Heath Ledger Once Stopped the Oscars from Poking Fun at ‘Brokeback Mountain’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

In the pantheon of nice Oscar missteps, few are as egregious because the 2006 Academy Awards. That night, Crash gained Best Picture and went on to be probably the most divisive picks in Oscar historical past. The movie many agree ought to have walked away with the evening’s prime prize? Brokeback Mountain.

Ang Lee’s romantic drama facilities on a love story behind cowboys Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal). Brokeback Mountain did win three Oscars, together with Best Director for Lee. But the academy was nonetheless apparently prepared to take some low-cost pictures on the film, a plan Ledger put a cease to.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger at the Screen Actors Guild Awards
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger on the Screen Actors Guild Awards | M. Caulfield/WireImage for Turner

‘Brokeback Mountain’ was a game-changer for Hollywood in 2005

Nowadays, the LGBT group has taken enormous strides. Same-sex marriage is widely known, and LGBT characters and storylines are slowly permeating the mainstream. But in 2005, Brokeback Mountain was a daring effort at telling a forbidden love story between two males, particularly inside a historically hyper-masculine style just like the Western.

In some ways, Lee’s movie proved Hollywood may deal with these topics in an earnest, heartfelt means. More than only a hit with critics, Brokeback Mountain earned a worldwide whole of $178 million. Remarkably, the $14 million manufacturing earned roughly half of that from its home launch.

Brokeback Mountain additionally elevated the careers of Ledger, Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams. All three stars have been already firmly on the rise to A-list standing, however their Oscar-nominated turns in Lee’s movie legitimized them as dramatic leads. Ledger, in fact, went on to win a posthumous Oscar for The Dark Knight, whereas his co-stars have gone on to acclaimed careers.

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Jake Gyllenhaal displays on making the ‘mystery’ of constructing the film

Apparently, making the film turned out to be as impactful as watching it was for Oscar voters in 2005. In a current interview with Another Man journal, Gyllenhaal mentioned he nonetheless hasn’t been in a position to return and watch it. Despite the fond recollections behind the scenes, Brokeback Mountain seems like a singular expertise for the actor.

“There are things you’re chosen for — a quality, an essence — and Ang did that,” Gyllenhaal informed Another Man. “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.”

For each Ledger and Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain proved to be a inventive problem. Yet, the actors dedicated wholeheartedly to the work, and the completed product speaks for itself. But again in 2005, the film was restricted by the much less advanced mindset towards tales concerning the LGBT group.

The actor additionally revealed how Heath Ledger as soon as defended the movie

In some circles, Brokeback Mountain grew to become reductively often known as “the gay cowboy movie.” But these concerned knew they have been engaged on one thing particular, a robust story that transcended this glib description of its central romance. In truth, within the midst of awards season, Ledger was pressured to step up and defend the movie.

“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about [the movie],” Gyllenhaal informed Another Man. “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.’”

Looking again, Gyllenhaal acknowledges simply how proper Ledger was in taking such a stance. In the years since Brokeback Mountain hit theaters, tradition has actually began to catch as much as such sensitivities, significantly concerning the LGBT group. So followers of Brokeback Mountain and Ledger’s work little doubt will probably be completely happy to listen to the late actor took a lot delight within the movie.

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