Jake is featured on the cover of the March 2024 issue of GQ Korea magazine. The spread includes a brand new photoshoot and interview with Jake. Check out the translated interview with Jake behind the cut, and the photoshoot (plus all 4 covers) in our gallery. A behind the scenes video can also be found here.

Gallery Links:
Magazine Scans > 2024 > GQ Korea | March
Photoshoots & Outtakes > Sessions > Photoshoots From 2024 > Session 1 [GQ Korea]

Jake, where are you now? I’m curious about the time and space you are in right now.

I’m staying in New York, where I live. It’s 11 am here and the sun is shining. The scent is coming from the Ginori incense stick on the table. Ginori is an Italian company that makes beautiful tableware.

Oh, it looks like it has a very beautiful scent.

It’s a scent called ‘Musk Road’ and it smells really good. Outside the window, I can see the forest of New York buildings. What a sight. You can’t see such a wonderful sight anywhere except during the sunny winter in New York.

I remember doing a Zoom interview with Stephan Colbert during the pandemic and saying that your Sour Dough was taking a break and that you had to be quiet about it. Are you still into cooking these days?

Sure. Cooking is my favorite thing to do after singing and acting. I enjoy buying fresh ingredients, and I am a passionate collector of cookbooks. I love reading cookbooks and experimenting with new recipes. I’m learning something new every day.

Are you still serious about ‘bread’?

I love baking, but I don’t just bake bread. My girlfriend and I both love baking cakes. I especially love recipes created by a great baker named Yosh Arefi. I have a really awesome lemon cake recipe! I really like Claire Saffitz and Alison Roman, too. Recently, I bought the books “Growing up in a Nonya Kitchen” by Sharon Wee and “The Secret of Cooking” by Bee Wilson. After reading that book, I just want to cook.

I feel affection for you, as if you are talking about your child.

Whenever I go on a business trip, I always bring sourdough for baking sourdough. I feed him about once every two days. I’ve been raising it for 4 years already!

Roadhouse will soon be released on Prime Video. No matter what kind of work you prepare, you go through times of perseverance and pain that push yourself to the extreme. I think is at its peak. When you think of those times now, what scenes pass by and what emotions do you experience?

I had a wonderful time preparing and filming Roadhouse. Director Doug Liman is my friend of 20 years. We had been looking for a movie together for a long time, and I was very happy when Doug came up with a scenario that reinterpreted Roadhouse. Although I am a fan of the original, the idea of ??reinterpreting it with Doug was very inspiring. Doug is a really great director. I love all the movies he made. Aren’t the moments of pain you felt while preparing for


I spent several months just getting in shape to prepare for the character. Because the character was a UFC athlete, the amount of training was considerable, and the process of overcoming my physical limitations and learning new things was thrilling. I had to train, eat, and act like a real athlete. It was so fun! Really. I love learning new skills and putting myself in the shoes of a beginner when it comes to things. I had never done grappling or wrestling before, so I had to learn the techniques for filming “Roadhouse.” It took quite some time, but the whole process was lovely. I felt humbled during the process.

You actually filmed a UFC match in Las Vegas. I felt a tingling sensation throughout my body after watching the video on YouTube. As if I were there. I’ve always said, ‘Acting on stage and acting in movies are completely different things,’ but I think it must have felt very theatrical at that moment.

That’s right! When I filmed live at a UFC match, it felt strangely similar to a theater stage. Even before going on stage, there were many times when I felt something similar to what I felt that day. But what was different was that the Octagon was a place where many talented athletes risked their lives. It was an incredible honor for me to be able to walk on that canvas. And that too at a venue where 15,000 UFC fans were screaming and cheering for me!

It must have been a scene where even the slightest mistake could not be tolerated.

