Jake Gyllenhaal Mouths Off About Merkins

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Dec. 4 2009, Published 3:09 p.m. ET

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Jake Gyllenhaal is a handsome, funny, Oscar-nominated actor. He's also apparently an expert on the sex lives of sixteenth century prostitutes, according to an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night. Hint: It's not sexy at all.

Jake, 28, who's been making Love and Other Drugs with Anne Hathaway in Pittsburgh for three months revealed they spent much of it filming sex scenes.

"She's a great actress. We have been having a lot of love scenes in that movie. And we have been bearing almost all of us, so that's not been that bad either."

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"Are you really naked or just movie naked?" asked Jimmy Kimmel.

"We were pretty much naked except for a merkin," said Jake who went on to clarify, "A merkin is not to be confused with what prostitutes used to wear when they shaved their pubic hair in the sixteenth century. I learned that from Wikipedia.

Do you want to know more about merkins? You're about to get a history lesson!

"In the sixteenth century prostitutes used to shave off their pubic hair because they thought that they had crabs, so they had fake pubic hair," says Jake.

Anne Hathaway

"So, when I told people I would wear merkins they would look at me rather oddly because they thought that I had no pubic hair, or maybe I had crabs. I'll leave that up to you to decide."

Bottom line: when an actor refers to a merkin they're not talking about anything body-hair related. "It's a cover for your junk," he said.

How did Anne protect her modesty? "Out of respect to Anne I'll have to leave it up to her for when she comes on your show," Jake joked. "It's a similar sort of thing but it has other functions."


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