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Jake Gyllenhaal was only 27 years old when his Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger died from an overdose of prescription drugs in 2008. Even after eight years, the actor is still visibly emotional as he struggles to talk to an interviewer from People about his friend's untimely and shocking death.
"Personally, it affected me in ways I can't necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly," Gyllenhaal said, noting that it was an age where losing friends and coworkers hadn't been a reality to him. "In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me."
To hear Gyllenhaal describe his time working on Brokeback Mountain, the hit drama that would earn the first Oscar nods for both Gyllenhaal and Ledger, it sounds as if an air of sadness hung over their entire experience of working together. When asked what the filming and eventual success of that movie was like, Gyllenhaal responded seriously, and described the difficulty of moving on as the movie faded into history. He's also apparently a fan of the latest Macklemore album.
"I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films ... There are real friends, and there is a real community," he said of the experience. "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.' 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."
The last time we saw Gyllenhaal talking about Brokeback Mountain, the mood was way lighter as he addressed rumors about his sexuality that started after the movie's release, saying he took them as a compliment. His new movie, Demolition, is out this week. You can watch his full interview with People below.