Film

The actors, pictured at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005, became close pals while working together on their Oscar-winning movie Brokeback Mountain
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Grief-stricken Jake takes time out from new movie to mourn Heath

31 JANUARY 2008
The sudden death of his close pal Heath Ledger has left Jake Gyllenhaal devastated. "Jake is taking this harder than most people," one of the actor's friends told a US magazine. After learning of the tragedy Jake immediately left the set of Brothers, which he is filming in New Mexico. And although he later returned to finish one scene, he's now been granted compassionate leave.

"This has had a strong effect," says a source on the set, adding: "It was obviously a major trauma. These guys were very close. (Jake) was sitting in the director's chair staring off into space."

The 27-year-old actor formed a strong bond with his Australian co-star when they appeared together in gay cowboy flick Brokeback Mountain, for which they both received Academy Award nods.

Jake, who is godfather to Heath's daughter Matilda, now two, was last seen in public on Saturday, in the company of girlfriend Reese Witherspoon and her children.