11 Movie Roles Jake Gyllenhaal Could’ve Played, But Didn’t Land in the End

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Pandora Cinema

With a director dad and a screenwriter mom, it wasn’t a surprise when Jake Gyllenhaal ended up in show business — and his older sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, did, too! But he had to wait until 1991 for his City Slickers debut since his parents wanted him to spend his summers working as a lifeguard or a busboy instead of acting. Sometimes they even forbade him from accepting roles he’d auditioned for! His passion for the stage was always brewing, but it was no wonder his career didn’t take off until he’d spent a couple of years at Columbia and was on his own.

He’s been a household name ever since. With titles under his belt like Brokeback Mountain and Donnie Darko along with an array of acting awards, it’s kind of crazy to think that he wouldn’t be able to star in anything that caught his eye. But even after his parents’ relinquished their hold on his career, the 37-year-old didn’t always have the easiest time landing roles. Sure, sometimes he was the one doing the rejecting, but not always. You’d be surprised how many major movies you almost saw this familiar face in. If only…