Jake Gyllenhaal Talks About Heath Ledger, Life, and Love in GQ

Jake Gyllenhaal's penetrating stare on the May cover of GQ is just a hint at the intense article inside. Beyond just chatting about his childhood love of the Van Halen song "Jump," Jake delves deep into some of his most difficult moments on set — from Brokeback Mountain era conflict with Heath Ledger to fights with Peter Sarsgaard while working on Jarhead. Jake also backs off a little on his former statements that the "most important job for a man is finding the right woman." This time Jake says, "It goes in either direction . . . 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." Jake also talked candidly about his relationship with Heath Ledger and the effect his death had on Jake's life outlook. See all the pictures of Jake on and here's more from the article:

  • On Heath: "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. For such a serious actor as Heath was, he was crazy funny. Dark funny, but funny. I don't think any of us can watch [Brokeback Mountain] to this day. I remember talking to Michelle very recently and her being like, 'I didn't know if it was any good or not.'"
  • On Heath's death: "I really don't like talking about it. That period of time was . . . it was difficult. 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 [life] is for real."

Photo courtesy of Peggy Sirota/GQ

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