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The star credits his youthful bout with the semi-permanent hair color for his acting career: "Manic Panic had its way with my brain"

By Jillian Ruffo
January 19, 2018 02:29 PM
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Throughout his career, Jake Gyllenhaal has gone to great lengths in order to change his appearance for the roles he’s played. There was his shaggy look in The Good Girl, his dark mane in Donnie Darko, and his buzzcut in Southpaw. But one of his earliest transformations was into Elvis Presley for a Halloween costume he won’t soon forget.

Gyllenhaal says that these days he’s not much of a Halloween costume guy, but as a kid, his dad helped him come up with elaborate outfits for the holiday. He tells W Magazine that once, with the help of his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, he dyed his hair black in order to look more like Presley.

“I think I was, like, Elvis Presley one year,” he says. “My sister dyed my hair with Manic Panic. It was awesome.”

But when he was done trick-or-treating, the dye didn’t wash out as easily as he expected. When asked how long it lasted, the star replied, “Forever.”

“Like, someone asked me the other day why am I an actor, and the answer was because Manic Panic had its way with my brain, probably,” he jokes. “I don’t know. It lasted way too long, though. Way too long, and it just stays forever. It looks like chlorine in your hair after too much time.”