Jake Gyllenhaal On The Deep Bond He Shared With ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Co-Star Heath Ledger

Jake Gyllenhaal reflects on "Brokeback Mountain" with Vanity Fair
Jake Gyllenhaal reflects on “Brokeback Mountain” with Vanity Fair

In an extensive interview with Vanity Fair, Jake Gyllenhaal shares memories from the making of his most iconic film, Brokeback Mountain, and the deep bond he shared with his co-star, Heath Ledger.

While the video chronicles Jake’s thoughts on several of his major career highlights, here’s a partial transcript of Gyllenhaal’s reflections on making Brokeback Mountain:

“The relationship, I think, between me and Heath when 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 relationships.”

“One thing I really remember about the process after the movie came out was Heath never wanting to make a joke, even as, I think culturally, there were many jokes being made about the movie, or poking at, and things like that. His consummate devotion to how serious and important the relationship between those 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 goals and story of the movie.”

“For us, the experience of the movie, I can say, was a really deep and fun one.”


“Heath and I were at a Q&A at the Aero Theatre in Los Angeles, and I remember us going to dinner while the movie was screening. And I remember us joking backstage. I remember us coming onto stage in a humorous mode because we were just having fun with each other.”

“We sat down, the lights came up, and a man stood up. The movie had been out for a week and a half and he said, ‘I just want to say, this is my 11th time seeing this movie, and I can’t stop watching it, and I just want to thank you all for making it.’”

“I thought, 11 times in 10 days,” Gyllenhaal continued. “I remember that sort of,  the wash of that over us. We were poking fun at each other before we go on, and then the profound realization, the profundity of this thing washed over us. It happens constantly to this day, and I can’t really express how proud I am of it.”

The clip below is cued up to the Brokeback Mountain section.

It really is worth your time to watch. In addition to Gyllenhaal’s authentic awe of the movie’s impact, seeing some of those iconic scenes that left an indelible mark on our psyche.