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Jake Gyllenhaal Joins in the Red Flag Meme With … His Own Career

Jake Gyllenhaal on Stephen Colbert

Oh no, the “Red Flag” meme has found the celebrities. Don’t worry, our first case of it is a good use of the meme, so we can keep enjoying it.

Before we embark on this journey, I want you to stop and think about Jake Gyllenhaal’s career. Now think about a single character he’s played that isn’t a red flag? There’s maybe one, and it’s October Sky, and Gyllenhaal was 19 years old when that movie came out, so who knows what the future could hold for (fictional) Homer Hickam? Could just be red flag central.

Can we count Donnie Darko in this? Because I feel like that’s another great example, but he’s also a teenager, so who knows? Anyway, the point is that Gyllenhaal has made a name for himself playing characters who have plenty of issues. So, he called them all out with the new “Red Flag” meme.

The “Red Flag Meme” started making the rounds earlier this week and is just people posting red flags in relationships, pop culture takes, and more. And now, celebrities are joining in—more specifically, Jake Gyllenhaal. Taking to Instagram, the star of The Guilty posted four pictures of his career and wrote, “‘This role would be perfect for Jake Gyllenhaal.’ 🚩🚩🚩🚩 #TheGuilty.”

When you break it all down, he’s right. Every single character I think of that he’s played is a red flag. Even Georges Seurat has red flags galore, and he’s the first one that came to my mind with a “well, maybe Sunday in the Park With George would be okay.” His Instagram featured his characters from The GuiltyBubble Boy, Okja, and Nightcrawler, and yes, correct—well, maybe not Bubble Boy. He’s fine.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jake Gyllenhaal (@jakegyllenhaal)

And like let’s stop and think about this. Who else can do this meme this well? Maybe Willem Dafoe, but other than him, Jake Gyllenhaal is my obvious choice of an actor who plays some … interesting people, to say the least. Because even when we stop and look at the four pictures that he chose, there are more characters that Gyllenhaal has played that you can add to this. Basically, just post his IMDb page and it’ll be applicable. Like really, if we break it down, Mysterio/Quentin Beck should have been number one on that list. He’s just a man full of “Red Flags.”

If anything, this is the way I want celebrities to approach memes. Sometimes, a meme dies because an actor or a singer or someone has their team make the meme apply to them in a way that feels really forced, and then we all lose our fun. Jake Gyllenhaal calling out his own careers and characters? Now that’s funny. Just don’t let someone else make the same joke. Jake beat you to it.

(image: CBS)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.