Smell that? It’s the scent of Jake Gyllenhaal becoming latest celeb to shun bathing

A portrait of a smiling man in a suit jacket and T-shirt
Jake Gyllenhaal has some thoughts on bathing.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Some celebrities — think Marie Kondo, Madonna, January Jones — have sung the praises of a hot bath as a primo self-care ritual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then there’s Jake Gyllenhaal.

“More and more I find bathing to be less necessary, at times,” the “Nightcrawler” actor said in a new Vanity Fair interview. “I do believe, because Elvis Costello is wonderful, that good manners and bad breath get you nowhere. So I do that.

“But I do also think that there’s a whole world of not bathing that is also really helpful for skin maintenance,” he continued, “and we naturally clean ourselves.”


No lavender oil or rose petals for this guy, apparently, though in the interview he does give a nod to showering as his “defining” New York City water experience.

But disregard for bathing doesn’t appear to be a family thing: Sister Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband, fellow actor Peter Sarsgaard, reportedly have a hot-water bathtub in their Brooklyn backyard, which pretty much screams, “We love a good soak.”

Thank goodness Ashton Kutcher had a fully refundable ticket on Virgin Galactic: Not everyone agreed that the actor’s space-flight plans were wise.

July 16, 2021

Of course, Jake Gyllenhaal, 40, would only be stinky if he failed to maintain what a dermatologist described to the Washington Post in June as “the three P’s,” or a person’s “pits, privates and piggies.” For the less dermatologically savvy, those would be the underarms, the crotch-and-butt area and the feet, which aside from the mouth are the only three areas on the body that can render us unpleasantly aromatic.

Still, ol’ Jake has some celebrity compatriots in the Don’t Scrub on Me club, at least when it comes to avoiding soap.

Ashton Kutcher discussed his less-is-more approach while appearing with wife Mila Kunis in July on the “Armchair Expert” podcast. The former “Two and a Half Men” star says he washes his “armpits and my crotch daily and nothing else ever.” Dax Shepard, who hosts the podcast along with Monica Padman, declared himself a member of the no-soap camp as well and said using soap on your whole body messes with the skin’s natural oil production.

Kutcher and Kunis extend their philosophy to daughter Wyatt, 6, and son Dmitri, 4. “If you can see the dirt on them, clean them,” Kutcher said of their offspring. “Otherwise, there’s no point.”

Dax Shepard, chatting with Justin Timberlake, shares a tip for protecting his girls from their parents’ fame: Don’t out your mom as Princess Anna from “Frozen.”

Jan. 26, 2021


Soon after that, Shepard’s wife, actor Kristen Bell, jumped on the kinda-clean bandwagon, without mentioning that she and her hubby launched a baby-care line in 2019 that includes a body wash. When it comes to washing their daughters, she said Tuesday on “The View,” she and Shepard simply “forget.”

“I’m a big fan of waiting for the stink,” the “Frozen” star said with a laugh, talking about Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6, and agreeing with the Kunis-Kutcher approach.

“Once you catch a whiff, that’s biology’s way of letting you know you need to clean it up,” she explained. “There’s a red flag. Honestly, it’s just bacteria; once you get bacteria, you gotta be like, ‘Get in the tub or the shower.’”

Shepard, who appeared remotely with Bell, explained further.

“We bathed our children every single night — prior to bed is like the routine,” he said. “And then somehow, they just started going to sleep on their own without the routine, and by George, we had to start saying, ‘Hey, when’s the last time you bathed them?’”

One hopes Gyllenhaal has someone on wait-for-the-stink duty as well.