Jake Gyllenhaal - 'GQ' May 2010 Cover Star!
On working with Heath Ledger: “He was very sensitive. He didn’t always have a sense of performance in his everyday life. He knew who he was. I think actors very often, they know how to present something, and that’s part of their job. I think he was just really sensitive. We often used to do a lot of things together, because people were very interested in him and I think we felt safe together.”
On his experience filming Brokeback Mountain: “There was something magical in that time. We all slept in our trailers out by a trailer park in the first month of making that movie. I was sleeping next to Ang’s trailer; Ang’s trailer was next to Heath and Michelle’s trailer—they’d kind of moved in together. And Michael Hausman, the producer, brought his Airstream trailer down. And it was just us, by this river, for a month. And we would walk to set, and we would eat together, and we would make coffee in the morning, and I would wake up in the morning and there would be Ang Lee doing Tai Chi outside of my trailer, and it was just magical.”
On how Heath’s death affected him: “I don’t really like talking about it. That period of time was…it was difficult. He was very sensitive. He didn’t always have a sense of performance in his everyday life. He knew who he was. I think actors very often, they know how to present something, and that’s part of their job. I think he was just really sensitive. We often used to do a lot of things together, because people were very interested in him and I think we felt safe together. Even when we did Brokeback and stuff, it was like my work was the only thing that mattered to me. It was like I could only understand or define myself through doing that. Life, I didn’t totally understand. And I think I was afraid of life. And I had success in my work, enough success that you could keep going back there. But after that happened…I think I recognized that it was work. And I recognized that this is for real.”
On his life as a single man: “It’s…it’s okay.… It goes in either direction. I think it’s important for every man to find the right woman and every woman to find the right man.… Who am I to say what the most important thing in life is? The best answer I could give to any of those things is that I really don’t know. Particularly right now in my life.”
On his parents’ divorce: “I think it takes a lot of courage for my parents to make the decision that they made, and I I trust both of them and their outlook on life. They’re wonderful parents to me and my sister.”
Brother-in-law Peter Sarsgaard on a fight he and Jake had, causing them not to speak for ten days: “The nice thing is, for Jake, he doesn’t see having any argument as something that ruins a relationship. He sees it as something that could potentially help one. That’s something I learned from him. I’m extremely close with him. He’s basically my brother.”
Peter further points out, in extolling Jake’s virtues, how unusual he is: “It’s a very difficult thing—or it has been over the course of my life—for me to have respect for people like Jake, who are not self-destructive, who are positive. There are very few actors who have that quality. I go [sighs], ‘Ohhhh, motherf–ker just wants to live—f–k him.’ and my thesis with Jake is that it is genuine. He is not doing it to be more popular and more successful, it is actually who he is.”
Check out the full cover gallery featuring Jake at GQ.com!