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“I think we had been cast for our ‘essences’ without really understanding what our ‘essences’ were.”

Jake Gyllenhaal has reflected on his iconic role in Brokeback Mountain.

The American actor starred in the gay cowboy drama as Jack Twist alongside the late Heath Ledger, who played his lover Ennis Del Mar. The film received universal acclaim and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning three.

In a recent interview for GQ, Jake said the success of the film was a shock.

“I think we had been cast for our ‘essences’ without really understanding what our ‘essences’ were – and that’s outside of our sexuality – we’re two straight guys cast in these roles, but who we are, who we were, Ang could see,” he said.

“And I don’t know if I could. So when the movie had the response that it had… I don’t think we recognized what Ang had seen in us so we were blind at the profundity and the echo the movie made.

“I don’t think we ever had any idea it would have the impact that it had. To make a movie that even just works is a miracle. When it resonates even beyond that, it’s impossible. And it has nothing to do with you in the end.”

He added: “Just being in Brokeback Mountain, that’s the feeling I have. I feel that deeply about it. It had nothing to do with me. It came to me, I was honored to be a part of it, and it is now everyone else’s in a way that I can’t even fathom.”

Watch Jake reflect on Brokeback Mountain below.

The Oscar nominated star can next be seen in the Spider-Man: Far From Home, the 23rd entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the follow-up to Avengers: Endgame. It has so far received widespread praise from fans and critics.

The film also stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J.B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Marisa Tomei – watch the trailer for Far From Home below.