Throughout our Voters’ Choice campaign (now extended to June 30), we have been devoting a blog post to each of our nominees. This week, it’s the turn of Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner, Jake Gyllenhaal.
Jake Gyllenhaal has won critical acclaim and awards for the diverse role he has played, from a troubled psychotic in Donnie Darko to a hostile Marine in Jarhead to the part he is perhaps most famous for—Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain.
He was raised in a home with deep connections to the movie business. His father is director Steven Gyllenhaal and his mother is producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner. Still, Jake Gyllenhaal grew up with his feet planted firmly on the ground. From a young age, his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic, even insisting that he take summer jobs as a lifeguard and busboy to support himself.
Lessons on community activism were also part of his youth. He and his family have long supported the American Civil Liberties Union. Mr. Gyllenhaal and his sister, actor Maggie Gyllenhaal, have also worked with Rock the Vote and Declare Yourself to encourage young people to vote.
Jake Gyllenhaal supports a number of environmental causes. Every year he contributes funds to plant trees in Mozambique. The mango and nut trees act as a carbon offset and also provide a self-sustaining food source for the people who live there. He ventured to the Canadian Arctic, at the request of Global Green, to raise awareness of global warming. His work with Global Green also brought him to a Los Angeles high school, where he helped plant an organic garden.
By auctioning off the shirts he and co-star Heath Ledger wore in Brokeback Mountain, he raised funds for Variety – The Children’s Charity. He participated in another auction to benefit the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. He has also supported the Afghanistan Relief Organization, GLAAD, and Hillsides, a children’s rights organization.
You can learn more about Jake Gyllenhaal and cast your vote for him at the Team Gyllenhaal Facebook page http://bit.ly/VoteJake. The campaign ends June 30, so cast your vote before then and be sure to sign the petition too, since it will be delivered directly to Mr. Gyllenhaal if he is one of the winning nominees.