I don’t know if I can answer that in one answer. 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 that clear to me.
You live in this bubble of making films… there are real friends, and there is a real community, but also there’s that moment where ‘the curtain closes and nobody notices’.
I think that’s true, and I think that’s okay.
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’.
“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.”
— Jake Gyllenhaal, speaking to PEOPLE magazine about the tragedy of losing Heath Ledger a few years after starring together in Brokeback Mountain.