Jake Gyllenhaal on Jennifer Aniston: ‘I had a crush on her for years’

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I think Jake Gyllenhaal is a truly talent actor and I love Donnie Darko with a white white hot passion. And yet, I keep forgetting about him off screen. His new film Demolition opens tomorrow. The trailer is moody and suggests a complex plot which might be humorous enough to hold my interest.

While promoting Demolition on The Jeff Cagle Interview for People, Jake sheepishly fielded questions on his infatuation for his The Good Girl co-star Jennifer Aniston. First he diverted with sarcasm, then he took the fifth only to break it with a halting admission.

Jake Gyllenhaal has starred with some of Hollywood’s biggest actresses throughout his career – everyone from Anne Hathaway to Rene Russo to Rachel McAdams to Natalie Portman to Reese Witherspoon. But it was Jennifer Aniston, Gyllenhaal’s costar in The Good Girl, who left the actor almost speechless.

“She’s a rough one. Not likable. So hard to compliment,” Gyllenhaal joked to PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle in the latest edition of The Jess Cagle Interview.

Gyllenhaal was 22 years old when The Good Girl came out, and the film found him playing Aniston’s onscreen love interest. “I will say, I had a crush on her for years. And working with her was not easy,” Gyllenhaal said of making the film with Aniston. “I was – um, yeah. That’s all I’m going to say. It was lovely. It wasn’t hard, that’s what I would say.”

[From People]

If I didn’t know better, I would think this was a bona fide – and lingering – crush. But let’s face it; I don’t know any better.

Last year was the ten year anniversary of Brokeback Mountain. Jake was all of 27 when he made that movie. Obviously the role was huge for his career but what might have been even more important to him was his friendship with costar Heath Ledger who died only three years after the movie came out. Jake spoke about Heath’s death to Cagle:

“Personally, it affected me in ways I can’t necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly. In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me.

“I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films … There are real friends, and there is a real community. 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.

[From People]

Maybe that is the secret to Jake’s cloak of ambiguity, he only allows us his professional persona. Really, that’s all any actor owes the public. As a person who wishes she could stop wearing her emotions on her sleeve, I admire the hell out of him for keeping his cards close to his chest. Knowing this, I imagine I won’t forget about Jake anymore.

Photo Credit WENN Photos and Getty Images

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77 Responses to “Jake Gyllenhaal on Jennifer Aniston: ‘I had a crush on her for years’”

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  1. susie says:

    Love the movie. always wondered about these two, and why some something didn’t happened. I bet is because he’s a private person and Aniston loves the attention with her relationship.

    • Artemis says:

      And she was married to Brad Pitt lol.

      • chioma says:

        Ha! @artemis you sure know how to troll the trolls.
        Some people would rather forget that Jennifer Aniston was ever married to Brad Pitt

      • A.Key says:

        And wasn’t he with Kirsten Dunst at the time?

      • Gina says:

        Nothing happened, because Jake I thought, actually is gay.

        That pic of them sharing a smootch – they were both single. No reason they couldn’t have hooked up, she would have loved the press and headlines, as would her longtime PR guru Stephen Huvane, who arranged for Jake to present her with the GLAAD award (where pic is from).

        I don’t really buy what he’s selling: dating Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon (post divorce), Kirsten Dunst and assorted other ‘names,’ it’s always seemed very ‘set-up.’ He’s pushing 40 and has had no serious long term relationship with anyone.

        If there was a chance in heck Jake was straight and for real into Aniston, do you think her PR bestie would have allowed her to hook up with a balding no name struggling actor poser dude like Justin whathisface, that no one cares about?

        This is a woman who went crawling back to John Mayer after being dumped twice, who humiliated herself waiting around for, of all people…Vince Vaughn while he reportedly cavorted with co-eds overseas. The tabs put a countdown clock on how long he kept his distance from Aniston.

        So I’m sure..if there was a chance in hell-o, that she and Gyllenhal could have hooked up and allowed the women’s mags and rags to scream that big predictable headline, ‘BRAD WHO?!’ like they always did with whoever she attempted to date- but especially with ‘Jake Gyllenhaal’…they would have. Lol.

        This reminds me of when Shemar Moore went on Ellen and said he’d like to date the then eternally single lady Aniston, weeks after he was snapped at a gay beach. Lolol Suffice it to say, they never dated either. :-P

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Um, Shemar Moore uses our local Whole Foods as a pick up joint and is notorious for having many ladies over to his house for romps. He is a big time player with the ladies.

        I wouldn’t believe every “gay” rumor that you hear.

