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Jake Gyllenhaal desperate to be a dad

Jake Gyllenhaal hopes he is lucky enough to have children.

The 34-year-old star plays a father-of-one in his new film Southpaw, and it's reminded the actor of just how much he would like to be in that position in real life too.

"I am not a father yet, but it is definitely a dream of mine, should I be lucky to have that to happen," he confessed to Entertainment Tonight. "I have nieces who I love deeply and I have children in my life I love deeply, but when I met Oona [Laurence, who plays his daughter] for the first time, I just fell for her. Your heart opens up to her."

The youngster celebrated her birthday while making the film, which also stars Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker. Jake went all out to make the day memorable for his on-screen offspring, filling her trailer with balloons and candy.

"Children are everything, you know? I'd do anything for any child," he smiled.

On set, Jake realised that kids can teach adults a lot too. Oona was the one helping direct how he played his character, boxer Billy Hope, not the other way around.

"When I started acting with her too, she was the one who was guiding me," he said. "We improved a lot, and she would make choices, I would just follow her in an improv, and that's the dynamic."

How soon Jake will be able to fulfil his wish to become a parent remains to be seen, as while he's recently been linked to his Southpaw co-star Rachel McAdams as well as actress Ruth Wilson, he is yet to confirm a relationship.

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