During an interview today for his new movie 'Love and Other Drugs,' actor Jake Gyllenhaal spoke to Moviefone about his co-star Jill Clayburgh, who died Friday after a 21-year battle with chronic leukemia.
When asked what he remembered about working with Clayburgh, who plays his mother in the film, Gyllenhaal had this to say:
"She worked three days on the movie, and I remember sitting with her and immediately opening up to her. And I didn't know that she had been struggling with leukemia with 20 years; I didn't know that until I heard that she had passed away [Friday], which was a big surprise. And I thought about the moments of sitting with her between takes and how game she was for Josh Gad, who plays my brother in the movie, his improvisation, all of our improvisation. We all were improvising and laughing, and it was this wonderful, beautiful chaos that was really led by her and George [Segal]."
"My memories after that [are] sitting with her on a bench outside this house where we were shooting and just talking to her ... like she was a family member for years," he continued. "And I think that came from her, maybe knowing she was sick or having lived with a sickness for a long time, and appreciating everybody and every moment that she was around and in."
"My mother said something to me yesterday, which I keep thinking about with her, which is that you can live a long, long life, have a long, healthy life, and ... never lived," he said. "And then it can be cut short, as it was in Jill's case, and you can have really lived every moment of it, and I think she was a woman who lived every moment of it. I think it's a testament in her family how extraordinary they are, and how talented they all are and how wonderful they all are. She was a wonderful woman."
'Love and Other Drugs' opens Nov. 24. Stay tuned in a few weeks for our video Q&A with Gyllenhaal and co-star Anne Hathaway.