10. HIS MODESTY
Gyllenhaal doesn't resent being in the spotlight. "You're at premieres, people are taking your picture. It's totally fun," he says. And he lacks pretentiousness. "He's so cool and normal, funny and down to earth," says his Day After Tomorrow costar Emmy Rossum. "He's fantastic."
9. HIS PEDIGREE
Show business is in his blood: Gyllenhaal's father is director Stephen Gyllenhaal, mom is screenwriter Naomi Foner, and he followed sister Maggie into acting. Plus, his godmother is Jamie Lee Curtis, and Paul Newman gave him driving lessons on a racetrack when he was a teen. Still, he's never taken his family ties for granted. "There's a humility to him," says his Moonlight Mile director, Brad Silberling.
8. HIS BRAINS
Gyllenhaal, who graduated from L.A.'s Harvard-Westlake School in 1998, studied Eastern religion at New York's Columbia University for two years. And while he'd like to finish his degree one day, for now he's keeping his mind open with nonfiction books such as Salt: A World History. "I have a weird fascination with specifics," he says. "I like the idea of learning a lot about one thing."7. HIS ANIMAL LOVE
Gyllenhaal has opened his heart to several furry friends: The actor and Dunst share custody of German shepherd mix Atticus, a pup they adopted from the animal rescue group New Leash on Life, and he recently added puggle Boo Radley (left) to his brood.