Brokeback Mountain: 10 years later
The towering cold yet still and quiet mountains of Wyoming observe the scene below: An aging Jack Twist (Jake Gyllanhaal) waving his hands in disbelief and exhaust, huffing in a low and defeated voice, “I wish I knew how to quit you”. Turning to face his lover, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) struggles in emotion to get the words out, “Then why don’t you…why don’t you just let me be?”
It was the “yee-haw” heard ’round the world, the punch-line for many jokes, a regular jab on any late-night show hosts’ queue cards – two American cowboys going at it in the deep seclusion of the mountains. Though despite any quick witted remarks about a same-sex love arc in Hollywood, the adaptation of Annie Proulx’s short story captured the attention of the Academy, earning eight nominations, with director Ang Lee taking home his first Oscar.
Now ten years later, the talent behind this revolutionary film reminisce and recant the making of Brokeback Mountain, in an interview helmed by http://www.out.com/
“For the first month of shooting, we all lived by this river in little trailers, and I had my dog there. We all just lived on a campground and would walk to set. You know, in a world driven by commerce, particularly in the movie business, there’s no time spent together – relationships are fleeting,” Jake Gyllanhaal, now 34, recalls. “We are all still close – not just bonded by the success of the film, but bonded by the experience. It was an intimate project in that way. We’d wake up and make breakfast for each other and hang out. Heath and Michelle fell in love. It was a really special, special time.”
Gyllanhaal presses on about the loss of his friend and colleague Heath Ledger, who was nominated for his performance:
“While there are many parts of the real story that are sad, one of the saddest things is that I won’t be able to exchange ideas creatively with Heath again, because that was one of the most beautiful things to come out of that.”
Anne Hathaway, who played Gyllanhaal’s long time unsuspecting wife recalls her audition process:
“ I was filming Princess Diaries 2, and I was working on Universal Lot [where] Ang was going to be meeting with people. So I was able to get a slot during my lunch break. We were shooting the coronation part of the movie, so I was dressed a ball gown, wearing this big hairpiece that was way over the top, but also worked for a rodeo queen, so it was fine. I just put on my jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, and drove across the lot in a golf cart with my big princess hair. I remember being very, very calm, which is unusual for me under any circumstances, especially at 21. I just felt so centered and focused, and in way like a predator: I knew what I wanted. “
“I remember getting to watch the shot of Heath walking across their front yard, which is really just dust and dirt more than anything else, and Heath had decided that at some point Ennis had been in an accident and had a limp. It was so subtle, and it looked like he’d had this limp for about four years, and I just remember looking at Heath in that moment, and thinking, That is one of the greatest actors that has ever been, “ she recants on her friend and co-star Ledger.
10th anniversary screenings of this raw and emotionally driven film are being held in various movie theaters around the U.S to commemorate and celebrate the legacy this film leaves behind.
You can read the full story and interview coverage here: