Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio turned down 'Brokeback Mountain'

Fri. July 20, 2018 5:46 PM by

In a new interview, director Gus Van Sant reveals that several A-list actors turned down lead roles in Brokeback Mountain.

While Brokeback Mountain was directed by Ang Lee, Van Sant was originally slated to direct the 2005 film.

"Nobody wanted to do it," Van Sant, who is openly gay, told IndieWire. "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.

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