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Jake Gyllenhaal Biography

Jake Gyllenhaal biography

Jacob Gyllenhaal was born in a family of filmmakers. His father, Stephen Gyllenhaal, is a well known director and his mother, Naomi Foner, is a screenwriter and producer. He has an older sister, Maggie, who is also a famous actress. So it was kind of expected from him to join films. But Jake did go to college to study Eastern Religions, but left midway to act in films. He began acting at the age of 10 when he played Billy Crystal’s son in City Slickers. He auditioned for many roles and got quite a few of them, but his parents did not allow him to work in them. He did appear in a couple of his father’s movies alongwith sister Maggie. Despite belonging to an affluent family, his parents raised him in a very humble environment. He had his Bar Mitzvah in a shelter for the poor and his parents insisted that he get summer jobs to pay for his own things. He worked as a busboy in a restaurant and as a lifeguard.

His first ever starring role came in October Sky where played a youth trying his best to win a scholarship so that he is not forced to work in a coal mine for survival. The film was a hit and Jake won favorable reviews from the critics. His second film was Donnie Darko, many say that this was his breakout performance. He played the title character that starts seeing a six foot tall rabbit who tells him that the world is coming to an end. The film did not do well commercially back then but the critics loved it and Jake was lauded for his portrayal. Slowly the film garnered cult status and today has a large fan following. Not wanting to the same things all the time, Jake tried his hand at comedy. In Bubble Boy (2001), he played a guy who has to live in a bubble because of his allergies to germs. He travels far inside a bubble to stop the girls that he loves from marrying someone else. The movie did not do well and the critics also panned it.

He also got a chance to work with Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl, the movie did well but Jennifer took most of the credit as she was the central character. Next came the disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow (2004) with Dennis Quaid. He played his son who is caught up in the Earth’s process of cooling and has to survive extreme cold with a bunch of his friends. The movie was a huge hit and Jake got another hit under his belt. Jake almost replaced Toby Maguire as Spider-Man in Spider-Man 2 after Toby was suffering from health issues due to his weight loss for another role. Director Sam Raimi had Jake on stand-by but Toby made a full recovery and reprised his role.

Jake had tasted a lot of success at the box-office and had also gotten critical acclaim. But his next movie was his absolute best work till date. He played the role of cowboy Jack Twist who is cowboy and ends up having an affair with another cowboy played by Heath Ledger. The movie was Brokeback Mountain and was directed by Ang Lee. The movie was a huge success and won Jake the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. Jake also auditioned for the role of Batman but lost out to Christian Bale. Jake again delivered a trilogy of hits films; Jarhead (2005), Proof (2005) and Zodiac (2007) were all hits. Zodiac was a film based on the real Zodiac murders that happened. Jake played the role of the newspaper cartoonist who wrote two books on the Zodiac killings.

Many times Jake came close to playing super heroes but lost out in the last moment. But he was finally going to get to play a fictional superhero like character in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He played the title role and got a chance to build a physique for the role. That was his last release but a few more promising films are awaited.

Jake had dated actress Kirsten Dunst for nearly two years starting from 2002. The he dated his Rendition co-star Reese Witherspoon. Many thought that they would go the distance because Jake got along really well with Reese’s children from her previous marriage to actor Ryan Philippe. But they split in November 2009.