Jake Gyllenhaal
Source: Variety YouTube

Jake Gyllenhaal has been one of the most A-list stars in Hollywood for decades. That’s why you might be surprised to learn that he is legally blind.

Gyllenhaal Opens Up About Being Legally Blind

Fox News reported that Gyllenhaal, 43, was born with a lazy eye that naturally corrected itself. However, this left him legally blind, and he has been wearing corrective lenses since he was six years old.  

Despite this, he’s never let his legally blind status hold him back in Hollywood.

“I like to think it’s advantageous,” Gyllenhaal told The Hollywood Reporter of being legally blind. “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,” he added.

Gyllenhaal’s Vision

Gyllenhaal has a 20/1250 prescription. According to the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), a visual acuity of 20/400 is considered very low functional vision.

Gyllenhaal previously revealed that having to wear coke-bottle-like glasses in school resulted in him being bullied.

“I was an easy target,” he lamented. “And I was always a sensitive kid.”

At times in his career, however, being legally blind has come in handy for Gyllenhaal. In his 2015 boxing movie Southpaw, there’s a scene in which Gyllenhaal’s character is told by police that his wife has died.

For the scene, Gyllenhaal reportedly removed his contacts so that he could listen closely for his next movement. He felt that this would make his reaction seem even more realistic.

Related: Jake Gyllenhaal Set to Return in ‘Road House’ Sequel

Gyllenhaal’s History

Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, California on December 19, 1980. He was born into the world of Hollywood, as his parents are the producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner and the director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is also the younger brother of the Oscar-nominated actress, screenwriter, and director Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal was just 11 years-old when he made his big screen debut in the 1991 movie City Slickers. His career really took off in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he starred in hit movies like October Sky (1999) and Donnie Darko (2001). For the latter film, he received an Independent Spirit Award Best Actor nomination.

It was his performance in the 2005 movie Brokeback Mountain, however, that brought Gyllenhaal to a whole new level of success. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film, losing out to George Clooney for Syriana. Gyllenhaal did end up winning the Best Supporting Actor Award at the BAFTAs, which is the British version of the Oscars.

Related: 10 Movies And Shows You Probably Didn’t Know Geoge Clooney Appeared In

Gyllenhaal’s Hollywood Success Continues

Gyllenhaal’s career has soared in the years since then. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in the 2010 movie Love & Other Drugs. It looked like he’d be headed back to the Oscars for the 2014 movie Nightcrawler. However, he was shockingly snubbed by the Academy.

However, that year Gyllenhaal was still nominated for the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama Golden Globe, the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role SAG & the Best Actor in a Leading Role BAFTA Award. Leading Role BAFTA Award.

This all just goes to show that Gyllenhaal really has never let his legal blind status hold him back from success in Hollywood. His story serves as an inspiration to never let anything stop you from achieving your dreams!

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