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Jake Gyllenhaal: 'Reese Witherspoon is one of the strongest people I've ever met'

Jake Gyllenhaal still has strong feelings for his ex, Reese Witherspoon.

The two actors dated briefly after meeting on the set of Rendition in 2007, but romance was not in the cards for the couple.

However, Jake has never stopped following his former girlfriend's career, and admits she had a major impact on his life.

"She is, as I would say about most of the women who I'm close friends with or had relationships in my life, one of the smartest, strongest people I've ever met," the 35-year-old told People and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle.

Gyllenhaal also names Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Watts - his co-star in new movie Demolition - and Anne Hathaway among his closest female friends in Hollywood.

The actor never dated Anne, but she played his wife in 2005's Brokeback Mountain, and his girlfriend in 2010's Love and Other Drugs, and he's a big fan.

"(She's) a massive talent, and a really brilliant and sometimes confusing human," Gyllenhaal said of the actress, who is expecting her first child with husband Adam Shulman.

"She's one of the most adventurous people I've ever met... When I first met her, and even now, even knowing her for a long time, Anne is somebody who would just not really want to get into the party; she is the life of the party and the person who will jump off the cliff first.

"She really is! I love contradictions in people, (and) she happens to be that. I think she's probably one of the most talented actresses of our generation."

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