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Jake Gyllenhaal And Heath Ledger Didn't Think 'Brokeback Mountain' Was A Joke

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter
By Desmund Ullrich

As progressive as the 90s and 2Ks were it was still an era, before 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' and 'Proposition 8', in which the LGBT community was not largely accepted by society. The 2005 film 'Brokeback Mountain' staring heartthrob, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger broke the mode when it openly shared scenes of the two A-list actors making out and partaking in homoerotic scenes. Risque as it was, the film was decorated with a long list of awards and nominations.

Instagram | Jake Gyllenhaal

However, the film never received one of the highest honors, the infamous 'Oscar'. In 2006, 'Brokeback Mountain' was the runner up for Best Picture, losing to 'Crash' which was an equally political movie but addressed issues of racial tension that had been shared for decades.

The loss was such a shock that even the Oscar presenter, Jack Nicholson, couldn't hide his despair after reading the winner from his envelop. To make matters even worse, Hollywood began to poke more fun at the film rather than being receptive to its' serious message.

Gettyimages | Jeff Vinnick

While Heath Ledger was able to redeem himself prior to his tragic death in 2008 for his role in 'Batman: The Dark Knight', his co-star Jake Gyllenhaal has yet to be in a film honored with an Academy Award for his individual performance alone. 'Brokeback Mountain' lost big in the categories of best film, best actor, and best supporting actor.

BUT! The two were offered an onscreen appearance at 'The Oscars', formally known as the 'Academy Awards', and Gyllenhaal recently revealed to 'Another Man' magazine that they decided to turn it down for good reason.

Instagram | Jake Gyllenhaal

'I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,' Gyllenhaal shared with 'Another Man'. 'And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, ‘Oh, okay... whatever.’ I’m always like: it’s all in good fun. And Heath said, ‘It’s not a joke to me – I don’t want to make any jokes about it.’'

Gyllenhall further reflects by defending the film that was based on true events, 'the life experiences of them are so deep that no matter how powerful the movie is to many other people, or what it means to them, it means something completely different to me.'

Gettyimages | J. Vespa

'Brokeback Moutain' did seem as if it wasn't taken as seriously as the Director, Ang Lee, had hoped it would be. Even the MTV Movie Awards, which honored the film with 'Best Kiss', seemed to deem it as a slight joke during its presentation in their distinctive category. Thankfully, Ledger wasn't there to accept the award and his close friend Gyllenhaal took on the burden on their behalf.

Regardless of the criticisms, both men were honored by BAFTA, the British equivalent to 'The Oscars', for their dynamic performance.

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