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Jake Gyllenhaal on the 20th anniversary of sci-fi epic Donnie Darko: 'A film that changed my life'


As moody as it is trippy, the time travel movie Donnie Darko has become something of a cult classic since its release in January 2001.

And star Jake Gyllenhaal took to his Instagram on Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of the film, with a gallery post containing images of a tattered binder containing his note-filled script from the movie.

The Oscar nominee, 40, included a profound caption, including a well-timed quote from the atmospheric sci-fi epic.

20 already: Jake Gyllenhaal took to his Instagram on Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of Donnie Darko, with a gallery post containing images of a tattered binder containing his note-filled script from the movie

20 already: Jake Gyllenhaal took to his Instagram on Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of Donnie Darko, with a gallery post containing images of a tattered binder containing his note-filled script from the movie

‘Pulled out my script and some artifacts from Donnie Darko… It was released 20 years ago today,’ Jake wrote. 

‘It’s a film that changed my life and my career and it’s been unreal to watch this story find afterlives with new audiences and new generations, and yet, what Donnie said to Roberta Sparrow is still true: “there is so much to look forward to,”‘ he continued.

‘Thank you to all the fans who’ve come up to me over the years with that confused look on their faces and asked me: “what the f**k is Donnie Darko about??”‘ he added. 

With Jena Malone in the film: As moody as it is trippy, time travel movie Donnie Darko has become something of a cult classic since its release in January 2001

With Jena Malone in the film: As moody as it is trippy, time travel movie Donnie Darko has become something of a cult classic since its release in January 2001

‘Happy 20th Donnie! Let’s keep confusing people. Here’s to 20 more.’

Gyllenhaal’s post included eye-opening peeks at his personal notes and polaroids from the film, as well as his highlighted script open to a particular scene.

Donnie Darko starred Jake in the title role, along with his older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle, Beth Grant and Katharine Ross. 

'It’s a film that changed my life and my career and it’s been unreal to watch this story find afterlives with new audiences and new generations,' Jake wrote; seen recently on Instagram

‘It’s a film that changed my life and my career and it’s been unreal to watch this story find afterlives with new audiences and new generations,’ Jake wrote; seen recently on Instagram

Inside view: Gyllenhaal's post included eye-opening peeks at his personal notes and polaroids from the film

Inside view: Gyllenhaal’s post included eye-opening peeks at his personal notes and polaroids from the film

Scene with his therapist (played by Katharine Ross): The post also showed Jake's highlighted script open to a particular scene

Scene with his therapist (played by Katharine Ross): The post also showed Jake’s highlighted script open to a particular scene

Director Richard Kelly drew incredible performances from every actor on screen, especially those who portrayed Donnie’s family.

Along with 1999’s October Sky, the film was one of Jake’s first major leading roles, veritably starting his career.

The film tells the enigmatic story of a captivating high school student in the 1980s who somehow survives an inexplicable accident, before encountering a terrifying figure in a rabbit suit and ultimately discovering scientific mysteries of the universe. 

Unbelievable cast: Donnie Darko starred Jake in the title role, along with his older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone and more

Unbelievable cast: Donnie Darko starred Jake in the title role, along with his older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone and more

Star in the making: Along with 1999's October Sky, the 2001 film was one of Jake's first major leading roles, veritably starting his career

Star in the making: Along with 1999’s October Sky, the 2001 film was one of Jake’s first major leading roles, veritably starting his career

The film is technically superior, with a uniquely moody feel and a stellar soundtrack featuring two classic tracks from Tears For Fears.

Costar Drew Barrymore acted as executive producer on the movie, which was one of the first projects for her Flower Films.

Donnie Darko is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Of the many projects up next for Gyllenhaal, the most anticipated is the thriller Ambulance costarring Eiza Gonzalez.

Excellent beginnings: Costar Drew Barrymore acted as executive producer on the movie, which was one of the first projects for her Flower Films

Excellent beginnings: Costar Drew Barrymore acted as executive producer on the movie, which was one of the first projects for her Flower Films

Brilliant: Jake shared some excellent DD fan art to his Instagram Story on Tuesay

Brilliant: Jake shared some excellent DD fan art to his Instagram Story on Tuesay

Also seen on Gyllenhaal's Instagram story: Donnie Darko is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Also seen on Gyllenhaal’s Instagram story: Donnie Darko is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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