Trivia

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  • is a fan of the Boston Red Sox baseball team
  • Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
  • Shares his birthday with Marla Sokoloff, Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Beals and Édith Piaf.
  • He appeared in a 1994 episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street" (1993) that was directed by his father, Steven.
  • Ranked #48 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. It is his first appearance on the list.
  • On Phantom Planet's album "The Guest", lead singer Alex Greenwald lists him in his thank yous. Alex appeared with Jake in Donnie Darko (2001).
  • Was personally approved by Joe Namath to play the football legend in an upcoming biopic about the latter's life.
  • Had his Bar Mitzvah party at a homeless shelter, something his parents encouraged to help him recognize how privileged his own childhood had been (a Bar Mitzvah is the coming-of-age service that Jewish boys celebrate at age 13).
  • His first four big roles were in movies with alliterated titles: Bubble Boy (2001), Donnie Darko (2001), Moonlight Mile (2002), The Good Girl (2002).
  • Voted #10 in Elle (France) Magazine's "15 Sexiest Men" poll (June 2007).
  • Received his first driving lesson from Paul Newman.
  • As of 2007, has starred in three movies where he played not only a real person, but the person who wrote the book upon which the film was based: Homer Hickham (October Sky), Anthony Swofford (Jarhead) and Robert Graysmith (Zodiac).
  • Uncle of Ramona Sarsgaard, born October 3, 2006. She is the daughter of his older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard.
  • Dropped out of Columbia University after two years (2002).
  • Auditioned for and was one of the top contenders for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins (2005).
  • He gave Kirsten Dunst a gray and white kitten for her birthday. She named the cat Sophie.
  • Godmother is Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • His last name is pronounced Jill-en-hall.
  • Like all Gyllenhaals on the male line, he is a Swedish nobleman by birth right and is listed in the Swedish Almanac of Nobility ("Sveriges Ridderskaps och Adels Kalender" in Swedish).
  • Godfather is Paul Newman.
  • Played brother to real life sister Maggie Gyllenhaal in their movie Donnie Darko (2001).
  • Norwegian American.
  • Very good friends with actress Jennifer Aniston.
  • Campaigned for the Democrats in the 2004 US election.
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