Jake Gyllenhaal is still struggling to come to terms with the shocking death of his pal [HEATH LEDGER], insisting his 2008 passing was like "losing a family member".
The pair grew close after starring as gay lovers in the Oscar-winning 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, but Gyllenhaal reveals they first struck up a friendship in 2001 after both trying out for Baz Luhrmann's movie musical Moulin Rouge!.
In an interview on Inside the Actors Studio, he says, "Heath and I knew each other for years before that (Brokeback Mountain) because we had both auditioned for Moulin Rouge! together. And I remember thinking, 'I like this guy. He's just like, super lovable.'"
According to Eonline.com, Gyllenhaal goes on to touch on his grief over Ledger's death from an accidental drug overdose, admitting he still misses him "to this day" because the tragedy was like "losing a family member".
The full interview is due to air next week (19Sep13).