According to Gus Van Sant, two Hollywood A-listers did not want to saddle up and star in Brokeback Mountain.
Van Sant who was originally considered to direct the 2006 drama revealed in an interview with IndieWire that both Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt passed on the film.
“Nobody wanted to do it,” he said. “I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong cast, like a famous cast. That wasn’t working out. I asked the usual suspects: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Phillippe. They all said no.”
This revelation was confirmed by the film’s producer and screenwriter Diana Ossana who, in an email to IndieWire wrote, “Yes, all those young gentlemen (at the time) turned down the project, for various reasons.”
The film that chronicles the agony-filled love story of two modern cowboys, what a huge hit and turned out it be a truly groundbreaking LGBTQ film. It earned eight Oscars nominations (the most of any film that year) including best actor and best supporting actor for Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively.
As for Van Sant not directing the film, he added, “I was not ready. I’m not sure why. There was just sort of a hiccup on my part. There was something off with myself, I guess, whatever was going on.”