Jake Gyllenhaal hit hard by Heath’s death

Jake Gyllenhaal taking Heath's death 'harder than most'


Heath Ledger’s tragic and sudden death is said to have hit his friend – and Brokeback Mountain co-star – Jake Gyllenhaal extremely hard.

The actor, who is godfather to Ledger’s two-year-old daughter Matilda, has been devastated by his friend’s untimely passing.

One of Gyllenhaal’s friends said: ‘Jake is taking this harder than most.’ Sources on the set of is new movie, Brothers, which he’s filming in New Mexico, said that he left the set immediately upon learning of Ledger’s death on Tuesday 22 January, but flew back on Thursday to shoot a scene.

‘This has had a strong personal effect on [Jake],’ said a set insider. ‘He was there, but he wasn’t with us. It was obviously a major trauma. ‘These guys were very close. [Jake] was sitting in the director’s chair staring off into space.’

Gyllenhaal has been off since shooting that scene, and was photographed on Saturday looking sombre with girlfriend Reese Witherspoon in Los Angeles. Set sources say director Jim Sheridan is shooting around the grieving actor during his personal leave.

His mood is a sharp contrast to earlier shooting scenes, where Jake even made fun of his scenes with Heath in Brokeback Mountain.

During one intense early prison scene, Gyllenhaal jokingly reached into his pocket and took out a picture of Heath to stick on the prison wall. ‘Like those prisoners put [loved ones] on the wall, but Jake’s was Heath Ledger,’ the set source recalls. ‘That was hilarious. It was a nice moment.’

The source adds: ‘When you think back on it now, it’s touching.’

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