The Secretary star decided she would have to meet real-life hero Port Authority Officer William Jimeno and his wife Alison--whom she plays--to explain her position, and she was ready to drop out of the hard-hitting drama.
The movie, which stars Nicolas Cage, is based on the story of William Jimeno and his partner Sergeant John McLoughlin, who became trapped by falling debris as they attempted to rescue the injured.
Alison says of Gyllenhaal after she visited her New Jersey home, "Right away, both Will and I felt comfortable with her and realized how sincere and passionate she is. We had no problem with her in this movie."
Gyllenhaal decided to go ahead with the role: "I wanted to tell them the absolute truth of what I meant. If they still didn't want me to play Allison after that, then I wouldn't have."
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