Here’s something for your Tuesday: If Jake Gyllenhaal cancels on you, he'll send you flowers. And according to Rachael Ray, he's the only guest she can remember in about 2000 episodes who has ever cancelled on her (12 years ago) and sent her flowers.
Jake made his first appearance on Rachael’s show yesterday, and boy did he make it worth it.
Rachael was so excited, she “muscled her way” into the kitchen to cook for him, instead of letting her team of chefs take the gig. And Jake loved it. He raved about the food, he seemed savour their chat just as much, he laughed a ton throughout the interview, and really went along for the ride. With Jake, it’s hard to tell if he has a great poker face (acting!) or if he’s just that charming, because his laughs during this talk show appearance are so disarming, they feel like a warm blanket.
Jake’s idea of being creative in the kitchen? "I've got milk and Starburst, I'm gonna make soup!"
Then Rachael plays a “Name that Part” buzzer game which has Jake only talking about Donnie Darko, Nightcrawler and Prisoners to her audience. “We really rolled up on some dark ones here!”
Does he ever watch himself on TV?
Only sometimes, and he jokes, “there are moments where I’m like whoa, I look a lot younger there!” before adding, “I like seeing what I couldn’t see in the moment."
Oh, and when Rachael compliments him and his sister Maggie because they “never really feel like they’re acting” (after she fangirls about The Honourable Woman), Jake takes the praise and then says his sister looks “so pretty” in the picture the show chose to highlight.
And yes, he also smiles (at 1:48) when Rachael mentions (on more than one occasion) how much she loved Prisoners, Jake’s second intense collaboration with Denis Villeneuve from 2013. When she fangirls about Nightcrawler, which he can sense the audience likely didn’t watch, and sells it as “like TMZ for blood only,” he jokes about how it sounds like a hard-sell of a movie. It kind of was, but that’s what made it so great.
The appearance ends with a 50 second plea about how Stronger, a movie about how an on-off relationship “carries on" after one is injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, is worth your money. Lainey and I both saw Stronger before TIFF and felt very similarly about the strength of its caretaker's perspective. Click here for her review. Of the specialty box office entries to hit the box office last weekend (also Victoria & Abdul and Battle of the Sexes), it had the widest release (574 screens) and largest cumulative gross, which put it in the top 8 of last weekend’s box office once the actual figures were tallied. This weekend, it expands to 800 total theatres across North America, which will give audiences more of a shot to see it.
Unlike mother!, Stronger actually has an audience who loves it way more often than not. The film has an A- Cinemascore exit survey rating, and yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg put Jake in his top five list of very, very, very early Best Actor contenders. Judging by the interviews Stronger’s producing team has given to Forbes and statements sent to Deadline, there’s some fight for this movie to transcend beyond the critical buzz.
Jeff Bauman, the real-life person Jake plays on-screen, is helping with that too. Lainey’s written about their bromance, and that Taylor Swift “reference”. Jeff’s been a part of many of Jake’s interviews. They walked the red carpet together at TIFF, and he also joined Jake on Rachael’s show. Jeff’s family’s only has one problem with the movie, that his mom’s apartment is “not that messy!” according to her. Jeff and Jake are very refreshing to watch together. Jake calls out Jeff’s crush on Rachael, while Jeff says they bonded over food.
Together, the three of them are trying to sell this movie. But will their work and their charm stick this weekend? If you tuned in, it won you over. But if not, will you hear about it?
First time on Rachael’s show and cooking
On watching his work/Maggie made him eat grass
Jake plays "land the part"
Meet the man who inspired Jake's role in Stronger + Rachael’s plea