Written by Zoë Holloway, April 7, 2016

Jake Gyllenhaal has opened up about his personal experience after Heath Ledger’s tragic death in 2008.

The two actors starred opposite each other in the 2005 Academy Award winning film Brokeback Mountain, and the 35-year-old actor says that Heath’s death impacted both his personal and professional life.

Speaking with People Magazine, Jake highlights that he was only 27 when the Australian actor passed away and still to this day struggles to talk about his death.

‘Personally, it affected me in ways I can’t necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly,’ he told Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle, ‘In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me.’

Jake continues to say that he had never lost a friend up until that point,

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

He continues, ‘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.’

VENICE, Italy: Actors Heath Ledger of Australia (L) and Jake Gyllenhaal of USA joke during a photocall as part of presentation to the press of their movie "Brokeback mountain" in competition at the 62nd edition of Venice International Film Festival in Venice Lido 02 September 2005. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

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