Jake Gyllenhaal Cried When He Had To Pass On ‘The Mighty Ducks’

Jake Gyllenhaal in a black jacket and orange turtleneck

By Elyse Johnson |

Jake Gyllenhaal in a black jacket and orange turtleneck

(Getty Images)

Jake Gyllenhaal is now a well-known A-lister with an impressive resume to match. He began acting as a child and starred in several of his father’s films. It wasn’t until the late ’90s and early 2000s that Gyllenhaal began to earn critical recognition. However, there was one film just before his career took off that Gyllenhaal missed out on. The actor revealed that he was almost in the iconic Disney film, The Mighty Ducks.

During an interview with Howard Stern in 2015, Gyllenhaal stated that he was offered the part of team leader Charlie Conway. Gyllenhaal desperately wanted the role, but taking the part would have required the actor to miss out on a lot of school. Unfortunately for the young star, his parents were against it, and the actor unfortunately had to pass on the opportunity.

Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t regret passing the puck

Gyllenhaal told Stern that when his parents made him pass on the role, he was upset and broke down in tears. At the time, he didn’t understand why he had to do it. Now, he looks back and sees why it was the right choice.

“My parents were like, ‘Look, you’re about to enter junior high school, you’ve got to get your education, that’s the most important thing. I promise you, you hate us now, but you’ll thank us later,’” the actor said. “And I do, I thank them later.”

The role of Charlie Conway eventually went to Dawson’s Creek star Joshua Jackson, who reprised the role in the sequel. The sports-comedy film, which also starred Emilio Estevez in one of his most iconic roles, was a major success in the ’90s. While the movie was not well-received critically, it became a cult classic and spawned two sequels.

Gyllenhaal went on to appear in A Dangerous Woman with his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Homegrown. His aforementioned breakthrough roles in Donnie Darko, October Sky and The Day After Tomorrow came just a few years after he passed on the Disney film.

The 39-year-old actor received international and critical acclaim when he portrayed Jack Twist in the romantic-drama, Brokeback Mountain. The film also starred the late Heath Ledger, who was a close friend of Gyllenhaal and made Gyllenhaal the godfather of his daughter, Matilda.

The actor is very private when it comes to his personal life. He’s typically kept quiet about his dating life as well, but he’s been linked to various actresses throughout the years. In 2018, GossipCop busted a rumor that Gyllenhaal was dating former co-star Jennifer Aniston after the actress had split from her ex-husband, Justin Theroux. GossipCop found the claim to be untrue.