August 03, 2004 06:00 AM

Jake Gyllenhaal may not be making up with ex-girlfriend Kirsten Dunst anytime soon, but he is getting a second chance at success with his 2001 indie flick Donnie Darko, whose director’s cut is now in theaters. “It’s really a great feeling,” Gyllenhaal, 23, told us recently about the movie’s re-release. “Something about this movie was always very close to me. I always felt like it would find itself. I was surprised when it didn’t at first, because I really feel that it speaks to and has spoken to a lot of people and it’s come back in the right way. I feel like my instincts are always right, whether they’re immediately rewarded, or whether down the line they are, they always seem to be right somewhere, so it’s just proof.” Next up for Jake (currently filming Brokeback Mountain with Heath Ledger): Proof, with Gwyneth Paltrow, due later this year.

Coach Me, Kate
Luckily for actress Joy Bryant (Antwone Fisher, Honey), Kate Hudson isn’t the jealous type. While the two worked together on the upcoming drama Skeleton Key, Bryant moved in on Hudson’s man. No, not hubby Chris Robinson, the other one – 7-month-old son Ryder. “She would bring Ryder to the set all the time. He became like my little boyfriend – he loves me,” says Bryant, 28. As for mom Hudson, “Kate is smart, professional and very, very helpful. She was always giving me great advice,” Bryant tells us. “She is a mother, a wife, and has this great career. She was on the ball with everything. She was always prepared. I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.”

The Boss
After watching actor J.K. Simmons, 49, as old-school newspaperman J. Jonah Jameson, shout at timid Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) throughout Spider-Man 2, we started wondering if he was drawing from personal experience. So, who was his worst boss? “That would’ve been the guy (at) my first job after college, with that oh-so-valuable degree in music, (when) I moved to Seattle and got a job at a used car lot. Basically, my job was to wash cars in the rain,” he told us. “That’s what my boss had me doing. I was the ‘lot boy.’ And of course, in Seattle, it rains 90 percent of the time.” But then again, “you know what? He wasn’t that bad,” backpedaled Simmons (who also starred on HBO’s Oz). “I haven’t had any terrible bosses. I’ve had terrible jobs. But I don’t recall any bosses that were that terrible.”

Caught in the Act
Spotted Recently:
Alec Baldwin, with his 8-year-old daughter, Ireland, and a group of friends, dining at Turtle Crossing in East Hampton.


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