Kissin� Cowboy

9.11.2005

By Bruce Shenitz

In the October issue of Out, we mentioned that there would be nude photos from Brokeback Mountain on Out.com. It turns out that these photos were unofficial, and thus cannot be placed on this Web site. We apologize for misleading any of the magazine's readers.

Two years ago, Out named Jake Gyllenhaal as 'Hottest Straight Guy We Wish Was Gay.' Well, he hasn't jumped the fence, but he is playing a gay cowboy in the movie Brokeback Mountain, which opens in December. We profile Jake in our October issue, and below are exclusive outtakes from the interview, which took place in New York City.

This has been a busy year for you, with three major movies [Proof, Jarhead, and Brokeback Mountain] coming out. What are you doing in New York?

I've had the past couple of months off. I finished filming this movie Jarhead, and then I sort of took time off. I've been hanging out with my friends. I haven't really made it out to Martha's Vineyard that often. I sort of grew up there. All my best friends grew up there. It's a place we all go, or try to get back to wherever we are. I've grown up there.

Is it true you were a lifeguard there?

I was.

Was there ever any drama around that?

No drama at all, besides between the drama amongst the lifeguards. Who got the far end of the beach, the near end of the beach. Who had to take all the posts down at the end of the day, that sort of drama. But, fortunately, not really any saving of lives. But we were prepared. Also, as any good lifeguard would say, I'm glad that it never had to happen.

Okay, now for the Tiger Beat question: What did you wear?

What did I wear? (Laughs) Basically just a bathing suit, but no Speedo or anything like that. No Australian lifeguard bathing suit.

For Jarhead, did you have to do intense physical training?

We did a lot of training, I think for months before, and then we had about a week and a half of boot camp. We had a month of rehearsals and then a week and a half of boot camp. Actually, physically, because I was prepared for it, it didn't kill me the way I thought it might have. It was more kind of the mental game that was played there.

Did you have an in-your-face drill instructor?

Oh, yeah. We had that whole thing.

And now you're off to do a movie about the Zodiac killer?

We'll be in San Francisco for four weeks, and then in L.A. the rest of the time. I play one of the guys who tries to find the killer. I play a cartoonist, actually. The man who wrote the books about Zodiac.

A killer would've been an interesting role!

Well, I think the interesting thing about him, and about all the people, is they had to kind of think like the killer in order to find him. I think ultimately that's what destroyed a lot of lives involved with the case. You have to look at the world the way they look at the world to be a step ahead and catch him. It's definitely going to venture into a dark side.

Which is not completely unfamiliar'

Uncommon, for me, or unfamiliar. (Laughs). Without a doubt, I'd really like to be doing some sort of romantic comedy or something next year, after this year. To get my head out of'

The dark side?

(Laughs.) Yeah, right.

You have a couple of causes you're involved in, like the ACLU. You were in their advertising campaign along with other actors.

My mom's been a member of the ACLU for years. Sometimes I was dragged to all the dinners before I even knew what the ACLU was. A few years ago, they honored my family, and they gave us the Torch of Liberty award, which was supposed to represent people who fought for freedom of speech. I think in a way it was more for my mother than for the entire family. We definitely have been taught that movies are a powerful medium and what you say with them can influence people, and I believe that. And people can think that's pretentious'and even I think it's a little pretentious'but I think it's true. There are movies that have changed me and the way I've looked at the world.

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