April 14th, 2010
12:37 PM ET

Jake Gyllenhaal talks Ledger, life lessons and love in GQ

There was a time when Jake Gyllenhaal thought the most important job for a man was to find the right woman. Now? The actor's not so sure, as he told GQ magazine for the May issue.

The actor, who gives a brief “it’s okay” response when asked about how the single life is treating him, said romance is a two-way street. “I think it’s more important for every man to find the right woman and for every woman to find the right man.”

But is it the most important thing? Gyllenhaal gives a resolute no. “Who am I to say what the most important thing in life is? The best answer that I could give to any of these things is that I really don’t know. Particularly right now in my life.”

One thing Gyllenhaal does know for sure is that his upcoming role in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” turned into a dream job. “I’m excited about it,” he said of the movie that he at first thought of as an unlikely gig. But he discovered “there’s a great character in the middle who I could play and have fun with,” he told GQ.

Lucky for Gyllenhaal, he also found beefing up for the role to be pretty fun as well – “Prince of Persia” director Mike Newell said he wanted Gyllenhaal to “look like courage.” So the actor, who’d already packed on eight pounds of muscle for his role in 2009’s “Brothers,” added on another four. "I'm a really athletic person, so I got off on thinking, 'how can I get my body into a shape to be him?' I love doing it. It keeps my mind focused and clear."

Gyllenhaal didn't mention any on-set spats with "Persia" co-stars, but the actor does have a bit of history with them. On the set of 2005's "Jarhead," he walked the line between acting like he was punishing fellow actor Brian Geraghty and actually punishing him, the movie's director Sam Mendes told GQ. Although Gyllenhaal doesn't think he slapped Geraghty around, when he tried to apologize, Geraghty told him he was crazy, called him a loose cannon and didn't speak to him for a month.

But perhaps the biggest lessons Gyllenhaal learned came after filming "Brokeback Mountain" with the late Heath Ledger. He and Ledger also had their tiffs, but in the end, Gyllenhaal said they balanced each other out. After Ledger died in 2008 - something Gyllenhaal said he still doesn't like talking about - it made him realize that he was hiding in his work.

"It was like my work was the only thing that mattered to me...I could only understand or define myself through doing that. Life, I didn’t totally understand. And I think I was afraid of life," he said. "But after that happened…I think I recognized that it was work. And I recognized that this [life] is for real."


Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. ArticaliA

    e4177fbfb52fc9e64fe202

    April 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tennis racquet balance

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don't know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

    January 5, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Terrance Wierzba

    Just what I was searching for, thank you for posting.

    August 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Digital Multimeter

    Prince of Persia is the best, i really like the lead actor and also the princess, the princess is very pretty :.~

    December 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Laparoscopic Surgery :

    Prince of Persia is the best, wether it is the game or the movie we are talking about-.*

    October 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Melanie Long

    i love Prince of Persia, the game version is a classic all time favorite'-,

    September 13, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sebastian Hussain

    Prince of Persia has definitely great graphics and storyline. Jake is also the best actor for this movie.-~,

    July 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Harley Marshall

    Prince of Persia is definitely one of the best movies this year..-,

    June 13, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. stacy

    Marry me Jake!!! What a great guy!!

    April 15, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sadia Khan

    Jake is wonderful.I love him.Prince of Persia will be as beautiful as Brokeback Mountain.

    April 15, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. moondoggy

    You can't top Brokeback Mountain. Jake seems like a real cool dude with a good head on his shoulders not some Prima Donna.

    April 14, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jesseinaustin

    Hey Jake is a little difficult to many but it cause he wants to do and be the Best just like his Oscar nominated movie Broke Back Mountain .. It takes a tough guy to make a good movie cant wait to see the Persia movie . Jesse on Faro .

    April 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. suzycreamcheese

    Also, his godfather, Paul Newman, died, his parents divorced, not to mention Heath and Reeese.

    Thanks, Mr. Gyllenhaal.

    April 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MarkG

    Mmmm, what a man!!!

    April 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dilly

    I wish more celebs could be a little more in awe of the world like Jake instead of thinking they are in control of it! He's a smart guy.

    April 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  16. moon627

    I'm glad to see Jake can admit to not being the know-it-all that alot of celebrities seem to think they are when they profess their opinions. He seems to be at a good place in his head now.

    But I sure hope for his sake that “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” turns out to be better than the previews which look pretty corny ...

    April 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |

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