So, we planned it for several months, putting together a fighting scene. As this was a project involving many people, it required a lot of planning. After successfully filming, I finally felt relieved. Thanks to the energy I received from the crowd, I was full of energy for a few days after filming. I think that’s the ‘best part’ of my job. Meeting the most amazing people in the world and experiencing things you never dreamed of. Just like entering the Octagon at a real UFC match. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

You said in an interview that you were greatly influenced by your work with director Guy Ritchie of The Covenant, which was released in the United States in 2023. He said that the experience of giving actors a lot of space and acting as if they were ‘let go’ based on what they felt on set was “the most inspiring and creative experience in my acting life.” What kind of footprints do you think this experience left on the Jake Gyllenhaal of today?

I want to purely enjoy the creative process and enjoy the process with the people I work with. Director Guy Ritchie’s work process left us hoping for something very unique and different. All I asked was to come to the filming site prepared to face the moment with an open mind. The process was incredibly enjoyable. I’m very fortunate to be doing art, but I also really want to have fun doing it. I am attracted to the joy I feel in the process. Being fun doesn’t mean always smiling while working, but rather digging into authentic moments with the people I work with.

Digging into truthful moments.

Yes. In the early days of my acting career, I tried hard to be recognized, but those efforts were ultimately futile. Excellence in art cannot exist if you do not communicate your own truth. I realized that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone but myself.

That sounds like a very meaningful realization.

Now I want to build relationships and work with people who can work hard and have a good time at the same time. The field I work in is a place where details are very important and understated, but I also hope there is joy and laughter there.

Every time I was interviewed for a GQ piece, it felt like I was focusing on what I felt and learned from it rather than talking about the experience itself. What did you learn and feel from Roadhouse?

I realized how cool it was to make a movie with my friends. Just like I know director Doug Liman well, if you know someone well, there is already mutual trust. Doug captured something on film that I haven’t seen before. Because he knows me so well, he decided to show the audience another side of me, and I think that decision paid off. I also learned how to hold my breath for a long time. There were a lot of scenes shot underwater, and the amazing stunt director Garret Warren and martial arts director Steve Brown taught us the secret to holding your breath underwater for a long time. Thanks to this, I was able to hold my breath for as long as 4 minutes.

Holding your breath for 4 minutes means you have once again renewed the standard of being on the edge of a cliff.

More than anything, when I met the MMA athletes who participated in this movie, I realized how great they were. MMA is a truly brutal but beautiful sport. I also learned why fighting is called an ‘art’. MMA is truly ‘ART’.

“All about Story.” You’ve always mentioned the ‘power of stories’. Do Jake Gyllenhaal’s moving stories as a producer and actor usually coincide?

At this point, I want to talk about love. I’m quite fascinated by love stories. I really like romantic comedies, so I’m trying to find a romantic comedy scenario. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a comedy. If it’s a romantic story in some way, that’s fine. Of course, I want to make my own comedy.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s comedy is already interesting, isn’t it? And when it came to character building, we often mentioned ‘imagination’. When I heard Lewis compare the corpse-moving scene in Nightcrawler to Damien Hirst’s paintings or sculptures, I felt, “There’s definitely something different about this actor.” But unfortunately, as life goes on and the more you know, your imagination may become limited or dull. Do you have any secrets to keeping your thoughts smooth?

If you lose your imagination, you lose your direction. To find new inspiration, we need to be able to connect ourselves to ideas from the cool and the absurd. Imagination is important. Although I take what I do seriously, I also know that I can always have fun if I use my imagination.

Can any type be an inspiration to you?

I’m inspired by all kinds of artists: dancers, visual artists, fashion, and photography. Not long ago, I saw a painting by Cy Twombly, and the wit and humor I found in the work made me think about enjoying life more and not taking it too seriously. I also get inspiration from the characters I play. The source of inspiration does not necessarily have to be another actor.

As an actor, what do you think ‘immersion’ is? When acting, do you tend to be aware of your surroundings accurately, or do you tend to forget your surroundings as if you are ‘possessed’?

