Jake Gyllenhaal Reflects On Heath Ledger 10 Years After ‘Brokeback Mountain’

It’s been 10 years since Brokeback Mountain was released, and seven since Heath Ledger died, but Jake Gyllenhaal is still being questioned about both. Most recently by NPR’s Terry Gross, who asked the Southpaw star about how Ledger’s death affected him in an interview this week.

I miss him as a human being and I miss working with him and what an unfortunate thing it is that we won’t be able to see the beauty of his expression. (Via)

From Ledger, Gyllenhaal learned to “be present where I am. I’m trying to have relationships that are as real as they possibly can be on a movie set, be close to people because I know that it’s precious.” He added that “life is precious,” and, “I think losing Heath and being a part of a family that was something like the movie, that movie we all made together… makes you appreciate that and hopefully moves you away from the things that really don’t matter to the things that do.”

Like starring in misguided video game movies.

Gross also wanted to know about the attention Gyllenhaal and Ledger received for being two straight guys playing gay men in Brokeback, which earned them both Oscar nominations.

It was fascinating, particularly because I don’t think we knew what a success the movie would be, what it would become and it was an intimate and really scary thing for me and Heath, in particular, to dive into. It was uncomfortable for both of us in some of the scenes, and yet we both deeply believed in what the movie was saying…At the time it was pretty unreal…The emotional response you get from that movie from people who see that movie, I think it was one of the first movies where people would go, “Oh, I can see it as love.” Believe me, we got a lot of other responses, too. (Via)

Most of those “other responses” were of the slash fiction variety.

(Via NPR)