FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Jake Gyllenhaal shined new light on his late Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger by revealing why he famously declined presenting at the 2007 Academy Awards.
Speaking to Another Man magazine for their Summer/Autumn 2020 issue, Gyllenhall opened up about his profound respect for Ledger and his unshakeable morals.
The 39-year-old explained that the 2007 Oscars had written in a not-so-savory joke about Brokeback Mountain in the opening monologue, which irked Ledger.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” The Spider-Man: Far From Home star explained. “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 touched upon how Ledger’s stance was probably considered revolutionary back then, adding that his late co-star’s decision to sit out the Oscars was “absolutely” smart.
Opening up more about Brokeback Mountain, the actor opened up about why he became involved in the Ang Lee movie even though he, a straight man, didn’t fully understand the romantic relationship in the film.
“There are things you’re chosen for – a quality, an essence – and Ang did that,” said Gyllenhaal. “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.”
Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose on January 22, 2008. He was 28.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.