Jake Benjamin Gyllenhaal is an Academy Award-nominated actor who is best remembered for his performance in the 2014 thriller Nightcrawler
, where he plays the role of a thief who starts filming live footage of crime and accidents in LA. His performance won him several nominations, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He started his career as a child actor in 1991 with the comedy movie City Slickers, which was successful, both, commercially and critically. Some of his other notable works include Donnie Darko, Jarhead, Broken Mountainback, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
, End of Watch
, and Southpaw
The actor has been associated with philanthropy since his childhood after his grandfather inspired him to be charitable. He is an active supporter of New Eyes for the Needy, which aims at providing better vision to the poor and donate glasses to the ones in need. Among the many other causes supported by Gyllenhaal are Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Variety - The Children's Charity, and BID 2 BEAT AIDS to name a few.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a descendant of the Swedish noble family Gyllenhaal, however, he is American. He was born to film producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner and her director Stephen Gyllenhaal on the 19th of December, 1980 in Los Angeles. He has an elder sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal
, who, like him, in an Academy Award-nominated actor. Gyllenhaal studied at the Harvard-Westlake School after which he studied Eastern Religion at the Columbia University. However, he quit university after two years in order to pursue his acting career.
Gyllenhaal was introduced to the Spider-Man actress Kirsten Dunst in 2002 by his sister, following which the two started dating in the September of the same year. The couple was together for two years before they called it quits in 2004. Despite their split, the two were seeing each other on-and-off for the next two years. He then started dating Reese Witherspoon in 2007, who had just come out of a marriage and was divorced. The two were together for over two years and broke up in 2009. Following his split with Witherspoon, Gyllenhaal dated country singer Taylor Swift, who was then 21 years old and was nine years Gyllenhaal’s junior. The two dated for a couple months between October 2010 and January 2011. Gyllenhaal then dated model Alyssa Miller for a brief period from June to December 2013.
Born to parents who were already a part of the entertainment industry, Gyllenhaal was exposed to filmmaking when he was a child. He was first seen in the 1991 comedy City Slickers, which went on to become a commercially successful movie with the movie and the actors receiving various award nominations. He was offered the 1992 sports comedy-drama The Mighty Ducks, which his father turned down since the young actor would have to stay away from for two months. Although his father allowed him to audition for various roles, he was not allowed to take up any of the roles even if he was chosen since his parents did not want him to lose any touch with his studies. However, the only movies that he could be a part of were the ones directed by his father. In 1993, he was cast alongside his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, in A Dangerous Woman directed by his father, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and written by his mother, Naomi Foner.
Having made his acting debut as a child, Gyllenhaal’s debut as a lead actor was the 1999 biographical movie October Sky
, co-starring Chris Cooper
, Chris Owen, and Laura Dern
. Based on the novel of the same name, the movie went on to garner acclaim from critics with many stating Gyllenhaal’s performance to be the highlight of the movie. Next, he was seen in the 2001 psychological horror-science fiction drama Donnie Darko where he played the titular role of a troubled teenager. The actor’s performance won him critical praise despite the movie not being a commercial success at the time of its release. In the years to come, the movie attained the cult status. Gyllenhaal went on to win the Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Breakout Star – Male for his performance in the 2002 black comedy drama The Good Girl
starring Jennifer Aniston
and John C. Reilly.
The Donnie Darko actor went on to appear in movies like Bubble Boy, Lovely and Amazing, and The Day After Tomorrow
, which went on to become a blockbuster hit. In 2005, he was seen in the biographical war film Jarhead where Gyllenhaal played the role of a violent and aggressive U. S. Marine during the first Gulf War. The movie opened to mainly positive reviews with Gyllenhaal’s performance receiving immense praise from the critics. Next, he was seen in Ang Lee
’s Brokeback Mountain alongside Heath Ledger
. The movie based on a novel of the same name is about the lives of two sheepherders who get involved sexually. Both the men, thinking it would be a one-time incident, start having a passionate sexual and emotional relationship. However, fate has different plans for both of them. Gyllenhaal’s performance won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor among many other nominations, however, he went on to win the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in Supporting Role.
Based on a true story, Gyllenhaal was seen in the 2007 mystery-thriller Zodiac
cast alongside Robert Downey Jr.
and Mark Ruffalo
. Gyllenhaal plays the role of Robert Graysmith, a San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist, in the movie, which is about a series of murders committed by a mysterious serial killer in and around San Francisco and goes by the name Zodiac. In order to prepare for the role, Gyllenhaal personally met with Robert Graysmith to understand his mannerisms. The movie opened to positive reviews and was a commercial success. His 2010 release, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
, based on the video game of the same name, saw him play the role of Prince Dastan. The movie, also starring Gemma Arterton
, Ben Kingsley
, and Alfred Molina
, opened to mixed reviews but went on to become a commercially successful movie.
Cast alongside Anne Hathaway
in the 2010 erotic romantic-comedy drama Love & Other Drugs
, Gyllenhaal played the role of Jamie Randall, a pharmaceutical sales representative, in the movie based on the non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman. Although the movie opened to mixed reviews, it went on to become a box-office success. Playing the role of a Los Angeles Police Department officer, Gyllenhaal was seen alongside Michael Peña in the 2012 crime drama End of Watch
. In order to train for his role, the actor took tactical training and participated in actual police drives with co-star Michael Peña. The movie was made on a budget of $7 million and went on to rake in over $48 million at the box-office with most critics stating that the movie is easily one of the best police movies that was made in a long, long time.
He was next seen in Denis Villeneuve
’s psychological thriller Enemy
in 2013, where he plays the role of Adam Bell and his doppelganger Anthony Claire. The movie and Gyllenhaal’s performance both won critical acclaim with the movie becoming a commercial success. The following year, he was seen in the thriller Nightcrawler
, where he plays the role of a thief who starts filming live footage of crime and accidents in LA. His performance won him innumerable nominations, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Starring alongside Forest Whitaker
and Rachel McAdams
, Gyllenhaal was seen in the sports drama Southpaw
. Although the movie was mainly battered by critics, calling it a boring cliché, Gyllenhaal’s performance was extremely well-received.
The same year, he was seen cast in an ensemble cast comprising Jason Clarke
, Josh Brolin
, John Hawkes
, Robin Wright
, Michael Kelly
, Sam Worthington
, Keira Knightley
, and Emily Watson
in the mountain adventure Everest
. The movie mainly opened to positive reviews and raked in over $203.4 million against a budget of $55 million. The following year, the actor was seen in the neo-noir psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals
along with Amy Adams
and Isla Fisher
. His 2017 releases include Stronger, Okja, and Life