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Jake Gyllenhaal Talks Performing Sondheim on 'Late Show'

He’s also obsessed with sourdough, just like you.

Even with a few days to think about it, Jake Gyllenhaal has no idea how he pulled off singing a Stephen Sondheim classic during Sunday night’s all-star charity tribute to the Broadway legend on his 90th birthday, “Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday.” Gyllenhaal sang “Move On” from Sunday in the Park with George — which he performed on Broadway in 2016 — with his former co-star Annaleigh Ashford during the special and on Tuesday Night’s A Late Show, host Stephen Colbert asked how he managed his command performance.

Playing a clip of Gyllenhaal crooning the song enthusiastically from what looks like a spare bedroom with one AirPod in his right ear, harmonizing perfectly with Ashford, Colbert asked how he was able to sing the song a cappella from a different location than Ashford. “I mean, look, it may be a surprise to you, but I am not a professional singer,” Gyllenhaal said. “I don’t know… we had accompaniment and we had to sing together with our EarPod and the timing was off… it was, it was very hard.”

Thinking about it still seemed to make the veteran actor anxious, as he put his hands on his face and described how each had to record tracks beforehand in order to make it appear they were singing together. “It’s probably what like doing this show is for you, it’s almost… it’s inexplicable.” Frankly, had they told him ahead of time that he’d be sandwiched between Meryl Streep, Audra McDonald and Bernadette Peters, he would have “never been able to perform.”

Gyllenhaal repeatedly joked that Colbert had to be quiet since he was in the middle of cooking up a loaf of sourdough bread, his latest obsession. Like everyone else in the “sourdough cult” during the COVID-19 lockdown, Gyllenhaal has definitely gone down the rabbit hole, discussing the finer points of texture and bubble ratio with Colbert.

“Shhh! I have sourdough rising… it’s resting,” Gyllenhaal joked, before diving into a thoughtful discussion of sourdough starters and rye kits. “As I’ve slowly inched into the hipster world I found myself falling in love with sourdough.” The actor also discussed the one thing we’re all wondering about: the Tom Holland “Impossible Challenge,” in which Jake impressively put on a shirt while doing a handstand, even as Ryan Reynolds refused the bait.

“I think he beat us all with his response,” Gyllenhaal said of Reynolds. He was also going to refuse until Reynolds beat him to it, which forced him to crush the challenge while showing off his ripped lats. He went on to challenge Hugh Jackman, 50 Cent and his sister, Maggie, with 50 just ghosting him, Jackman responding by email, “I hope you’re well” and his older sis just crushing it.

Watch Gyllenhaal on Colbert below.