Since then, Jake has, on the whole, worked in bigger-budget pictures such as The Day After Tomorrow, Jarhead, Zodiac and Rendition, while Maggie, prior to The Dark Knight, was very much an indie queen. "The idea of competition, particularly in a creative atmosphere, is always there," says the younger Gyllenhaal with a wry smile.
"And, if you don't acknowledge that, you are doing yourself and the process a disservice.
The pair's rivalry extends back to a series of rumours that broke in 2008, which claimed that Gyllenhaal was set to replace Maguire in the Spider-Man franchise. On a cold winter's day in Manhattan just before our interview, Gyllenhaal dominates an early morning press conference, offering snappy answers with good grace and humour.
"People have very often said to me that I look like Tobey, so I thought it was perfect casting," he laughs at one point.
She had a long term romance with her The Notebook co-star Ryan Gosling.For Brokeback Mountain star Jake Gyllenhaal, competition is a constant companion.He grew up with a talented older sister, Maggie, and they followed their parents into the film industry – both featuring in 2001's Donnie Darko, the oddball time-travel movie and teenagers' favourite.Natalie Portman has found love and is about to start a family with her fiancé and "Black Swan" choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, but it's been a journey for the 29-year-old actress.She's certainly had her fair share of hunky suitors through the years.