Actor Jake Gyllenhaal says Heath Ledger, his onscreen lover in Brokeback Mountain, was “extraordinary” and “always somebody who I admired”.
Ledger died in January 2008, less than three years after Brokeback Mountain hit the cinemas and won prestigious awards. The Australian actor was at the peak of his career when he was found unconscious by his housekeeper. He was in the middle of filming his acclaimed role as Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
On the occasion of Brokeback Mountain’s tenth anniversary, Gyllenhaal recalled the time he got the script and did not hesitate to play the role of a gay cowboy. “It’s one of the most beautiful scripts I’ve ever read, and it was Ang Lee, and at the time Heath was a friend of mine, before we even shot the movie, and always sort of alluring to me,” the 34-year-old actor said.
Gyllenhaal said Ledger had an aura that made people like him. “Heath was always somebody who I admired. He was way beyond his years as a human, in a way. I wasn’t quite sure where he came from. I mean, I know he’s from Perth, but I wasn’t really quite sure where he came from, and I think that’s the feeling most people got when they were around him and why he was so extraordinary,” he added.