Blast from the past

Wildlife and some of my favorite Jake Gyllenhaal films


The first trailer for Wildlife is officially here.

Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife is already gaining critical acclaim, and so are the two leads in the period piece drama. Carrey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal. He plays Jerry Brinson in Wildlife. A husband and a father of a 14 year old son, who will move out of the family home to fight the wildfires that are plaguing the border with Canada.

This will cause a major rift within the family (and the community in the 60’s) and subsequently his abandoned wife will find love from another man. Dano wrote Wildlife with his girlfriend Zoe Kazan, and is set to hit theaters on October 19. And while we await the release of Wildlife in the movie theaters, let’s look back at some of the best movies in Jake’s career. He was a child actor before he was the Hollywood leading man and most wanted actor.

Born and bred in Hollywood, Jake was destined for stardom. Jake Gyllenhaal had his big screen debut in the classic western comedy City Slicker, and it took him a while for the audience to get to know him better. Jake is an Academy Award nominated actor and probably one of the most respected in Hollywood. And about those favorite Jake Gyllenhaal films of mine… Scroll down and see for yourself.

City Slickers (1991)

Director: Ron Underwood
Stars: Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, Daniel Stern…
Fun fact about the movie: There is a 38-year gap between Jack Palance’s Oscar nomination for Shane (1953) in 1953 and his win for City Slickers (1991) in 1991.

October Sky (1999)

Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern…
Fun fact about the movie: A controversy was held when a porn filmmaker made a porn spoof of this film. The film was immediately deleted and doesn’t exist now.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell…
Fun fact about the movie: Jake Gyllenhaal uses the strategy of rarely blinking, to enhance his psychotic creepiness (as he is driven by Frank).

The Good Girl (2002)

Director: Miguel Arteta
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Deborah Rush…
Fun fact about the movie: Jake Gyllenhaal admitted that in the film’s sex scenes, his main job was to lie over Jennifer Aniston and keep her breasts covered.

Moonlight Mile (2002)

Director: Brad Silberling
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon…
Fun fact about the movie: Loosely inspired by writer/director Brad Silberling’s own experience. He was dating actress Rebecca Schaeffer at the time she was killed by an obsessed fan in 1989.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams…
Fun fact about the movie: When asked if he had any fears about playing a gay man, Heath Ledger replied that he was not afraid of the role, only that he wasn’t mature enough to do it justice.

Proof (2005)

Director: John Madden
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis…
Fun fact about the movie: Gwyneth Paltrow was pregnant with Apple Martin while filming.

Zodiac (2007)

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo…
Fun fact about the movie: When Mark Ruffalo met David Toschi, the investigator he plays in the film, he was very impressed to learn that Toschi had perfect recall of every detail of every case.

Brothers (2009)

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire…
Fun fact about the movie: Jake Gyllenhaal learned of the death of his close friend Heath Ledger while he was in the middle of shooting a scene for this film. Gyllenhaal immediately walked off set, and returned to finish the scene two days later. He then took a longer bereavement leave before he was ready to continue with the rest of his scenes.

Love & Other Drugs (2010)

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Judy Greer…
Fun fact about the movie: At one point, Director Edward Zwick jumped into bed with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal for a group shot. This shot was used for the film’s poster, with Zwick digitally removed.

Source Code (2011)

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga….
Fun fact about the movie: Jake Gyllenhaal was on board the production before Duncan Jones. After seeing Moon (2009) Gyllenhaal suggested Jones as a possible director.

End of Watch (2012)

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick…
Fun fact about the movie: This film is similar to longest running TV show COPS (1989-present), although this film featured fictional characters.

Prisoners (2013)

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis…
Fun fact about the movie: There are no opening credits, just the title of the movie.

Nightcrawler (2014)

Director: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton…
Fun fact about the movie: Jake Gyllenhaal’s character blinks very rarely. Gyllenhaal has used this method in his work before with his role as title character Donnie Darko (2001) as well as Prisoners.

Life (2017)

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds….
Fun fact about the movie: The movie was inspired by Alien (1979).


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