      • Gina says:

        @Tiffany

        Hahahahahahahahahaha. Girl, bye.

      • Snowflake says:

        @ Tiffany
        And were is this whole foods store located at? 😄

  2. Lucy2 says:

    Jake has become one of my favorite actors. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and I think he is wise to stay private. The crush story is cute though.

  3. Nancy says:

    I think that movie was Jennifer’s best work. Their chemistry was amazing and his little crush probably added to both of their performances. He said over the years she has never forgotten his birthday and sends him a card every year. He was only 22 and probably very much more impressionable back in the beginning of his career.

    • SKF says:

      People here love to hate Jen but it is telling to me that everyone she’s ever worked with adores her, that she seems to befriend everyone she meets, that people rave about how sweet and lovely and friendly and funny she is. Yeah she seems set in her ways and she’s not an intellectual but these are not crimes against humanity. One can like both Angie and Jen. I think she seems like a genuinely lovely, fun person.

      • Nancy says:

        SKF: Some people just can’t accept that the fact that whole mess ended over a decade ago. Over and out, Let it die and rest in peace. However, on this particular thread, I haven’t noticed anything too snarky. Hopefully fans of JA will stay on her threads and AJ on hers. Problem solved.

      • MC2 says:

        SKF- Do I hear words of wisdom?!?! I agree with your post 100%. I don’t really think of Jen as a Meryl Streep or anything but everyone who knows her seems to really like her. I value people who treat others well so I like her.
        Angie is a totally different person and I think it sucks that these two are still pitted against each other & compared constantly. I really think people should move on already.
        P.S.- Good Girl was her best work imo. That was a great movie that is one of my top favorites.

      • Boston Green Eyes says:

        JA does seem like a nice person – I’ve got no qualms with her. It is telling that her ex-mother-in-law (Brad’s mom) still loves her and hangs with her from time to time.

      • Tarsha says:

        Not everyone. There were a few who worked with her who weren’t too favourably disposed towards her. Jay Mohr for one.

      • Tarsha says:

        That’s a myth. Pitt’s parents haven’t been seen with, nor associated with Aniston in many years.

      • doofus says:

        Jay Mohr, who called Michelle Obama a man and fat-shamed Alyssa Milano after her pregnancy? and doesn’t “understand” why men shouldn’t refer to women (as a whole) as “bitches”?

        yeah, not too interested in his opinion of ANY woman.

      • elle says:

        Thank you, doofus. I was thinking, “Jay Mohr is the litmus test?” but couldn’t remember the specific examples of his asshattery.

      • Gina says:

        @bostongreeneyes. Regarding Brad’s Mom – you sure are reaching into the time vault for that one. Lol. Pitt’s Mom was seen visiting Aniston,11 years ago – shortly after her son left her. She hasn’t been seen with her since. But if it makes you feel better please think they’ve been besties in the intervening years. Haha. Id suggest maybe..getting over it, and moving on.

        That said…

        People in the fandom have loathed Aniston for good reason. Whether it’s the mileage she tried to get demonizing Pitt, and then Angelina, or the recent years when she and her PR had a surrogate like Chelsea Handler trying to do her dirty work. We see through the b.s.

        For me, and this is my honest non biased (ha!) opinion…seriously: I think she’s one of those people, if she perceives you have a status or something of value that can help her ‘image-wise,’ she will be a great slobbering tactile bear-huggy type friend.

        If you can’t do anything for her, she’s not that nice. AT least this is what I’ve heard. One need only to look at all of the guys from ‘friends’ her so called family, that she didn’t invite to her wedding (yet Terry Richardson was there, lol). How she treats her mother. Even when she’s made films, she tries to put forth an idea that she’s soooo close to her co-stars, until in interviews you find out she doesn’t even know bateman’s or sandler’s wives or kid’s names, she didn’t get an invite to barrymore’s wedding, and people she claims are such loyal pals – she never speaks of after they’ve served their purpose, and vice versa..etc.

        They seem to be surface friendships for the benefit of her promotions.

    • Magpie says:

      Agree, she was great in that. It could have been a game changer if the follow ups had delivered.

  4. Catelina says:

    Would’ve made a cute couple honestly.

  5. Fiorella says:

    Recently saw southpaw and night crawler. Respectively decent and mind blowing…he is one of my faves.

  6. Melibea says:

    Ok, I little bit of off topic but I probably watched some other version of the movie they made together cause people keep talking about how good this movie was and I didn’t like it at all,it was boring and overrated and I’m not a Jennifer Aniston hater by the way.

