Read them in the list below!
1. His full name is Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal.
2. He was born on December 19, 1980 in Los Angeles, California.
3. His family is in show business. His mother Naomi Foner is a screenwriter and his father Stephen Gyllenhaal is a director.
4. He auditioned for and was one of the top contenders for the role of Batman in 2005’s “Batman Begins.”
5. Gyllenhaal went to elementary school with band members of Maroon 5.
6. His family is in show business. His mother Naomi Foner is a screenwriter and his father Stephen Gyllenhaal is a director.
7. He gave Kirsten Dunst, his on-and-off girlfriend till 2006, a gray and white kitten for her birthday. She named the cat Sophie.
8. Jake and his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal are the first sibling pair to be Oscar-nominated for acting in the 21st century. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “Brokeback Mountain” and Maggie for Best Supporting Actress in “Crazy Heart.”
9. His fans refer to themselves as Gyllenhaalics.
10. His older sister is actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
11. Gyllenhall spent two years at Columbia University where one of his professors was Robert Thurman, Uma Thurman’s father.
12. Jake was a good Jewish boy whose parents insisted that he support himself with various summer jobs including becoming a lifeguard and busboy while pursuing acting.
13. On the band Phantom Planet’s album “The Guest,” the lead singer Alex Greenwald listed Gyllenhaal in his thank yous. Greenwald appeared with Gyllenhaal in “Donnie Darko.”
14. Jake is a descendant of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family and is listed in the Swedish Almanac of Nobility.
15. Gyllenhaal had a childhood crush on actress Martha Plimpton. He met her when she appeared in 1988’s “Running on Empty,” which was written by his mother Naomi.
16. His favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and he named his two dogs, Atticus and Boo, after characters in the novel.
17. His uncle, Anders Gyllenhaal, was the former Sr. Vice President and Executive Editor of The Miami Herald and is now V.P. of news at the paper’s parent company, McClatchy.
18. Gyllenhaal celebrated his bar mitzvah by volunteering at a homeless shelter because his parents encouraged him to show appreciation for his privileged lifestyle. Mazel!
19. Gyllenhaal was set to play Spiderman in 2004’s “Spider-Man 2” after Tobey Maguire injured his back filming Seabiscuit. Gyllenhaal was preparing for the role, but Tobey recovered in time to return as the web slinger.
20. Paul Newman is Jake’s godfather and Jamie Lee Curtis is his godmother. Jake himself is the godfather of Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams’ daughter Matilda Ledger.
21. When he was young his parents didn’t allow him to act in many films besides the ones his father directed because of the time he’d have to spend away from home. “Mighty Ducks” was one of the films they didn’t let him appear in.
22. Gyllenhaal’s first leading role was in “October Sky” when he was 19.
23. Along with Matt Damon, Gyllenhaal was the studio’s first choice for the role of Jake Sully in “Avatar,” but director James Cameron chose to cast the then unknown Sam Worthington in the lead instead.
24. His first film role was playing Billy Crystal’s son in the 1991 comedy “City Slickers.”
25. Gyllenhaal celebrated his Bar Mitzvah somewhat atypically, spending it volunteering at a homeless shelter as a means of showing his appreciation for his privileged lifestyle. You definitely don’t see that happening at your usual Bar Mitzvah party.
26. He received his first driving lesson from his godfather, Paul Newman. It’s one thing to learn to drive from badass Paul Newman, but let’s not forget the blue eyed actor was also a professional racecar driver.