Saturday, 12 June 2010

Nobody's Business But Ours

Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, so when you get some face time with him — it doesn’t matter who you are — you take it.


We had only another 10 minutes, and there were some things I needed to talk to him about. For starters, Jake has rarely talked publicly about Heath Ledger’s death. I wasn’t sure if I’d get anything out of him, but I had to ask.

“A year ago, Entertainment Weekly spoke to a lot of people for a piece about Heath Ledger. The screenwriter, producer and cinematographer of Brokeback Mountain all talked. You were conspicuously absent. Are you uncomfortable remembering him in public?”

“Yes,” he said, pausing. “Brokeback was painful. Any time you go into pain, I don’t think you necessarily want to go back. But the results of that film, and how the public responded to it so hugely, were worth it. Walking through any kind of pain is usually worth it. As close as we all became making that movie, for all those other people, it didn’t extend much farther than [the movie itself], so that experience of work could be easily talked about for publications. The experience Heath and I had was also shared publicly with all the press and publicity we did. But what we shared as friends, though I respect the interest that so many people have in the mourning and grieving process and how it feels to other people, I feel like — and I don’t mean this in an unkind way — but I don’t think it’s anybody’s business but his and mine. So in that sense, to really respect him — and also the way he felt about his life and his private life and what he cared about, because he was a deeply caring and loving human being — every time anybody asks me any question about him, it would be like he was sitting next to me, and I know he would roll his eyes, because that’s the way he was. It was between us.”

If we didn’t talk about anything else, I knew I had something of consequence. And I was confident that what Jake had just said was as far and as deep and as sincere as he could go with this — you could feel the anguish in his words. So I moved on.

Source: American Way, 20 Minutes with the Prince of Persia by Lawrence Grobel, June 1, 2010