Jake Gyllenhaal in the series Presumed Innocent, Road House, Othello

Jake Gyllenhaal takes his glasses out of his denim jacket pocket, the lenses from the Coca-Cola bottle strong enough to correct his 20/1250 vision. Yes, you read that right. These are not Internet Boyfriend glasses, to be worn with a fluffy cardigan and a libertine smile. These are glasses that I literally cannot see. Looking at them with normal vision is like being on some kind of hallucinogen.

Gyllenhaal, 43, has worn intensive prescription lenses since he was around 6 years old. Born with a lazy eye that resolved naturally, he is still legally blind. “I like to think it’s beneficial,” he says. “I’ve never known anything else. When I can’t see in the morning, before I put on my glasses, it’s a place where I can be with myself. He sometimes used his blindness to help him as an actor – when he was filming a difficult scene in the 2015 boxing film. Left-handedin which the police tell his character that his wife has died, Gyllenhaal removed his contacts to force himself to listen more carefully.

Jake Gyllenhaal was photographed on May 13 at BOOM at the Standard, High Line in New York.

Photographed by Guy Aroch

It’s almost a relief to learn that Gyllenhaal, who seems to have hit the lottery in so many facets of his life — talent, looks, show business family — has some sort of weakness. Sure, he may have reduced his body fat to 5% to play a former UFC fighter in Relay facing Conor McGregor, and he may be preparing to perform the Shakespeare play Othello on Broadway with Denzel Washington, but the man is human.

Gyllenhaal just flew to Los Angeles after hosting the season finale of Saturday Night Livean episode in which he fulfilled a childhood dream by performing a Boyz II Men song (“Every car rolls, every shower,” he says of his relationship with the ’90s R&B group) and performed a disjointed version of Fred, the ascot- carrying cornballs of Scooby Doo. He just appeared at Amazon’s upfront presentation to tout a Relay sequel — more than 50 million viewers watched the action film reboot during its first two weekends on the streaming service this spring, a record for studio-produced films. And he has a new legal thriller series, this one from David E. Kelley. Presumed innocenton Apple TV+ on June 12, in which he plays a lawyer who could have killed a woman.

If there’s a common thread to this recent eclectic resume, Gyllenhaal says, it’s that he actively seeks out projects that “scare me a little bit…The feeling I want to have is: Can I do it ? That he’s going to ask me things I don’t yet know about myself. Sometimes the things he learns are uncomfortable – for example, he can get a staph infection from pressing his hand on a pile of broken glass, which happened after filming a fight scene in London. Road…

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