Jake Gyllenhaal: ‘I cried when my parents said I couldn’t star in ‘Mighty Ducks”

Actor's parents made him pass on the role so he could focus on his education

Jake Gyllenhaal has admitted that he cried when his parents said he wasn’t allowed to star in 1992 sports comedy Mighty Ducks.

A 10-year-old Gyllenhaal had made his film debut with a brief appearance in 1991’s City Slickers, but the following year, his parents – director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner – forbade him from taking a role opposite Emilio Estevez and a young Joshua Jackson in Disney’s hit ice hockey flick.

“I definitely remember crying on the kitchen counter,” Gyllenhaal recalled during an appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show. “I was like, ‘You guys are crazy.'”


“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 added. “And I do.”

After passing on Mighty Ducks, Gyllenhaal took a small role in 1993’s A Dangerous Woman, a drama directed by his father and written by his mother, but after that the the budding actor would not appear in another film for six years. His big break would come with a starring role in 2001’s Donnie Darko.

His latest film, boxing drama Southpaw, opened in cinemas this Friday and features a soundtrack executive produced by Eminem. Read the NME review of Southpaw here.