ByKarina Thyra, writer at
a Truebie, X-Men Fan, a fangirl of sorts, stalker. Twitter:@ArianaGsparks
Karina Thyra

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors. Not only is he really talented, but he's also intelligent, charming and he uses his fame to support various causes to help people and the planet. He's environmentally conscious, recycles regularly, and spends $400 a year to have trees planted in a forest in Mozambique! Most notably he is the Honorary Chair of the New Eyes For The Needy Advisory Board - a charity which provides glasses for those who can't afford them. He has been donating to the cause since he was young.

In celebration of his 35th birthday (Dec. 19), I've rounded up some of his best performances and films.

10. October Sky (1999)

This was Gyllenhaal's first lead and breakout role, and ultimately what made him a star. It's a biographical film about Homer Hickham (who Gyllenhaal portrayed), a coal miner's son who got inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1; he (the real Homer) eventually became a NASA engineer.

9. Donnie Darko (2001)

Following October Sky, Gyllenhaal starred in one of my favorite sci-fi movies, Donnie Darko. Here, he portrayed a troubled young teenager whose life finally had meaning when he realized what he must do in order to save the world as we know it. He won several awards for his weirdly awesome performance (and the movie did too!). I couldn't imagine anyone better to play Donnie than Jake Gyllenhaal. Not even Mark Wahlberg (as Donnie with a lisp!).

8. This is Our Youth (2002)

The following year, he starred in a play called This Is Our Youth with Anna Paquin and Hayden Christensen. The transition from film to the London stage was terrific and it garnered him the Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer in 2002.

7. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Gyllenhaal co-starred with the late Heath Ledger in one of the best and powerful films of all time - Brokeback Mountain. The film won three Academy Awards in 2006: Best Director, Best Original Music Score and Best Writing Adapted Screenplay. Aside from getting nominated and winning in numerous prestigious Awards shows, his performance also earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was also nominated for a SAG, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.

6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

A lot of people might disagree with me on this, but personally I enjoyed Prince of Persia and I think it was a great fantasy film. I'm still patiently waiting for a much better sequel. Though it was a disappointment in the box office, it snagged the record from Lara Croft and Mortal Kombat, becoming the highest-grossing film based on a video game!

5. Love & Other Drugs (2010)

This was hilarious, albeit a bit cringey to watch. But he was funny here and it was a nice rom-com. Proving that he isn't only great in dramas or thriller - he can be funny as heck too.

4. Prisoners (2013)

Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal were phenomenal in this thriller. Their hard work wasn't snubbed and the film got multiple nominations. Most notably, Gyllenhaal won the Holywood Film Festival Award for Supporting Actor of The Year in his role as Detective Loki.

3. Nightcrawler (2014)

This film was written and directed by Dan Gilroy (his directorial debut). And it was absolutely gripping. How far would you go for the American dream?

2. Southpaw (2015)

I'm not a fan of sports movies, but Southpaw was surprisingly good. It was a predictable story and grounded in drama, but Jake Gyllenhaal (ever the chameleon) and his co-stars delivered a great performances. This film wasn't quite a knockout, but maybe that's just me.

1. Everest (2016)

Currently only released in limited territories, we'll see the chilling story of the Mt. Everest disaster in 2016 for its wide release. I'm sure it will be something to remember. Gyllenhaal joins the impressive cast which also includes Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington.

Happy Birthday Jake! Wishing you all the best, continued success, and more fantastic movies in the future!

Source: Wiki, Youtube


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