Heath on top By Alonso Duralde

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Heath on top By Alonso Duralde

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:16 pm

Heath on top
Heath Ledger's career has caught fire with Brokeback Mountain. In a gay-media exclusive, he talks about making his acting debut with a gay role on TV and about going the distance with Jake Gyllenhaal

By Alonso Duralde

Excerpted from The Advocate, January 17, 2006 SEE GALLERY - MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Heath Ledger's breakout performance in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain—a love story about ranch hands Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are forced to keep their passion a secret throughout the 1960s and '70s—has garnered him the best reviews of his relatively brief career. In person, Ledger is charming, articulate, and very straightforward about his career as an actor.
"He has a very Western aura, very natural," said Lee about his decision to cast Ledger as Ennis. "The way he speaks and carries himself makes him seem more mature than his actual age. And he looks great on horseback."
No argument here.


Heath interview.
Did you have gay friends tell you what a big deal this movie is for queer audiences? "Dude, this is gonna be major—don't fuck it up"?
I didn't really need my friends to tell me that. [Alonso laughs] I understood that it's an important story and one that hadn't really been told properly. But I knew there was a certain responsibility.
There was an interview that Ang Lee gave at some point in the production process where he said something along the lines of "We can show Ennis's and Jack's feelings for each other through the sheepherding," and I think a lot of people got nervous that the movie would back away from the physicality of the relationship, which it certainly doesn't. Was there any kind of negotiating of those scenes, or were you just thrown into it?
No, there had to be choreography involved, purely because for Jake and me, it wasn't a situation where the director could just say, "OK, now just have fun with this and just roll with it." It was delicately planned out. But we didn't really want to rehearse it either; we didn't really want to sit there and go through the motions as well. The rest was just absolutely trusting the story—convincing ourselves of the love and committing to it 100%. Had we done anything less, it wouldn't have done justice to the story.
Are you getting a lot of the "Eww, what's it like to kiss a guy?" questions? The straight media loves that stuff.
Yeah. Yeah, the straight world seems to be really stuck up on that. That's fine—it's not like I wasn't prepared for it.
Now, you began your career playing a gay role on Australian television, right?
[Laughs] Yeah!
How did you deal with the media then?
I can't really remember. I actually remember getting harassed on the street.
Really?
Yeah. [Chuckles] So I had small occasions where I'd get bullied on the streets for it! But I was never out to prove myself or my sexuality—it didn't really bother me. I think if that was an issue, I wouldn't have done [that] show; I wouldn't have done this film.

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Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
1979-2008
You will be Never forgotten

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