Jake Gyllenhaal Says Heath Ledger Defended Brokeback Mountain Against Homophobic Jokes

Jake Gyllenhaal is opening up about his late former Brokeback Mountain costar Heath Ledger in a new interview. Sitting down with Willie Geist on Sunday Today, the 38-year-old actor dished on how the 2005 film — which centers around two men, Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar (Gyllenhaal and Ledger), who maintain an affair over the course of two decades while married to different women — impacted his career.

“When we did Brokeback Mountain, I was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ This is a level of focus and attention that hits a certain nerve and you’re like, ‘This is bigger than me,'” he said. “I understand what it is but this little movie we made that meant so much to us has now become not ours anymore. It’s the world’s.” He also said the film opened many doors for him, adding, “It was amazing. It was crazy.”

Gyllenhaal went on to talk about how Ledger would shut down homophobic jokes about the movie. “I see people who have joked with me or criticized me about lines I say in that movie — and that’s the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke,” he said. “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.” Watch Gyllenhaal reflect more on the film in the clip above before the full interview airs on July 28!

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