    • Artemis says:

      It’s one of the few movies I love with Aniston but only because it’s really Gyllenhaal that stood out for me. I watched it as a teen and I had a big crush on his character. It even compelled me to read Catcher in the Rye (which was awful)! His impact :)

  7. sauvage says:

    I would have loved to see this happen, as opposed to her coupling with The Emotive Eyebrow…

  8. tracking says:

    They had great chemistry, would love for them to work together again.

  9. Esmom says:

    I like what he said about how “synthesized love” doesn’t matter and that it’s the relationships they build on set that are most important. He seemed to have a great friendship with Heath. And you could see how fond he was of Jennifer.

    I’m probably in the minority but I hated Brokeback Mountain. It felt like a Lifetime movie to me. Donnie Darko, though, is one of my all-time favorites.

    • Anne tommy says:

      I liked Brokeback but have to say Heath Ledger’s performance was the standout, I had always considered him a bit of an bland pretty boy before that, but he was fantastic.

    • M.A.F. says:

      I’m with you on Brokeback Mountain. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I’m just not a big love story person.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It is so interesting what moves one person and doesn’t move another. BBM completely tore me up. The smelling of the shirt at the end made me bawl like a baby. I feel like they really communicated the feeling of love. On the other hand, I watched Atonement and sat stone faced. My friend couldn’t believe I wasn’t moved at all by that film. It just didn’t touch me.

      Hmmm.

      I agree about Donnie Darko, though. I really love that movie. It has been too long since I have seen it!

      • M.A.F. says:

        For me, it had more to do with directing & the over all story . The opening shot was a little long for me and just the over-all pace too slow. I cried too during that scene and the acting spectacular but I found the story line generic. I think I wanted something more, if that makes sense.

  10. AG-UK says:

    Love him my 2nd husband. I think the not ageing well has to do with being very thin for Nightcrawler and going back to his normal self. That doesn’t work for some (eg Matthew Mc) he also looks older. I think Jake has made some good choices over the last few years but not sure if Demolition is one of those but will see.

  11. sofie says:

    It is well known in the industry that the guy is gay. This is just his pr public persona soundbites.

  12. SilkyMalice says:

    What a sweet interview. I have always liked Jake – he seems like a really stand-up guy and obviously has smarts and a good head on his shoulders.

  13. A.Key says:

    I love Jake and this is a cute story, but honestly, the guy has terrible taste in women, Kirsten Dunst, Reese Witherspoon, and the last few years he switched to supermodels according to gossip sites.
    Him liking a woman doesn’t really say much. And I’m not talking about looks here at all.

    • Jayna says:

      He’s my favorite actor under 40. He talked about in the interview just looking at movies as a job, and he turned it back around and found his passion for it again and began taking roles from that passion.

      I watch anything he’s in. Even if I thought the movie was okay, I love him in it, and it’s worth watching for his performance.

    • teacakes says:

      I can’t argue about Reese ‘American Citizen’ Witherspoon, but Kirsten Dunst seems pretty down-to-earth and a decent person all around, despite her past issues and supposed party-girl past.

      It actually speaks better of him that he dated someone like her. Pretty much everyone who’s come after that has been a huge downgrade, either through being immature and embarrassing (Swift) or just plain embarrassing (Wetherspoon)

  14. Dani says:

    I’ve always loved Jake. I know Love & Drugs gets hated on a lot but I thought it was a really good movie with a good message and both he and Anne did well. I remember him at the 12.12.12 concert saying something or presenting something and he had just debuted his bear and dayummmm. I think he’s aging pretty well, actually. Not pretty anymore but definitely handsome.

  15. For laugs says:

    He could’ve said this in the surviving divorce and sorry for me years and it would have been easy score for him.lol and saved us all from long dragged case .(not that it guaranties it but..)No not then He make sure she is “taken”Let’s hope jaky is not setting this for them attentions and reminders…

  16. madmenluv says:

    Didn’t he also date Taylor Swift for like quick second back in 2010? I remember pictures of them around Thanksgiving or something…

  17. Intuitive says:

    Jeez, jake what did you talk about? Hair and work-outs?! I figured you were smarter than that.

    • Alice too says:

      I’m one of those women that gay men seem to adore for some unknown (to me anyways) reason. I’ve had more than one gay friend admit to having had a “crush” on me, not in a “I want to sleep with you” kind of way, but in a “If I was ever going to marry a woman, it would be you” way.

      I think it’s perfectly possible for gay men to have crushes on women without it being a sex thing. Just saying…

  18. Ohayo says:

    I love Jake! Such an underrated actor.
    And he seems to be such a good sport. Really nice to see him on talk shows or interviews.