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Jake Gyllenhaal reveals how Heath Ledger shut down mocking jokes about Brokeback Mountain at the Oscars

Patrick Kelleher April 6, 2020
Heath Ledger holding Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

Jake Gyllenhaal starred in Brokeback Mountain with the late Heath Ledger. (Focus Features)

Jake Gyllenhaal revealed that Heath Ledger stopped the Oscars from making gay jokes about Brokeback Mountaibecause he didn’t find them funny.

In a new interview with Another Man, Gyllenhaal reflected on the “homophobic banter” he and his late co-star faced after starring in the famous film.

When questioned about the jokes that pervaded in television interviews from the time, Gyllenhaal said Ledger made efforts to shut it down.

“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about [Brokeback Mountain],” Gyllenhaal said.

“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.’

Gyllenhaal agreed that Ledger’s stance was “absolutely” smart in hindsight.

The actor also said he is still unable to watch Brokeback Mountain more than 14 years after it was released.

“There are things you’re chosen for – a quality, an essence – and Ang [Lee, Brokeback Mountain director] 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 said.

Jack Gyllenhaal Heath Ledger Another Man
Jake Gyllenhaal for Another Man Summer/Autumn 2020, photographed in New York, February 2020, by Alasdair McLellan, styled by Ellie Grace Cumming and interviewed by Chris Heath

Jake Gyllenhaal joined Instagram to say ‘some interesting things’.

Elsewhere in the interview with, Gyllenhaal said he has taken himself “a bit too seriously” in the past, and said he joined Instagram because it’s “a great place to be” a fool.

“I just started to say to myself: ‘You’re gonna put your face on a poster for a movie that’s gonna be over the world in different cities on streets, and you’re not going to do a similar thing on this platform that gives you an opportunity to say potentially some interesting things… and potentially some very uninteresting things? Some funny stuff? And play around?’

He added: “I mean, look, it doesn’t always make me feel comfortable. But there are things about it that are fun.”

The new interview comes just months after it was revealed that Gyllenhaal is set to play another closeted gay man in an upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway musical Fun Home.

Fun Home tells the story of Alison Bechdel’s upbringing with her closeted gay dad Bruce Bechdel, who will be played by Gyllenhaal.

 

 

More: Brokeback Mountain, heath ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal

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