Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Spider-Man: Far From Home promo tour is becoming one long Jake Gyllenhaal cultural moment

Illustration for article titled The Spider-Man: Far From Home promo tour is becoming one long Jake Gyllenhaal cultural moment
Photo: Han Myung-Gu (Getty Images)

Jake Gyllenhaal has long been celebrated as an actor. His work in movies ranging from Brokeback Mountain and Nightcrawler to Enemy and Zodiac shows a genuine talent and an eye for roles challenging enough to test and strengthen his skills. Now, while continuing on an international promotional tour for Spider-Man: Far From Home, Gyllenhaal is showing off another side of himself by working not to prove his acting chops, but his gift for making press appearances more entertaining than they ought to be.


Recently, during the Great Gyllenhaal Tour Of 2019, he gave an impassioned defense of Sean Paul as an initial display of what he has to offer the media machine buzzing around a new superhero movie. Alongside trusty sidekick Tom Holland, he continued to impress an admiring public by showing up on IGN to spin a free-form tale of fellow Marvel star Benedict Cumberbatch and the birth of the Cabbage Patch Kids empire.

After briefly entertaining a user comment about wanting to see Gyllenhaal face off against “Benedict Cabbagepatch,” the actor sort of just plays jazz with the premise for a bit. “We don’t talk enough about Cabbage Patch dolls or Garbage Pail Kids anymore,” he says before fleshing out his description of how Benedict entered into the acting business based on his family’s Cabbage Patch Kids fortune.

“Without Cabbage Patch Kids, Benedict Cabbagepatch wouldn’t have a career, and you wouldn’t have Doctor Strangé,” he finishes, adding a welcome flourish to the superhero’s name. “So think about it.”

“That was a really funny story, man,” Holland says.

“What?” Gyllenhaal replies. “Was I talking or was I thinking?”

Not content to win the internet’s affections with this alone, Gyllenhaal also took a trip to Buzzfeed in order to further bolster the world’s love for him by trying to answer interview questions while a bunch of puppies crawl all over him.

As you would expect, the combination of a handsome, charming actor and fuzzy baby animals is laser targeted at an internet already predisposed to love whatever Gyllenhaal does. Little puppy teeth nipping at his sweater, the sleepy-eyed furballs squeaking and squirming as he answers questions about Marvel movies, his work, and his co-stars, the actor presents a capstone to a summer already filled with intense Gyllenhaal admiration.

There seems to be nowhere further for this moment in our culture to go. Gyllenhaal, having raised his star about as high as it can go this summer, will now either have to cure a disease or thwart our impending climate catastrophe singlehanded to top this year’s work. Let’s hope he’s game for the challenge.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.