Graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in June 1998.
Jake's father has English, Swedish, Swiss-German, German, and distant Welsh and French, ancestry. Jake's mother's family is Jewish (from Poland and Latvia).
His fans refer to themselves as "Gyllenhaalics".
He was awarded the 2002 London Evening Standard Theate Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his performance in This is Our Youth at the Garrick Theatre in London, England.
Was named one of People Magazine's 50 Hottest Bachelors .
Went to elementary school with band members of Maroon 5.
His favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, and he has two dogs, Atticus and Boo named after characters in the novel.
Auditioned for and was one of the top contenders for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins (2005).
Before success as an actor, he worked as a lifeguard. He never had any life-saving incidents, but did perform one lesser rescue. A swimmer had been stung on the leg by a jellyfish, and Gyllenhaal helped relieve the pain of the stings by urinating on the swimmer's leg.
Although they broke up in July 2004, he and Kirsten Dunst had an on and off relationship up until 2006.
Gained five pounds of muscle for his role in Jarhead (2005).
Was among the guests at Jessica Simpson's 25th birthday party.
He gave Kirsten Dunst a gray and white kitten for her birthday. She named the cat Sophie.
Ranked #48 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. It is his first appearance on the list.
Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
Studied acting with Ivana Chubbuck.
Along with sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, he attended Camp Walt Whitman, an outdoors summer camp in Western New Hampshire.
His uncle, Anders Gyllenhaal, is senior vice president and executive editor of The Miami Herald in Miami, Florida.
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 adelskalender" in Swedish).
Campaigned for the Democrats in the 2004 US election.
Voted #10 in Elle (France) Magazine's "15 Sexiest Men" poll (June 2007).
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).
Was personally approved by Joe Namath to play the football legend in a proposed biopic about the latter's life.
Was ranked #8 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actors list. (2008).
Very good friends with actress Jennifer Aniston.
Brother-in-law of Peter Sarsgaard.
He and sister Maggie Gyllenhaal are the first siblings to be Oscar-nominated for acting in the 21st century.
Appeared on the cover of GQ magazine three times: June '04, February '07 and May '10.
Received his first driving lesson from his godfather, Paul Newman.
His parents forbade him to be in The Mighty Ducks (1992), as the film would have taken him out of town for two months (it was shot in Minnesota).
Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard, Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Daniel Brühl are the only actors to receive a Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Critics' Choice Award nominations for the same performance and then fail to be Oscar-nominated for it: for their performances in Nightcrawler (2014), The Departed (2006), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), Rust and Bone (2012), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), Captain Phillips (2013) and Rush (2013), respectively.
Is a fan of Marion Cotillard and presented her the Best Actress award (for The Immigrant (2013) and Two Days, One Night (2014)) at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on January 5, 2015, calling himself a fan of her work and saying of her career, "I can't think of a better word to use than spectacular".