HOLLYWOOD - JULY 15: (US TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actor Jake Gyllenhaal answers questions following the screening of the film "Donnie Darko: The Directors Cut" at the Egyptian Theatre on July 15, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
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Jake Gyllenhaal Related A Lot To Donnie Darko, Except For All That Rabbit Stuff
Richard Kelly’s 2001 film "Donnie Darko" resonates with a younger population simply because it captures the angst and low-level anxiety of adolescence, making it a perfect coming-of-age story. In fact, Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Donnie Darko in the film, related to his character from the beginning.
Gyllenhaal was only 19 years old when he took on the role of Donnie, whose complex struggles really spoke to him at the time. "It beautifully captured the experience of moving into adulthood: The world that felt so solid becoming moveable and liquid," he explained.
The movie has an uncanny ability to pick up on the frailty of the boundary between childhood and adulthood, and for Gyllenhaal, Donnie's coming-of-age story struck close to home with one significant difference. "This is what my adolescence felt like," he told The Guardian. "Although I don't speak, and have never spoken to, rabbits."