He’s the heart-throb we all know and love, currently starring alongside Tom Holland in the new Spider-man movie, Far from Home.


But did you know that Jake Gyllenhaal has been dazzling our screens since he was just ten years old, and boasts an impressive collection of celebrity family and friends?

Here are ten things you might not have known about the Brokeback Mountain star.

5. He spent his 13th birthday at a homeless shelter

Coming from a Jewish family, Gyllenhaal was expected to have a Bar Mitzvah when he turned thirteen. Instead of spending the day partying and receiving lavish gifts, he decided to volunteer at a local homeless shelter where he spent his time cleaning and preparing food before celebrating with his family and people at the shelter.

His parents were in full support of his decision, pleased that he was showing appreciation for his privileged lifestyle.

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4. His dogs are named after characters in his favourite novel

Gyllenhaal is reportedly an avid reader and his favourite book is the classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, naming his two hounds Atticus and Boo after the main characters.

He adopted the dogs with his partner at the time Kirsten Dunst and when they split in 2004 the couple shared custody until Gyllenhaal won full custody a few months later.

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3. He took his first acting job at the age of just 10

Gyllenhaal’s debut on-screen performance was in City Slickers, working alongside stars such as Billy Crystal, who plays his dad in the film.

In the movie, Gyllenhaal is so embarrassed by his father’s occupation as an ad salesman that he tells his classmates he’s actually the commander of a submarine. Luckily for Gyllenhaal, he wasn’t asked back for the sequel.

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2. He had a close dice with death whilst vacationing with his sister

Whilst on holiday with his actress sister Maggie at Manka’s Inverness Lodge in San Fransisco Bay, a fire broke out and burned the lodge to the ground.

The fire was started by a tree crashing into a water-heater at the rear of the building and, according to the lodge’s chef and co-owner Daniel DeLong, Gyllenhaal leapt into action by helping to pull things out of the fire to safety. Seems he’s not just a pretty face, after all.

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1. He regularly loses and gains weight for his acting roles

For his part in Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal was required to lose 30 pounds. He achieved this by running 15 miles every day and surviving off kale salads- perhaps the life of an actor isn’t all glitz and glamour.

For his role as a boxer in Southpaw, he had to gain all the weight back in muscle, with Gyllenhaal saying “a physical transformation was key to making the character credible”. With his shaven head and chiselled muscles, Gyllenhaal looks every bit the fearsome fighter.

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