LOS ANGELES: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has revealed that his "Brokeback Mountain" co-star Heath Ledger had declined to be present at the 2007 Academy Awards over a joke about the film. Directed by Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain" featured Gyllenhaal and Ledger as Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, two sheep herders who develop a passionate relationship in the 1960s in Wyoming, USA.
Talking to Another Man magazine, the actor said the awards organisers wanted to include a joke about the movie's gay romance in the opening act but Ledger was not okay with it.
"I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it. And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, Oh, okay. Whatever. I'm always like, 'It's all in good fun.' And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me - I don't want to make any jokes about it'. That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no'," Gyllenhaal said.
At the 78th Academy Awards, the film had received eight Oscar nominations eventually won three for best director, best adapted screenplay and best original score. Ledger, who was nominated for best actor trophy at the ceremony, died in January 2008 due to due to an accidental overdose of prescription medications.