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Jake Gyllenhaal Opens Up About Heath Ledger's Death In Emotional Interview

In an emotional new interview, Jake Gyllenhaal opened up about the impact Heath Ledger's death had on him.

The actor starred alongside Ledger in the 2005 movie "Brokeback Mountain," where the two shared a special bond throughout filming.

PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle sat down with Gyllenhaal to discuss the actor's career, his movies and his experiences working with different stars.

Toward the end of the interview, Cagle asked Gyllenhaal how Ledger's death affected him.

Jake responded,

I don't know if I can answer that in one answer. Personally, it affected me in ways I can't necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly... In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me.

Ledger died at age 28 from an accidental intoxication of prescription drugs. Gyllenhaal, now 35, just turned 27 at the time, so it was one of the first real losses he experienced.

He continued,

I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films ... There are real friends, and there is a real community... There is also that [new Macklemore song] where he says, 'The curtain closes and nobody notices' ... I think that's true, and I think that's [OK]. But I think at the time, I assumed everyone would notice -- and they did with Heath dying, but I think it [gave me] the experience of, 'This is fleeting.' And none of the attention or synthesized love that comes from the success of a film really matters at all. What matters is the relationships you make when you make a film, and the people you learn from when you're preparing for a film. That changed a lot for me.

Years after Ledger's death, we never forget the impact he had on all our lives.

You can watch Gyllenhaal's full interview in the clip above.

Citations: Jake Gyllenhaal on Heath Ledger's Death: 'It Affected Me in Ways I Can't Put Into Words' (PEOPLE)