Jake Gyllenhaal takes life ''too seriously'' at times.

The 36-year-old actor is one of the most sought-after performers in Hollywood, but for his latest on-screen role in 'Stronger' - which tells the story of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who lost both his legs - Jake found it tough to bring humour to character.

Jake shared: ''I think just sometimes understanding his sense of humour in the midst of, like, pretty dark things, that was hard for me.

''Because I think I I sometimes take situations too seriously and I think his sense of humour, how crude it is in the face of situations where you never expect it.''

'Stronger' is based on the memoir Jeff Bauman, who was injured in the bombing in 2013.

And Jake admitted the experience of learning about Bauman's subsequent challenges taught him a lot about himself.

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''What he made me realise is that inside of us all is a superhero.

''Inside of us, in the darkest times, in times where we feel like people we love that were close to us are struggling and we won't make it through another day, or another hour, a minute, or a second, there is that thing inside of us, and Jeff shows us that every day.''

In fact, Jake has come to see his latest role as an ''opportunity'' to become a stronger person.

The Hollywood star explained: ''Playing a character like that in a film was an opportunity for me to learn that about myself and see my own faults and see my own weaknesses, but also, as Jeff reminds me every day, see my own strengths in places that I never thought I could be strong.''