years later. They say that Gyllenhaal has never seen her again, but she does speak fondly of her: “One of the many things I learned from her is that you never know what the future will hold for you.” And to be aware of how what you are doing at any given moment can affect and change the lives of many people. It is a great responsibility but it has to be narrowed down a lot because it generates expectations and, most of the time, expectations are not too positive. You have to learn to let them go, ”he says.
“I never imagined that the movie would have the effect that it has. It was a small film, very intimate, and suddenly it became a worldwide phenomenon. If I had known in advance the repercussion it has had, I would not have been able to put all my heart in it and show myself so vulnerable ”, he reflects.

At 40, Jake Gyllenhaal feels “less intense”, although he admits that he still is. “At this age you look back and think of everything that you could have learned more and that escaped you. And I want to learn more. That is what I plan to dedicate myself to in the next 10 years ”, he points out. Since we have the rear-view mirror ready, would you give any advice to a younger version of yourself? “He would say to me: This is not where you will find true love.” And also: “Take it easy, it’s okay to be anxious, everything will be fine.”

At 40 you look back and think of everything you could have learned more and that escaped you. And I want to learn more

The adult Jake is one of those who gets involved, either to get prescription glasses to those who do not have access to them – he has always needed them and now wears contact lenses – or for broader reasons. “Everyone, when they believe in something, should support it. There are so many things in the world that need attention, changes and improvements that I think the more people raise their voices for what they believe and do it, the better ”, he says. “And that is essential regardless of who you are and what you do.”

The actor Jake Gyllenhaal

Gyllenhaal considers that the ability to listen to others is essential in any person

Sølve Sundsbø

“The happiness? Sometimes we try so hard to pursue her that we miss out on other wonderful feelings, even though they sometimes hurt. Happiness for me is being able to handle all my feelings, ”he says.

She was sure to be happy when she accompanied her father to the beach and helped him build castles. “My father has won awards making sculptures and sand castles. They did fancy things but the next day they weren’t there, the ocean had taken them away. It’s something that stuck with me ”. Sailing since he was little: “I went to classes and my brother-in-law has a boat so I sail a bit. Nothing to do with Red Moon! I’d like to… My uncle was a great sailor ”.

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“I like that behind each thing there is an idea, a feeling, an expression,” he says. That is what attracts him the most about Luna Rossa Ocean and Prada. “The brand always goes one step further in technology and innovation and those two things together always push ideas to the limit. I also like that the perfume represents an active person, interacting with the elements and respecting them. In the end, what it shows is that nature, the ocean, is bigger than all of us. And I love that this idea is in a bottle that you have on hand and that the fragrance reminds you of those things when you put it on ”, he concludes.

“We know that time with Jake is always short but it has to end,” they tell us. What is he up to now? In recent times he has done a lot of theater but he has accumulated projects again, most of them with his production company, Nine Stories. “My immediate plans are to write and read more,” he explains. The premiere of The Guilty, directed by Antoine Fuqua for Netflix “I’m so proud of it,” and it’s finishing Ambulanceby Michael Bay. Everything is over. “End of time”.

Jake Gyllenhaal, image of Prada's new Luna Rossa Ocean cologne

Jake Gyllenhaal, image of Prada’s new Luna Rossa Ocean cologne


Prada Luna Rossa Ocean

Nautical fragrance

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is the face of Prada Luna Rossa Ocean. A citrus cocktail with a leather heart that sits on the skin with the familiarity with which one remembers the beaches of childhood. Dialogue of lavender and sage, saffron and suede, patchouli, musks, bergamot, iris … Vetiver is reinvented through an innovative technology that allows creating a tailored olfactory profile and here it is woody and clean, without its sometimes overwhelming nuances earthy. Fresh but with presence, aromatic and sophisticated.
Prada Luna Rossa Ocean, EDT 50 ml,
70 euros; 100 ml, 94.50 euros

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“The first quality of an actor must be empathy”