Jake Gyllenhaal Calls Being Legally Blind in Hollywood “Advantageous”

Jake Gyllenhaal has shared how his legal blindness has shaped his career in Hollywood, describing it as “advantageous.” Known for his roles in ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Nightcrawler,’ Gyllenhaal was born with a lazy eye that corrected itself over time. Since the age of six, he’s been wearing strong corrective lenses but remains legally blind.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gyllenhaal reflected on his condition: “I like to think it’s advantageous. I’ve never known anything else. When I can’t see in the morning, before I put on my glasses, it’s a place where I can be with myself.”

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Jake Gyllenhaal Blind
Image Courtesy: EW

This unique perspective has influenced his acting. While filming ‘Southpaw’ in 2015, Gyllenhaal chose to remove his contacts during an emotional scene where his character learns of his wife’s death. He believed this would enhance his listening and emotional response.

Recently, Gyllenhaal starred in the remake of the 1980s cult classic ‘Road House,’ which premiered on Amazon Prime Video. It became the platform’s biggest movie debut, attracting over 50 million viewers in its first two weeks. Gyllenhaal plays Elwood Dalton, a bouncer and former UFC fighter, a role originally made famous by Patrick Swayze. He stars alongside Conor McGregor and Billy Magnussen.

Jake Gyllenhaal Blind
Image Courtesy: THR

For this role, Gyllenhaal adhered to a strict diet. Even during a scene involving food, he avoided eating a single potato crisp to maintain his regimen. He commented, “If you really look, I don’t eat tacos. You see me take the plate, and I say thank you, and then the scene cuts – you never actually see me take a mouthful. One chip would have ruined the whole thing.”

The filming wasn’t without its challenges. Gyllenhaal injured his hand on set, resulting in an infection. “We’re fighting on the floor, around tables, and glass. I put my hand on the bar, straight onto the glass,” he recalled on the ‘Armchair Expert With Dax’ podcast. “I felt the glass go into my hand,” he added, detailing how his arm swelled up, leading to a staph infection.

Jake Gyllenhaal Blind
Image Courtesy: New York Post

Gyllenhaal’s next big project is the lead role in Apple TV+’s new legal thriller miniseries ‘Presumed Innocent,’ set to stream on June 12.