Jake Gyllenhaal: A Profile in Courage

Despite many on Twitter calling for his execution, the actor stared death in the face to support his sister

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: Jake Gyllenhaal attends The 11th Annual Hamilton Behind The C...
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Jake Gyllenhaal bravely decided to show his face this weekend, even though his ex-girlfriend released a 10-minute song about their short 2010 relationship. How he summoned the courage to do so, we may never know.

Several media outlets were quick to cover Gyllenhaal’s presence at the Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards, where he was supporting his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal (who won the breakthrough director award for her directorial debut The Lost Daughter, let’s support multiple female directors) and presenting a sound editing award to the people who worked on his film The Guilty. The reason for his outing isn’t all important though, because what actually matters is that it came mere days after the release of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” and its accompanying short film.

“Jake Gyllenhaal Steps Out After Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ Video Has Fans Speculating About His Past,” read an Us Weekly headline. “Jake Gyllenhaal Makes First Public Appearance After Taylor Swift's 'All Too Well' Release,” wrote Just Jared. “Jake Gyllenhaal Attends Hamilton Awards with Sister Maggie After Taylor Swift Drops 'All Too Well' Short Film,” said Yahoo! Entertainment. And last but not least, the inimitable Page Six wrote that the actor stepped out “amid ex Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ short film.” I am having some syntactical questions about whether one can “step out” “amid” a short film, but I did click on the link so I guess I’m complicit.

The Brokeback Mountain actor looked to be in good spirits, and not at all thinking about a three-month relationship with someone he had over a decade ago. His strength is so commendable. Just look at this picture of him and his sister: he’s gazing at her with such pride and admiration (her film has been quite positively received). You would never know that Teen Wolf actor Dylan O’Brien had just portrayed a fictional version of him in a video that has racked up almost 30 million views in just over two days.

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Underneath that warm, loving stare there must be torment, a desire to go back in time and fix everything. Because what could be more important to him than spending his entire weekend thinking about the time he missed his barely legal girlfriend’s 21st birthday? A career highlight for his sister must pale in comparison to trying to remember where that damn scarf is (“You know, I never understood why everybody asked me about this scarf,” Maggie Gyllenhaal said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2017. “What is this?”).

Maybe Gyllenhaal was asking his sister if he remembers where she put the autumnal accessory. Or maybe he simply does not care. We will never know, but we commend the actor for the tenacity it takes to attend an event that he almost certainly RSVP’d to months ago.