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Jake Gyllenhaal speaks out about the devastating impact of his friend, Heath Ledger's death

Heath Ledger’s untimely death, back in 2008, was heart wrenching for fans, friends and loved ones, including Jake Gyllenhaal.

By Chloe Lal
The duo starred in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, and became close friends. The 35-year-old sat down with People and Entertainment Weekly where he candidly recalled how the Aussie actor’s passing impacted both his personal and professional life.
"Personally, it affected me in ways I can't necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly," he explained to EW’s editorial director Jess Cagle about Heath's passing.
"In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me."
Jake, who was just 27 when Heath died, explained that he’d never lost many friends up until that point.
"I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films ... There are real friends, and there is a real community," he recalled.
In the past Jake has revealed that he and Heath were pals even before the filming of Brokeback Mountain, and that he jumped at the opportunity to work with his friend.
"There is also that [new Macklemore song] where he says, 'The curtain closes and nobody notices' ... I think that's true, and I think that's okay. But I think at the time, I assumed everyone would notice – and they did with Heath dying, but I think it [gave me] the experience of, 'This is fleeting.'”
Before adding, “And none of the attention or synthesized love that comes from the success of a film really matters at all."
"What matters is the relationships you make when you make a film, and the people you learn from when you're preparing for a film. That changed a lot for me."
Ang Lee's film was widely critically acclaimed and picked up a slew of awards, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 2006.
It’s clear that the impact Heath had on Jake’s life was monumental.
Just last year the now-35-year-old candidly shared his thoughts about his dear friend.
Jake, who is the godfather of Heath’s daughter with Michelle Williams, Matilda, admitted that the pain was still there during a sit down with Vanity Fair.
"I miss him as a human being, and I miss working with him. And what an unfortunate thing it is that we won’t be able to see the beauty of his expression," he quipped.
Jake with his costar AND crush, Jennifer Aniston, back in 2003.
During the same chat for The Jess Cagle Interview, the conversation turned to some of Jake’s other famous on-screen flames, particularly Jennifer Aniston.
"She's a rough one. Not likable. So hard to compliment," he joked about his The Good Girl co-star.
Only 22 at the time of the film’s release, it turns out Jake really liked working with the now-47-year-old actress.
"I will say, I had a crush on her for years. And working with her was not easy," he admitted.
"I was – um, yeah. That's all I'm going to say. It was lovely. It wasn't hard, that's what I would say."
Even though Friends was still on air at the time of the 2002 flick, Jake revealed it wasn't her beloved role as Rachel Green in Friends that initially attracted him to her.
"Not so much Friends, but kind of her personality from afar, and movies she was in," he explained.
"And some of Friends -- I'm not a huge Friends fan -- but who she is."
You can watch snippets of the interview in the video player above
For the full video interview head to [PEOPLE] (SHAREPIN
  • undefined: Chloe Lal (1)

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