“Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, ‘No. This is about love.'”
Jake Gyllenhaal has revealed that Heath Ledger hated jokes about Brokeback Mountain.
In an interview for Sunday Today, the actor – who currently stars in Spider-Man: Far From Home – reflected on his Academy Award-nominated role, saying it “opened tons of doors” and that it “defined” his career.
When the film was released back in 2005, it was met with universal acclaim and is often ranked as one of the finest queer films of all time. However, it was dubbed a “gay cowboy movie” and was often parodied for its subject matter.
“I see people who have joked with me or criticized me about lines I say in that movie,” said Gyllenhaal.
“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.’ This is a level of focus and attention that hits a certain nerve.
Gyllenhaal said he realised the film was “bigger” then him or Ledger: “It has become not ours anymore. It’s the world’s.”
“I think we had been cast for our ‘essences’ without really understanding what our ‘essences’ were – and that’s outside of our sexuality – we’re two straight guys cast in these roles, but who we are, who we were, Ang could see,” he told GQ.
“And I don’t know if I could. So when the movie had the response that it had… I don’t think we recognized what Ang had seen in us so we were blind at the profundity and the echo the movie made.
“I don’t think we ever had any idea it would have the impact that it had. To make a movie that even just works is a miracle. When it resonates even beyond that, it’s impossible. And it has nothing to do with you in the end.”
He added: “Just being in Brokeback Mountain, that’s the feeling I have. I feel that deeply about it. It had nothing to do with me. It came to me, I was honored to be a part of it, and it is now everyone else’s in a way that I can’t even fathom.”
Spider-Man: Far From Home, the 23rd entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, has so far received widespread praise from fans and critics. Gyllenhaal stars as iconic Marvel hero, Mysterio.
The film also stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J.B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Marisa Tomei – watch the trailer for Far From Home below.