Nightcrawler star Jake Gyllenhaal celebrates turning 34

Happy birthday, Jake Gyllenhaal! As the indie actor celebrates turning 34, HELLO! Online takes a look at what the stars have in store for Jake and you…

This is what Jake, who is a Sagittarius, can be expecting today:

Teachers take pains to instruct children on the principles of mathematics. Two plus two can only make four. It is true that if you put one number two directly in front of another two, you get twenty-two, but that's not addition, it is overstatement and we all know what happens when people repeatedly argue in favour of questionable connections. Your contribution to a spirit of seasonal goodwill, this weekend, needs to involve trying to take the heat away from a brewing dispute, rather than bringing it back to the boil.

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Born in 1980, six days before Christmas, to director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Jake Gylleenhaal grew up with Jamie Lee Curtis as his godmother, Paul Newman giving him driving lessons and Dustin Hoffman as his acting mentor.

By the age of 11 Jake found himself on his first real-life film set, playing Billy Crystal's son in City Slickers. Despite his father's admonition not to plump for films over college, the talented youngster popped up again in the 1999 flick October Sky, before eventually making his way to Columbia University where he studied Eastern Religions.

After two years though, Jake had dropped out to get back into the audition circuit, narrowly missing out on Ewan McGregor's part in the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge. "It was so close. I sang and everything," recalls the actor. "It was between me, Heath Ledger and Ewan."

Any disappointment he felt was soon tempered by winning a string of juicy roles, most notably in indie cult hit Donnie Darko, and The Day After Tomorrow, a blockbuster which impressed studio bosses with ticket sales of $542 million.

In 2004 he found himself in a small riverside trailer camp in the wilds of Alberta, Canada, shooting Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee's adaptation of a homosexual cowboy romance, with Australian hunk Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. The trio of actors came away with firm friendships and, in the case of the Aussie star and Montana-born Michelle, a lasting love which shortly after produced Jake's godchild, the couple's daughter Matilda.

The young actor's rapport with Heath shone through helping the film net a haul of awards including four Golden Globes, four BAFTAs and three Oscars.

Jake also received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

In 2006 Jake made his stage debut in This is Our Youth on the West End to critical acclaim, before making an off-Broadway performance in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet in 2012.

Once named one of People magazine's hottest bachelors he's inevitably notched up some talked-about romances, having been linked to Natalie Portman and Spiderman actress Kirsten Dunst, who he dated for two years. Although he split with Kirsten in 2004, they still share custody of two dogs, Atticus and Boo Radley, who are named after characters in their favourite book To Kill A Mockingbird.

In 2009 Jake dated Reese Witherspoon, and Jake had a short but high-profile relationship with pop star Taylor Swift in 2010.

In recent years, the talented 34-year-old has starred in a string of hit indie films, including End of Watch and thriller Enemy. So far in 2014, Jake has received 16 nominations for his performance in Nightcrawler, a dark tale of the media and privacy, including a SAG and Golden Globe, and he is also expected to garner a BAFTA and Academy Award nod.
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