It’s been eight years since Heath Ledger died, but the actor’s death still impacts the Hollywood community, including Jake Gyllenhaal, his costar in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain. The dude spoke up on it in an interview with People. Here are the highlights:
“Personally, it affected me in ways I can’t necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly,” Gyllenhaal, 35, told editorial director Jess Cagle in the latest edition of The Jess Cagle Interview. “In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me.”
Gyllenhaal had just turned 27 when Ledger died from accidental prescription drug intoxication.
“I think you live in this bubble, too, of making films … There are real friends, and there is a real community,” he said of the experience. “There is also that [new Macklemore song] where he says, ‘The curtain closes and nobody notices’ … I think that’s true, and I think that’s okay. But I think at the time, I assumed everyone would notice – and they did with Heath dying, but I think it [gave me] the experience of, ‘This is fleeting.’ And none of the attention or synthesized love that comes from the success of a film really matters at all. What matters is the relationships you make when you make a film, and the people you learn from when you’re preparing for a film. That changed a lot for me.”
“We were super young,” Gyllenhaal said. “We had no idea what the movie was going to become.”
Ledger went on to date costar Michelle Williams, and have a kid with her. Both got Oscar noms and the film was, essentially, a huge thing for the young actors to be a part of.
Very sad. Heath Ledger would have had an amazing career.