Jake Gyllenhaal (via Adam Levine) and George Clooney: a different approach on speculated sexuality
I remember well when in 2010 I read Adam Levine’s statement on this issue of OUT magazine about his buddy Jake and his speculated sexuality. I remember I raised my eyebrow and thought “Was it really necessary? Did Jake approve of this act of defense?”. That feeling of incredulity stayed with me for quite a while because somehow I couldn’t imagine Jake ask his friend to publicly announce how so not gay he was and I wondered if they discussed about it beforehand, if the statement was somehow concerted, or afterwards, if it wasn’t.
This is what Adam Levine said:
Q: You’ve also gotten a lot of attention for hanging out with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Will everyone stop thinking that dude is gay? Seriously guys. How immature is it of the media to perceive this guy — it has to be because of Brokeback, right? I’ve known this dude forever. He’s one of my oldest friends, and it’s very weird that they have this — it’s very immature and infantile the way they treat his whole situation. If him hanging out with his bros means he’s gay, it’s like further perpetuating that weird homophobia that exists in our culture, which is just stupid. So, yeah, he’s my buddy. I fuckin’ love the guy.
Such a passionate declaration. And as hard as I try not to see that as an unnecessary stand-up on Adam Levine’s part, I still think that the subject could have been handled much, much better.
Like how it is handled by George Clooney in this interview on the current issue of The Advocate (hence this post today) where he talks, among other things, about his own speculated sexuality:
Q: The gay rumor has followed you for years.
I think it’s funny, but the last thing you’ll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, “These are lies!” That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I’m very happy in it. Who does it hurt if someone thinks I’m gay? I’ll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don’t give a shit.
Q: You’re right, because some people are still trying to make the case that Cary Grant was gay.
Oh, I know. I met Cary once, I read his daughter’s book, and I’ve gotten the sense that he would’ve laughed at that and not cared what people thought. He was a confident enough man to feel perfectly fine in his own sexuality and in his own life. Compared to other stars, he seemed much more together in a way. You know, you live your life well, you treat people well, and you hope that other people won’t make stories up about you, but they will anyway. It is what it is.
I really couldn’t help but compare the two approaches. I’m not going to start a debate about whether it is convenient or not to be gay or be rumored so in Hollywood, or how playing a gay role can affect your career (I could talk about Jake’s brother-in-law Peter Sarsgaard though, who played three or four gay roles already). I see how it is a very delicate and controversial subject and I don’t know enough about how the cinema world works and what’s truly behind a film but I can’t shake the feeling that if George Clooney can say this…
And if your flattering remarks at the Golden Globes were any indication, Shame’s Michael Fassbender has also caught your eye.
[Laughs] Well, c’mon. Every guy who saw that movie was like, “Jesus Christ,” at the exact same time.
…then Jake Gyllenhaal should have felt safe to carry on living his private life without having friends say what he is or what he is not.
I guess I needed to take this out of my chest, you know, I didn’t have a blog then. It’s the only thing that has ever bugged me about Jake since I first started to care about him back in 2006, even though I’ll never know for sure if he agreed on Adam’s statement or not (I still hope he didn’t, anyway).