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Jake Gyllenhaal vs. Bradley Cooper: Which Wannabe Leading Man Has Made Love out of Nothing at All?

By Cindy Davis | Lists | December 23, 2013 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | December 23, 2013 |

You said it, I said it; over the past several years we all said it: Emu (aka Bradley Cooper) shall not be a thing. And yet there he is right in front of us, climbing that Hollywood ladder and starring in film after film. Someone’s intent on becoming an A-lister.

Running right alongside him is another familiar face—the guy who used to be known only as Maggie’s brother: Jake Gyllenhaal. A little more serious, perhaps slightly less approachable, Jake never quite seems comfortable in the limelight. But he’s been picking up steam and leading roles.

Neither actor’s cup is exactly overflowing with that thing that makes us swoon, but each seems to have just enough charm—a twinkly eye, a crooked smile—to get him by. Both boys surprised us a time or two. So, what say you Pajibafolk, which leading man wannabe has built up the love out of nothing at all?

Let’s go back to 2005, shall we?

Cooper won some of you over with his Will(iness) on Alias, while Jake’s affair with Heath Ledger stuck us right in the gut.


Jake also played Marine, Anthony Swofford in Jarhead, while Coop was still hangin’ with Sydney…albeit, trying to break away…via Wedding Crashers. C’mon Emu, that’s no way to win our hearts.


2007: Cooper plays “Cowboy” in made-for-television sports spoof The Comebacks (has anyone even seen this?); Jake is Robert Graysmith in David Fincher’s Zodiac.


2009: Jake sleeps with his brother’s wife in Brothers; Coop cheats on Jennifer Connolly with Scarlett Johansson in He’s Just Not That into You.


2009 to 2010: Bradley sees more action with The Hangover, All About Steve, Valentine’s Day and The A-Team. Jake’s pretty forgettable in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Love & Other Drugs.


2011: Tit for tat aka brain vs. this is your brain on drugs…Source Code vs. Limitless.


2012: Surprises all around…Cooper gains a lot of new fans starring opposite Jennifer Lawrence in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, and Jake powerfully partners with Michael Peña in David Ayer’s unforgettable End of Watch.


2013: The boys hit pay dirt. Gyllenhaal stars in Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners as a cop investigating a pair of missing girls, and (playing a dual role) Enemy. Cooper reteamed with JLaw and David O. Russell for American Hustle, and with all his buddies in The Hangover, Part III.


Is one of these guys the next Ryan Gosling?

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is going with Gyllenhaal.

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