updated 04/13/2010 AT 10:15 AM ET
•originally published 04/13/2010 AT 12:30 PM ET
“It’s okay,” the Oscar-nominated actor, 29, says of the single life in an interview in GQ’s May issue. “I think it’s important for every man to find the right woman and every woman to find the right man … Who am I to say what the most important thing in life is? The best answer I could give to any of those things is that I really don’t know. Particularly right now in my life.”
Uncertainty isn’t such a bad thing, though. “I’m trying not to keep things so neat,” Gyllenhaal says. “I think I’m realizing my strengths and my faults. I think I’m trying to see what is me … and what is not me.”
Gyllenhaal, who tackled his first true action role for the upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, says his identity used to be tied almost exclusively to work. Ironically, it was the death of his friend and Brokeback Mountain costar Heath Ledger in 2008 that pushed him to embrace life.
“Life, I didn’t totally understand. And I think I was afraid of life,” he says. “And I had success in my work, enough success that you could keep going back there. But after [Ledger’s death] I think I recognized that it was work. And I recognized that this is for real.”
And the actor’s on a good path, says his brother-in-law and close friend Peter Sarsgaard, mostly because he doesn’t have self-destructive tendencies.
Jake is a fundamentally positive person, Sarsgaard says, “and my thesis with Jake is that it is genuine. He is not doing it to be more popular and more successful; it is actually who he is.”