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Which famous Hollywood actors turned down Brokeback Mountain?

Which famous Hollywood actors turned down Brokeback Mountain?

Brokeback Mountain

Original director for the Oscar-winning movie Brokeback Mountain, Gust Van Sant, revealed Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were not the first actors approached to star in the film.

‘Nobody wanted to do it,’ Van Sant told IndieWire.

He was working on the film and envisioned ‘a really strong cast, like a famous cast’. So who did he ask? The usual suspects, as he calls them: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Phillippe.

They all turned the film down, however, for ‘various reasons, as confirmed by the film’s producer, Diana Ossana.

‘Casting Ennis in particular was the ultimate hurdle,’ she further said.

The role of Ennis eventually went to Ledger, but even then it was an uphill battle.

Earlier this year, Ossanna also revealed that she and co-writer Larry McMurtry had to fight for Ledger. The reason? The studio felt Ledger wasn’t ‘macho enough’.

Gyllenhaal eventually took on the role of Twist, and together the pair created an unforgettable film. It would go on as one of Ledger’s best roles, earning him a Best Actor nomination, before his untimely death in 2008.

Based on the short story by Annie Proulx, the film follows two men who herd sheep in the mountains of Wyoming. They embark on a starcrossed affair, which lasts over the course of 20 years.

Ang Lee became the film’s director following Van Sant and won himelf the Oscar for Best Director. Ultimately, it was nominated for eight Oscars and won three. It famously — and controversially — lost out on Best Picture to Crash.

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