Jake and Heath in Brokeback Mountain | Photo: Focus Features
Jake Gyllenhaal has revealed Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger hated people’s homophobic jokes about the movie.
‘I see people who have joked with me or criticized me about lines I say in that movie,’ he revealed to The Today Show. ‘And that’s the thing I loved about Heath.’
Gyllenhaal then added: ‘He would never joke. [If] someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, “No. This is about love”.’
The 38-year-old actor said the iconic gay film helped skyrocket his career.
‘It opened tons of doors,’ he said. ‘It was crazy [and] it was amazing. It’s defined my career in different ways.’
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger’s friendship
Earlier this year, Jake Gyllenhaal spoke about his friendship with the late Heath Ledger.
The pair actually met during the casting of the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge. This was a couple of years before they filmed Brokeback Mountain together.
Ultimately, Baz Luhrmann ended up casting Ewan McGregor in the role both Gyllenhaal and Ledger went for in Moulin Rouge.
So when Luhrmann tried to cast Ledger in his next movie, he turned it down in solidarity with Gyllenhaal.
Gyllenhaal said: ‘Heath called me and he was like “Hey mate, I got some news for you.” I said “What?”
‘He said, “Baz just offered me his next movie. I just wanted you to know, I fucking turned it down.”’
He then added: ‘So that was how much Heath loved me, you know.’
When Ledger died in 2008, Gyllenhaal said it affected him in ways he ‘can’t necessarily put in words’.
He said: ‘I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me. I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films. There are real friends, and there is a real community.’
Jake Gyllenhaal on being one of ‘two straight guys cast’ in Brokeback Mountain
LGBTI people reveal the first queer sex scenes they saw on film or TV
Straight director describes his reaction to Heath Ledger’s ‘palpable sexuality’