Sunday, June 16

Jake Gyllenhaal uses legally blind status as an advantage while acting: ‘Never known anything else’

Jake Gyllenhaal made his acting debut alongside Billy Crystal in the 1991 comedy “City Slickers,” and has since earned accolades for his on-screen abilities.

Gyllenhaal, 43, doesn’t let his legally blind status stop him from taking opportunities when it comes to his impressive acting career.

The “Road House” star was born with a lazy eye that naturally corrected itself, and has been wearing corrective lenses since he was six years old.  

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“I like to think it’s advantageous,” he told The Hollywood Reporter of being legally blind. “I’ve never known anything else.”

He added, “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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Gyllenhaal has a 20/1250 prescription as determined through the Snellen Eye Chart, a test most commonly used by optometrists in the United States. 

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the United States government determined a visual acuity of 20/400 is very low functional vision.

His blindness proved to be a helpful tool for a character, though. In the 2015 boxing movie “Southpaw,” police told his character that his wife died, and Gyllenhaal removed his contacts so that he could listen closely for his next movement.

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In 2017, he told The Telegraph that wearing his thick, Coke-bottle-like glasses in school made him stand out more than other students.

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

As far as his dating life goes, Gyllenhaal was hesitant to discuss his six-year relationship with French model Jeanne Cadieu, and refused to answer any questions about marriage.

“I think we all get into that space of work, work, work, and for a long time my career took precedence, but I’m at a point in my life where I realize that family really is the only thing that matters to me,” he said.

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