Jake Gyllenhaal on why personal style is the ultimate self-expression

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GQ-UK

Since his breakthrough role in 2001’s Donnie Darko, Jake Gyllenhaal has proven himself one of the most enigmatic leading men in recent history. Gyllenhaal understands the job, no matter if he is playing a gay cowboy or a Southpaw champion boxer, a Nightcrawler creepy photojournalist, or Mysterio, the baddie in Spiderman.

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It is no surprise that Gyllenhaal is an Academy Award nominee. He has eleven films and TV shows currently in production. His Netflix drama The Guilty premiered this weekend. Gyllenhaal is now the face of Prada’s Luna Rossa perfume.

Andrew Whelan

It’s hardly surprising. Gyllenhaal is a veteran of the red carpet and has long been regarded as one of the industry’s most beloved clothes horses. Case in point: his attendance at the Tony Awards in a blush-pink Prada suit last night and his ultra-sharp, all-white, boxy Valentino ensemble at the Venice International Film Festival for the world premiere of his sister Maggie’s film The Lost Daughter earlier this month. 

GQ interviewed Gyllenhaal (via Zoom, New York) to learn more about his style preferences, how he chooses his clothes and why he cannot live without fragrance.

Style is self-expression. It’s a representation or your mind. You choose an idea; you choose a mindset with whom you agree. The way you wear artwork by an artist or designer on your body reflects your taste and is a choice. Style is about finding the right balance between allowing yourself and expressing a vision that you want to be.

My style has changed. I’m trying my best to understand that age brings about a change in your self-image. My clothes reflect that.

People have been telling my what to wear for a while. I have had a career in which I was constantly being told what to wear. I’m more skilled at dressing myself now.

It’s about how you feel, not the look. I want to feel good and look good. In turn, that plays into the idea that I look back at things and think, “I felt good then, so it’s OK.”

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