This is Why Jake Gyllenhaal Took the Role of Jack Twist in ‘Brokeback Mountain’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Jake Gyllenhaal

Back in 2005, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal shook up Hollywood with their field workplace hit Brokeback Mountain. The film drew each reward and criticism for portraying a romantic relationship between two males in a approach that had by no means been seen on-screen earlier than, particularly with actors of Ledger and Gyllenhaal’s caliber.

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank through Getty Images

‘Brokeback Mountain’ was criticized due to it’s ‘gay agenda’

Brokeback Mountain got here at a time when same-sex marriage was a far-off actuality for LGBTQ Americans and when lots of the rights they’ve today weren’t afforded to them. As a result, the portrayal of a homosexual relationship on-screen in a nuanced approach that confirmed each of their humanity was extremely controversial.

Conservative pundits together with Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, John Gibson, and Cal Thomas — in addition to a number of distinguished Christian teams — all criticized the movie for pushing a “gay agenda” on Americans. Gibson made jokes in regards to the film, and after Ledger’s surprising loss of life in 2008, he apologized for mocking the deceased actor.

Jake GyllenhaalJake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal | Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Palo Alto Networks

Jake Gyllenhaal was on the fence about taking the position of Jack Twist

When Gyllenhaal was approached for the position of Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain, he wasn’t instantly bought on it. He talked about what it was like contemplating and ultimately taking the position in a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, a full decade after Brokeback Mountain‘s launch.

Gyllenhaal was drawn to the thought of working with celebrity director Ang Lee, whom he referred to as a “genius.” But what bought Gyllenhaal to leap on board was the humanity in Jack and Ennis’ story and the way it portrayed their feelings in an actual approach, and that it wasn’t only a salacious story about two males having a romantic relationship.

“It moved me. The script moved me,” Gyllenhaal recalled. “And I was like, ‘F*ck it.’”

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RELATED: Heath Ledger Had a Simple Message For Homophobes Who Didn’t Like ‘Brokeback Mountain’ 

Straight actors have been enjoying homosexual roles for many years

Despite all of the criticism the movie confronted on the time, Ledger and Gyllenhaal each obtained reward and a number of other awards and nominations for his or her roles within the film. In latest years, films together with Brokeback Mountain have obtained a brand new spherical of scrutiny due to its hiring of straight actors to play homosexual roles.

In the mid-2000s, roles for homosexual actors had been few and much between. Billy Porter, for instance, has discussed this drought, having struggled for a few years to discover a place in Hollywood. In 2019, Porter was an avid critic of straight males who’re lauded for enjoying homosexual roles.

The Netflix documentary Disclosure examines the illustration of trans folks in movie and TV and presents the identical downside. Actors corresponding to Eddie Redmayne, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jared Leto obtain reward and awards for enjoying trans ladies whereas selling the dangerous concept that trans ladies are merely males with wigs and make-up.

Gyllenhaal will quickly be showing in one other homosexual position. He’s set to play father determine Bruce Bechdel within the movie adaptation of the Broadway hit present Fun Home, in addition to produce the movie.

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