One of Hollywood’s most unconventional leading men Jake Gyllenhaal speaks to Kenneth Goh about movies, watches and super powers.
Jake Gyllenhaal fronts the Santos watch campaign.
It’s been a year since you first took on the role of Cartier’s first-ever watch ambassador. How has it been so far?
It’s not hard to wear a beautiful watch. It’s also a great place to work—they’re truly wonderful to me and they also embrace artists in a different way. Obviously, we’re here to sell something and show people something, but there’s something fundamental underneath it, which is a respect for artists and an appreciation for who someone is. When Cartier came to me and said, “We appreciate your work, and the focus with which you do it”, that [my work] somehow embodies a piece of their company in this watch... I thought that [this could be] such a wonderful partnership.
Why do you think it’s important for men to have a good watch on them at all times?
You know, we don’t have a lot of accessories; and there’s something about the grace and elegance of watch. It’s a reminder of who you could be, should be, want to be. And it’s all right there on your wrist.
Jake Gyllenhaal with Kenneth Goh in Paris
If you had a chance to take on the role of Alberto Santos-Dumont in a biopic, how would you play it?
Hats galore! It’s always about props: Planes, props, watches... Santos was out in the world flying planes and doing all these amazing stuff, being an adventurous risk-taker. I love that when you think about Cartier, and you think about Santos, there’s this balance between function and style. It’s this intense sort of obsession between the two of them; about beauty and functionality. And when I wear the watch, I see the history of the watch; I can feel that. I feel a responsibility to live up to that idea.
Having played a super villain in Spider-man: Far From Home, what superhero quality do you wish you possessed in your daily life?
I don’t know if that character can be described as a supervillain, I don’t know if he’s really even a villain, but I do know that there is very little super about me! OK… Super patience! I’m pretty patient, but not patient enough. So, I wish I had more of that. Super patience, can you imagine if there’s a movie like that? No one would want to watch that movie. Yeah, but I would wish for that. What would you wish for?
Clockwise from left: Rose gold Santos de Cartier Skeleton watch (large), $85,700; rose gold and steel Santos-Dumont watch (large), $7,750, Cartier. Rose gold Santos de Cartier watch (large), $24,700, Cartier.
I guess, to be able to be invisible.
Really? You’re like in a pink suit!
It’s the diametric opposite: You want to be able to not be here.
That’s so interesting. Your style is beautiful but you don’t want to be seen. That is really interesting.
What has been your most challenging role so far?
Being a person; that’s my most challenging role; like, just being a good brother, a son… I don’t consider anything else that challenging except when I played the kid who lost his legs in the Boston bombings [in 2017’s biographical drama film, Stronger]. Trying to understand that character’s mindset, get into what he experienced...that was a challenge.