Apparently, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt turned down starring in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ in 2005.
The film, which is one of the most iconic films to display same-sex relationships, ended up starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, but that was only after multiple denials from other actors.
According to Gus Van Sant, he told Indiewire that he was looking for a strong cast, and a famous one, but DiCaprio and Pitt turned it down, as well as Matt Damon and Ryan Phillippe.
“They all said no.” Van Sant said, and also felt that “What I could have done, and what I probably should have done, was cast more unknowns, not worried about who were the lead actors.” He also made sure to say that they all turned it down for “various reasons,” but we’re sure that most of them were in fear of playing a gay man would hurt their careers later on.
Instead, Gyllenhaal and Ledger both garnered Oscar Nominations for their performances and the respect from the film community for playing such pivotal roles.
The film was the only time that Gyllenhaal has ever been nominated for an Oscar, and Ledger posthumously won an Oscar for his supporting role in ‘The Dark Knight.’