Man, time really does fly, doesn’t it? It’s so crazy to think that Heath Ledger died more than 7 years ago, back in January 2008. I remember when it happened like it was yesterday, and it certainly doesn’t feel that long ago. It still feels particularly fresh for Jake Gyllenhaal, who was close friends with Ledger and, of course, worked with him in Brokeback Mountain. In a new interview with Terry Gross on NPR to promote his new movie, Southpaw, Jake opened up about how much he still misses Heath.
“I’m trying to be present where I am. I’m trying to have relationships that are as real as they possibly can be on a movie set, be close to people because I know that it’s precious,” Gyllenhaal said. “And I know, not only can this career end in a very short period of time and this or that can happen, but also that life is precious.”
“I think losing Heath and being a part of a family that was something like the movie, that movie we all made together, makes you …appreciate that and hopefully moves you away from the things that really don’t matter to the things that do.”
“I miss him as a human being and I miss working with him,” he said, “and what an unfortunate thing it is that we won’t be able to see the beauty of his expression.”
“He was incredibly special and that doesn’t even come close to encapsulating who he is, who he was,” he said.
I’ll be honest in saying that while I absolutely believe that Heath was incredibly talented and had a lot of promise, I wasn’t quite as deeply affected by his death as many seemed to be. However, I think it was more than just being about Heath himself. There was the fact that he was so young, as well, which really shocked people and made it all even sadder. It’s a shame we never got to see him grow more as an actor, for sure.