Jake Gyllenhaal Talks Friendship With Late Heath Ledger
In a new video for Vanity Fair, Gyllenhaal, 41, reflected on the memories that he and Brokeback Mountain costar Ledger made while on the set of the 2005 Ang Lee film, which saw them portray cowboys who become star-crossed lovers. Just three years later, in 2008, Ledger tragically passed away.
Describing his experience on set as “a really deep and fun one,” Gyllenhaal shared, “You know, the relationship, I think between me and Heath while we were making this movie was something that was based on a profound love for a lot of people that we knew and were raised by in our lives and a deep respect for their love and their relationship.”
“One of the things I really remember about the process after the movie came out was Heath never wanting to make a joke,” he shared. “Even as I think, culturally, there were many jokes being made about the movie or poking fun at and things like that.”
The Ambulance star added, “His consummate devotion to how serious and important the relationship between these two characters was, it showed me, I think, how devoted he was as an actor and how devoted he was—and we both were—to the story in the movie.”
According to Gyllenhaal, who has spoken about his admiration for the Australian actor in the past, the pair spent the three weeks it took to shoot the film attached at the hip, often “waking up in the morning, making everyone coffee and then eating a little breakfast and walking to work” together.
But even more than the time they spent on set, it was the audience’s reaction to the film that truly touched Gyllenhaal’s heart.
“There is a moment that I go back to a lot. Heath and I were at a Q&A at the Arrow Theater in Los Angeles and I remember us going to dinner while the movie was screening,” he shared. “I remember us joking backstage and kind of coming onto the stage in a sort of humorous mode, you know, ’cause we were just having fun with each other.”
As the conversation began, Gyllenhaal explained that a man stood up and told him and Heath that he had gone to see the film 11 times over the course of the 10 days since its release.
“And I thought 11 times in 10 days! We’re joking and we’re poking fun at each other before we go on and then the profound realization of the profundity of this thing washed over us,” he said. “It happens constantly, to this day, and it’s like, it’s…I can’t really express how proud I am of it.”
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