Sometimes, an article needs to be set to song. Go ahead, click, and come back to us in a new window. We trust you. All set? Great. Our February Man We Love had to be introduced against Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For a Hero” because he is all things dreamy and heroic. He is actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and here’s why we adore him.
First, look at him. Dreamy! With an “everyman” look about him, he could be your hunky next-door-neighbor with a penchant for sit ups. He’s the sensitive high school English teacher who first introduces young minds to the idea that Romeo and Juliet wasn’t originally a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. He’s a modern day Clark Gable with a dash of Jimmy Stewart smarts.
Second, Jake can play buff superhero types and iconic sensitive leads. He made creepy Donnie Darko endearing. His Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain was heartbreaking and will be remember for decades. He went blockbuster buff as Dastan in the Prince of Persia and then circled back as sensitive in the barely seen but critically-hailed Brothers. He’s fearless in his portrayals of relatable yet sensitive men and has a range of talent not easily paralleled in his peer group.
And, steady against swoons, Jake lives the conscious life. Recently, he teamed up with Chez Panisse creator and chef Alice Waters to help promote the Edible Schoolyard Program. Via Berkleyside, this is a “Berkeley-based program which teaches students in schools across the country how to grow and cook their own food.” As Gyllenhaal said of the collaboration, “I care deeply about helping children better their health, communities and environment…The Chez Panisse Foundation is not only offering an education that students will benefit from for the rest of their lives, but they’re a leading force in the movement to change the future of this country’s youngest generations.”
Accordingly, Jake has started showing up in schoolyards to promote healthy eating. In October, he appeared at Brooklyn’s P.S. 216 to look over “an organic garden and landscape that is wholly integrated into the school’s curriculum, culture, and food program.”
But our Jakey takes healthy eating a step further. When not concerned about children’s diets, he admits to whipping up a romantic, farmers’ market fresh meal for a special someone. Jake shares, “If I’m making a romantic dinner, I like to go to a farmers’ market first, buy things fresh and come up with my own dish based on whatever I’ve bought. I grow my own vegetables at home because I love fresh food,” he added. ”I don’t follow a special diet but I try and eat well, so I grow my own vegetables.” That sound you just heard was the swoon heard round the world.