"Gyllenhaal, who plays a grown up juvenile delinquent in the film, spent time with convicted drug smugglers and murderers in an effort to determine what life behind bars for a teenager is like - and he admits the experience has changed his life forever. One such teen, Victor, made such an impact on Gyllenhaal and director Jim Sheridan, they cast him in the film.
The actor explains, "This kid Victor was in jail and he was released and had the opportunity to change his life and told us stories that were unreal to me.
"He was hiding meth in the back of a lamp of a four wheel vehicle driving over the border and he was 16. He changed his life and is working for the governor's office in Sacramento now.
"Jim (Sheridan) ended up putting him in the movie in a scene where my brother Tobey Maguire's helicopter goes down." Source: www.imdb.com