'It was not just that Jake Gyllenhaal was doing the part, whom I'd been in love with since he was three years old. The first time I saw Jake he was running across my in-laws' back lawn to the pool, because he was best friends with my twin nieces, and I remember turning to my sister in law and asking, "Who is that beautiful child?" He just was magical, always, so generous and open. I remember the sixth grade show they had at the end of the year. There he was, this sixth grade boy, and he stood up and sang "The Music of the Night" fromPhantom of the Opera. What a song for an eleven year old! I thought, this kid is a star. Whether or not he's going to be a movie star, who knows, but he's a star in the world, because he's luminous.'
'We do have it on video! My in-laws have it. It's just crazy, we looked at it one Thanksgiving, still before he became a star, and I thought it all over again. So, for me to be acting with him — and also with Buddy [Swayze], who in many ways was a hero of mine, because he'd been the first person from our acting class who'd really made it, and who'd been a big influence in teaching me to love and accept myself as a character actress — the role became kind of true to life. It was a magical experience doing that film, it really was.'
Many thanks to IHJ for the new and old pictures!