When I act live on stage, I feel like I am right there. If you’ve done everything you need to prepare as an actor, you’ve memorized everything so deeply that you feel like you’re really there just by listening to the other actor on stage. It’s really difficult to explain this feeling, but when I perform, I’m prepared to deal with whatever happens. To the point where I don’t even have to try to think of lines. I try to do the same when shooting a movie, but sometimes the lines change a lot or situations arise where I can’t say what I wanted to say. So stage acting and film acting are different fields.

You once expressed that making a movie is not just work, but feels like a ‘Miracle’. A miraculous moment may not be created every time, so how do you think a miracle moment comes to you? Could repetition of rehearsals be a hint?

Oh, right. Rehearsals are the best time. In my opinion, rehearsal time is also the most sacred time. Rehearsals require trust from all involved, including actors, screenwriters, and directors. It is a space where you can discover new things only through various attempts and failures. So what I like the most is rehearsal. So, if a movie is successful, if everything comes together to create a story that moves us, it feels like a miracle. There is no formula that anyone can follow to create a great story or movie. In the end, it depends on fate. All we can do is work hard and do our best.

In an interview with GQ director Tom Ford, you said that when choosing projects and roles, you prefer stories that stimulate emotions of fear. Last year, on the YouTube program ‘Hot One’, he said, “If there is something I am afraid of in life, I think about why I am afraid, and I always challenge it.” What are you afraid of right now?

Courage and learning come from facing fear. I’m currently focused on moving forward in my life and relationships. I want to grow more and deepen my relationships with my friends and my girlfriend. My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to spend enough time with the people I love.

The attitude toward life of being afraid and always challenging it reminds me of Buddha’s teaching that “life is suffering.” Coincidentally, your major was Eastern philosophy and religion, right? Do you still think, as you once did, that you have to suffer to be good at something?

I don’t think that an actor must suffer or lose himself in order to reach excellence. I believe that actors can use their imagination to create a fully realized character. I’ve studied almost every acting technique out there, but I’ve found that it all comes down to how curious you are about your own imagination. To me, acting is a truly intellectual practice made up of research and exploration. I try to develop my research and exploration skills. Actually, there was a time in the past when I fell in love with the role I was playing and lost myself. And to be honest, I don’t think I did my best acting when I lost myself.

Did you know that there are many great storytellers in Korea? And many storytellers will be coveting actor Jake Gyllenhaal. What if you could tell them how to win Jake’s heart?

Story is King! More than anything, the story is important. My job as an actor is to embody the story. So I’m just looking for great stories. I also like singing. I would like to appear in a musical movie someday.

You also have a close relationship with GQ director ‘Mr. Bong’, right? If you search for ‘Bong Joon-ho’ and ‘Jake Gyllenhaal’ on the Korean search engine homepage, you will be flooded with episodes where director Bong Joon-ho did not answer Jake Gyllenhaal’s calls. Could you please tell us a new episode to cover this one?

I admire director Bong Joon-ho. It’s been a very long time since we’ve known each other. The first time he contacted me was after Donny Darko was released, so we’ve been friends for over 20 years already. It just makes me happy to think about how funny he makes me. He is also the person who first introduced me to ‘Soju’.

If you are the first person to introduce GQ Soju, you must have a very special relationship.

Right? I hope I can work with him again someday.

Do you often think about the future? In an interview broadcast, when asked to describe the rest of your life in 5 words, you answered, “There is stuff happening, okay?” I’m curious about what’s in that ‘Stuff happening’ basket.

Roadhouse will be released on March 21st, and Apple TV’s limited series Presumption of Innocent will be released in June. I have a desire to return to the theater stage and direct a movie, but for now, this is what is clear. There are so many cakes to bake!

What new bread do you want to bake?

I’m thinking about making the Parmesan Black Pepper Sourdough Bread that my friend Josh Baker makes soon. Yes, that friend’s name is really ‘Baker’.

If you bake that bread, who will you gift it to first?

My girlfriend will take the first piece.