Jake Gyllenhaal speaks for the first time about losing Heath Ledger

It may have been eight years since Heath Ledger's death but it's the first time Jake Gyllenhaal has spoken publically about how the death of his former co-star and friend affected him.

The actors met when they starred in Brokeback Mountain together in 2005 - three years before Heath died of cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of prescription drugs. The critically-acclaimed movie was the first time either actor was nominated for an Oscar.

Jake Gyllenhaal Heath Ledger

Speaking to People, Jake says ,'Personally, it affected me in ways I can't necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly'.

'In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me. I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films, but I think it gave me the experience of, "This is fleeting." And none of the attention or synthesised love that comes from the success of a film really matters at all. What matters is the relationships you make when you make a film, and the people you learn from when you're preparing for a film. That changed a lot for me.'