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Jake Gyllenhaal: 'Being a child actor can be dangerous'

Published 05/04/2016

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal is glad his parents encouraged him to study hard when he was a young actor.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has warned of the perils of being a child actor.

The 35-year-old made his screen debut in 1991 movie City Slickers at the age of 11, but he's convinced pre-teen success isn't always a good idea, and parents need to be careful if they have a talented kid.

"I think any professional business for a child, where they’re not allowed to necessarily be a child, is always dangerous, you know?" he explained to Fox411. "I think kids should be allowed to be kids.

"I always believe in an education. I think that you can have however much talent and people can tell you that or not, but an education has always been the thing that’s gotten me through."

Jake's family is wrapped up in showbusiness - his father Stephen is a director and mother Naomi is a screenwriter, while sister Maggie is also an actor - but he never felt he was anything special growing up.

"I went to school and I was lucky enough to go to college and, as a result of that, I think I really know what good material is," he added. "I know what moves me because I read the great material."

In his new comedy-drama, Demolition, Jake plays an investment banker who loses his wife in a tragic car accident, and while he is proud of his work, he recently admitted he still gets asked about his penchant for playing moody, oddball characters.

"People say to me a lot, 'Why don't you just go do a romantic comedy? Do a fun movie'," he told the US edition of Elle. "I'm down with having fun, by the way, but I find, sometimes, those movies to be more perverse than the movies that I make."

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