“Part of the medicine of storytelling is that we were two straight guys playing these parts. There was a stigma about playing a part like that, you know, why would you do that? And I think it was very important to both of us to break that stigma. But then again, I think that has led the way towards people saying, you know, people of all different experiences should be playing more roles, that it shouldn’t be limited to a small group of people. And I believe that.”Brokeback Mountain star Jake Gyllenhaal, commenting on how the stigma he faced after making the film helped start an important conversation about representation of queer people on screen. Gyllenhaal, along with co-stars Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams all snagged Oscar nominations for their performances; in 2005 it was still considered taboo for straight leading men to play gay characters.

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