Jake Gyllenhaal Defends Scratching His Back With a Fork, Trades Slaps With Jimmy Fallon

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC
Jake Gyllenhaal on 'The Tonight Show'

"Anything with big hands, I'm into."

When Jake Gyllenhaal appeared on The Tonight Show to promote his new boxing movie, Southpaw, it wasn't long before Jimmy Fallon was asking the actor about some tabloid photos.

"Oh great," Gyllenhaal said sarcastically as Fallon pulled out a picture of what looked like the actor using a fork to scratch his back while sitting outdoors at a restaurant, something the undisclosed magazine called "uncouth."

But Gyllenhaal wasn't ashamed, nonchalantly admitting that he did that.

"Why is that weird?" he asked. "Uncouth? Oh they determine what's couth and uncouth? … You take a picture behind my back and then call me 'uncouth'?"

The actor also indicated that that's how real Hollywood insiders scratch an itch, explaining that it's what his dad, writer-director Stephen Gyllenhaal, does and what he was taught when he was a kid. Gyllenhaal, who started acting when he was a kid, is part of a Hollywood family: His mom, Naomi Foner, is a screenwriter and sister Maggie, an actress.

Fallon used the opportunity to give Gyllenhaal an extendable fork to use as a back-scratcher, but when Gyllenhaal used it to scratch his beard, which he explained he's sporting for a role in a "really, really serious movie," and then stuck the fork in his mouth, Fallon shouted "That's uncouth!" He then used the fork to scratch Fallon's face and pretend to feed him.

"That tasted like chili or something," Fallon said. "Did you have some chili?"

Gyllenhaal and Fallon also faced off in popular Tonight Show game Slapjack, blackjack where the winner gets to slap the loser with a giant prosthetic hand.

"Anything with big hands, I'm into," Gyllenhaal said to laughs from the audience and an odd look from Fallon.

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