Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal (/ˈdʒɪlənhɔːl/; born December 19, 1980) is an American actor. Born into the Gyllenhaal family, he is the son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner. He began acting as a child, making his acting debut in City Slickers (1991), followed by roles in his father's films A Dangerous Woman (1993) and Homegrown (1998). His breakthrough performances were as Homer Hickam in October Sky (1999) and as a psychologically troubled teenager in Donnie Darko (2001). His most widely seen film to that point came with the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow (2004).