Meant to be. The late Heath Ledger famously met his former love Michelle Williams on the set of the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain in 2004, and according to the then-couple’s costars, there was no question that the two had something special.
The cast and crew of the drama got back together in honor of the movie’s 10th anniversary, and dished to Out magazine in a new interview about the moment that Ledger fell in love with Williams.
“I’d known Heath for a really long time before that movie,” Jake Gyllenhaal began to Out of the late star, who died in 2008 at the age of 28. “We were friends. We went to a sort of boot camp, where we’d all hang out and learn to ride… It was really, really amazing… For the first month of shooting we all lived by this river in little trailers… We all just lived on a campground and would walk to set.”
It was during this time that the Australian actor got to know Williams, now 34. The two started dating while they worked on the cowboy movie and went on to welcome a child, daughter Matilda, in 2005.
“You know, in a world driven by commerce, particularly in the movie business, there’s no time spent together — relationships are fleeting,” Gyllenhaal, 34, continued. “But in the old-school way, people really used to spend their time together. They became a family. And that’s what [director] Ang [Lee] created on the movie. It’s why we are all still close — not just bonded by the success of the film, but bonded by the experience. It was an intimate project in that way. We’d wake up and make breakfast for each other, and hang out. Heath and Michelle fell in love. It was a really special, special time.”
Screenwriter Diana Ossana, who took home an Oscar for her work on the film, saw the chemistry between the two firsthand and pinpointed the exact moment she knew they were falling in love.
“The first day we filmed that scene where Michelle’s character is on the toboggan and falls off the sled, and Ennis is with her — they’re laughing,” she told Out, naming Ledger’s character of Ennis Del Mar. “Well, on the third take, Michelle fell off the sled, and at the bottom of the hill she was crying. She’d twisted her knee, and we had to call someone to take her to the hospital.”
Ossana continued: “Heath was not about to let her go alone, and as he was getting into the vehicle with her he was smoothing her hair back. I remember him looking at her, and she looking up at him with these wide eyes. She was almost startled by the attention he was giving her, but you could see it every day from thereon. For him it was truly love at first sight. He was so taken with her.”
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