In a new
interview, director Gus Van Sant reveals that several A-list actors
turned down lead roles in Brokeback Mountain.
Mountain was directed by Ang Lee, Van Sant was originally slated
to direct the 2005 film.
to do it,” Van Sant, who is openly gay, told
“I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong
cast, like a famous cast. That wasn't working out. I asked the
usual suspects: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan
Phillippe. They all said no.”
In the film, Jack
Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger)
begin a romantic relationship while herding sheep in 1960s Wyoming.
Their 20-year relationship ends with Jack's untimely death. Ennis
imagines Jack was killed in a homophobic attack.
“What I could
have done, and what I probably should have done, was cast more
unknowns, not worried about who were the lead actors,” Van Sant
added. “I was not ready. I’m not sure why. There was just sort of
a hiccup on my part. There was something off with myself, I guess,
whatever was going on.”
Van Sant is best
known for films such as Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private
Idaho, Good Will Hunting and Milk.