Brokeback Mountain(2005) was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, and was later adapted for film by director Ang Lee. The movie lit up the world of cinema upon its release, telling the story of two Wyoming cowboys who somehow fall in love.
It’s been ten years since the critically-acclaimed film first hit our screens; in celebration, here are 10 Brokeback Mountain facts you will love.
1. Pursed Lips
You probably thought Heath Ledger’s pursed lips were an acting choice, right? Well, they weren’t. Last year, Anne Hathaway revealed Heath pursed his lips as “he was worried that flies might get in” and it was not to sound more like a Texan cowboy.
Brokeback Mountain’s movie poster was inspired by James Cameron’s Titanic movie poster, as the marketing team looked at the posters of the 50 most romantic movies ever made. It looks like it worked!
Director Ang Lee has said he will never work with sheep again, as they were particularly unruly on the movie set. He stated the intimate scenes were a lot easier to film than the ones with the sheep, and so much of the flock on screen was animated. He had previously worked with sheep on the film Sense and Sensibility, and has now stated: “No more sheep. Never again sheep”.
4. The Plaid Shirts
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger’s plaid shirts that they were wore in the movie were bought at auction for £101,100.51 by Tom Gregory, a gay activist. He called them: “the ruby slippers of our time”.
5. Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway was filming The Princess Diaries when she auditioned for the role of Lureen. Her clothing did not damage her chances of the role though, as Ang Lee told her: “It’s okay. You play a Texas princess, anyway”.
Michelle Williams (Alma) asked for Jake and Heath to kiss before shooting the movie to help get her step into Alma’s shoes. Michelle was in a relationship with Heath Ledger in real life, and so she believed it would help with her portrayal; however, she had to goad men to really go for it as their first few attempts were too half-hearted.
7. The On-screen Kiss
While the men might have been a little shy about the kiss off-screen, Heath Ledger reportedly nearly broke Jake Gyllenhaal’s nose during a kissing scene.
8. Roughing Up
Ang Lee forced Jake to go to a one month cowboy camp before filming the movie to rough him up a little. He believed he needed to chop wood, haul bales of hay, put up fences and have blisters and his blood on his hands to really play the character of Jack Twist.
Heath Ledger didn’t need to attend the one-month cowboy camp, as he had grown up on farms in Western Australia.
9. The Gasp
Brokeback Mountain was a favourite to win the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 2006; however, it lost out to Crash (2005). When Jack Nicholson announced the winner, there was an audible gasp from the crowd, and even Jack Nicholson stated he was shocked as he had also voted for Ang Lee’s movie. You can read about more Academy Award nominees who should have won the Oscar right here.
10. The Late Heath Ledger
The untimely death of Heath Ledger shocked movie fans across the world, as anyone who has ever seen Brokeback Mountain will know what a phenomenal actor he was. One of the most celebrated actors, Daniel Day-Lewis has cited Brokeback Mountain as one of his favourite films due to Ledger’s performance.
The respected actor even went on to dedicate his SAG award for There Will Be Blood (2007) in Heath’s memory, and said the final scene in Ennis’ trailer was “as moving as anything I have ever seen”.
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