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Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals Why Heath Ledger Said No to 'Brokeback Mountain' Oscars Bit

Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger co-starred in the 2005 hit film Brokeback Mountain, and now Jake is relaying a story about what happened when they were approached to present at the Oscars.

“I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it. 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,’” Jake told Another Man.

When the writer of the piece remarked about how smart that was, Jake responded, “Absolutely.”

Find out which other actors were offered the Brokeback Mountain leading roles but turned it down.

Joaquin Phoenix Wins for 'Joker,' Pays Tribute to Heath Ledger at SAG Awards 2020 (Video)

Joaquin Phoenix honors his “favorite actor” Heath Ledger after his win at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards!

The 45-year-old Joker star – who won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role – gave a special shout-out to the late Dark Knight actor on Sunday (January 19) at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

“I’m standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger,” Joaquin said. They both played the Joker!

Joaquin beat out Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), and Taron Egerton (Rocketman), and he also made sure to pay tribute to them during his speech.

“When I started acting again…going to auditions, I always got the final callback,” Joaquin said. “Many people know what that’s like. There would be, like, two other guys I was up against. We would always lose to this one kid. No actor would ever say his name because it was like too much. But every casting director would say it’s Leonardo. Who is this Leonardo? You know? You’ve been an inspiration for over 25 years to me and so many people. I thank you very very, very much.”

He then asked Christian to “suck just once” during his career: “You commit to your roles in ways that I can only dream of. You never turn in a bad performance. It’s infuriating. I wish you would. One time. Just suck once. It would be great.”

To Adam, Joaquin said, “I’ve been watching you the last few years and you’ve just been turning in these beautiful nuanced, incredible, profound performances, and I’m just moved by you, and you were devastating in this film. And you should be here.”

Finally, to Taron, he remarked, “You’re so beautiful in this movie. And I’m so happy for you. And I can’t wait to see what else you do.”

READ MORE: Joaquin Phoenix Is Going to Wear the Same Tuxedo for Every Awards Season Show

25+ pictures inside of Joaquin Phoenix at the event… More Here! »

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Julia Stiles Says Heath Ledger Was 'Phenomenal' on '10 Things I Hate About You'

Julia Stiles has opened up about working with her late 10 Things I Hate About You co-star Heath Ledger.

The 38-year-old actress appeared on Thursday’s (December 5) episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, where a caller asked her about a scene with Heath Ledger in the 1999 movie where he sang the classic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Julia Stiles

Julia denied the rumor that it was her idea for Heath to sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” but said the scene was a standout moment during filming: “My favorite memory of that day? The whole day he was just phenomenal, I mean, running up and down those stadium steps,” she recalled about Heath. “Nobody knew that he had this amazing voice, and he just went full out and I got to watch it.”

Julia also dished about what she learned from working on her film Hustlers and working with Kerry Washington in Save the Last Dance – Watch the interview here!

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Jake Gyllenhaal Shares Heath Ledger's Touching Response to 'Brokeback Mountain'

Jake Gyllenhaal is opening up about his late Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger.

The 38-year-old actor explained that Heath never joked about the movie, despite some negative reactions to the homosexual love story when it was released in 2005.

“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,” Jake said in a preview of his interview with Sunday Today.

He added, “Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever he was like, ‘No. This about love.’ Like, that’s it, man. Like, no.”

Jake also reflected on how the film 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.’ This little movie we made that meant so much to us has now become not ours anymore. It’s the world’s. It opened tons of doors, it was amazing,” he added. “It’s defined my career in different ways,” Jake explained.

Michelle Williams Talks Raising Teenage Daughter Matilda on Heath Ledger's Birthday

Michelle Williams stopped by Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday (April 4) and opens up about her daughter, Matilda Ledger, with the late actor Heath Ledger on what would have been his 40th birthday.

The 38-year-old actress talked about Matilda’s transformation into a teenager. When asked how things are with her 13-year-old daughter, Michelle said, “So far, so good.”

“Every morning we wake up and I look to see if the transformation has happened, and if it’s turned into the next level that I keep hearing about, but so far, we’re not there yet,” the actress said of raising a teenager.

Michelle and Heath met on the set of Brokeback Mountain in 2004 and welcomed Matilda in 2005. They split in 2007 and Heath passed away a year later in 2008.

Watch the full interview:

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Kate Bosworth Shares Touching Tribute to Heath Ledger on What Would Have Been His 40th Birthday

Kate Bosworth just posted a touching tribute to the late Heath Ledger today (April 4), which would have been his 40th birthday.

“Doesn’t seem so long ago we were all running around LA, shotgunned into Hollywood + popping off the new millennium’s cork, having a laugh. It was a crazy time. I was literally straight out of high school, feeling young & super shy and he was always so sweet within a surreal scene,” Kate wrote on her Instagram account.

She continued, “I really, really would have loved to have known Heath today, at 40. No limits on what he would have accomplished. Here is what I remember: he was sensitive, gentle, kind, wickedly funny. Extraordinarily special. Time goes by, his image still a teenage heartthrob.”

Kate concluded, “And his work. So brilliant + honest & he was just getting started. But to remember the Human. I was on the outer orbit. Imagine those close to the sun. Thinking of all the people who knew and loved him on this day. Man, you made one hell of a mark. xo.”

Heath died in 2008 from an accidental overdose. He was 28.

These Six Famous Actors Could Have Starred in 'Brokeback Mountain' Before Turning Down Roles

Brokeback Mountain was a smash-hit film back when it was released in theaters in 2005.

The original film was directed by Ang Lee and starred the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the leading roles.

What you may not know is, several A-List actors turned down the roles of Jack (Gyllenhaal) and Ennis (Ledger) when they read the script. During recent interviews, one director who almost directed the movie, Gus Van Sant, revealed who turned down the roles. Screenwriter Diana Ossana also named some names in another interview.

Click through the slideshow to see which six super famous actors turned down roles in 2005′s Brokeback Mountain…