Nearly 15 years after the release of “Brokeback Mountain”, Jake Gyllenhaal has revealed that co-star Heath Ledger refused to present an award at the Oscars to avoid turning the movie into a joke.
In an interview for the summer/autumn 2020 issues of Another Man, Gyllenhaal recalls the homophobic banter surrounding the film about the secret relationship between two cowboys.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” the 39-year-old actor shares. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, ‘Oh, okay… whatever.’ I’m always like: It’s all in good fun. And Heath said, ‘It’s not a joke to me – I don’t want to make any jokes about it.'”
Asked how smart Ledger’s decision was in retrospect, Gyllenhaal agrees: “Absolutely.”
The actor reveals he hasn’t been able to watch Ang Lee’s film again, citing his profound experience filming.
“There are things you’re chosen for – a quality, an essence – and Ang did that. And it’s still a mystery to me. And something that Heath and I shared: that it was a mystery to us at the time,” he explains. “The life experiences of them are so deep that no matter how powerful the movie is to many other people, or what it means to them, it means something completely different to me.”