Jake Gyllenhaal's starring role in Southpaw is being praised for its stark portrayal of a boxer battling personal tragedy. Gyllenhaal, too, is receiving rave reviews for his dramatic physical change and his dedication in studying the craft of boxing.
But long before Southpaw, Gyllenhaal had a different dream: Joining the cast of a now-iconic hockey movie. You may have heard of it. The Mighty Ducks.
At the time, the actor had one credit to his name, appearing in the Billy Crystal comedy City Slickers. He was thrilled when he was offered a part in the Disney film, but his parents told him it was a no-go.
"My parents were like, 'Look, you’re about to enter junior high school, you gotta get your education, that's the most important thing. I promise you, you hate us now, but you'll thank us later,'" Gyllenhaal recalled in an interview with Howard Stern. "And I do."
At the time, however, Gyllenhaal couldn't make sense of the decision.
"I definitely remember crying on the kitchen counter," Gyllenhaal said. "I was like, 'You guys are crazy.'"
The son of a director father and a screenwriter mom, Gyllenhaal -- whose sister is the actress Maggie Gyllenhaal -- grew up determined to make a career in the movies.
Jake Gyllenhaal did go on to study at Columbia University in New York for two years, following in his sister's footsteps, but he dropped out to focus on acting. Given the way his career has played out -- he's drawn high praise for performances in Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, and last year's dark thriller Nightcrawler -- it's hard to criticize his parents' decision.
But we're left to wonder what Mighty Ducks might have been with yet another memorable face mixed into the Quack Attack.