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Heath Ledger Refused To Joke About “Brokeback Mountain” Gay Romance

Heath Ledger Refused To Joke About “Brokeback Mountain” Gay Romance

Brokeback Mountain is a film that, even 15 years after it was released, is a polarizing piece of art. The Ang Lee-directed film was an adaptation of a 1997 short story, and the premise of two cowboys who carry out a clandestine romance. The title characters were portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, and while the movie is something that is still joked about today, Gyllenhaal recently revealed that Ledger didn’t see his work of art as something to laugh about.

Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty Images

“There are things you’re chosen for—a quality, an essence—and [Ang Lee] did that,” Gyllenhall shared with Another Man magazine. “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.” The award-winning actor also revealed that his late costar turned down an opportunity to present at the 2007 Academy Awards because they wanted him to make a joke about their Brokeback Mountain characters’ gay relationship.

“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal explained. “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.'”

“That’s the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, ‘No. This is about love. Like, that’s it, man. Like, no,'” Gyllenhaal added.

[via]