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Why did Heath Ledger turn down role in Baz Lurhmann film?

Now To Love logo Now To Love 11/01/2018 Kate Wagner

Heath Ledger wearing a bow tie © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Years after Heath Ledger's untimely death, stories continue to emerge from those close to him depicting a selfless and caring guy.

Jake Gyllenhaal is well-known to be one of Heath's closest friends, he's even godfather to his 12-year-old daughter Matilda, but how did the pair actually meet?

Speaking to GQ Australia, Jake revealed he and Heath actually bonded over their "mutual frustration" at missing out on the lead role in Moulin Rouge which eventually went to Ewan McGregor.

"I was auditioning for Moulin Rouge - Baz Luhrmann had chosen three actors. It was Ewan (McGregor), it was Heath, and me. And we auditioned with many different actresses, it was a long process," Jake detailed to the publication.

"They would literally put me in a room and lock the door and Heath would come in and then Heath would be shuffled through the door."

The pair then starred in Brokeback Mountain together and became firm friends. The 2005 romance-drama got a lot of attention, including Baz's.

a man wearing a hat © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

"I remember, a few months later, Heath called me and he was like, 'Hey mate, I got some news for you'. I said, 'What?' He said, 'Baz just offered me his next movie. I just wanted you to know, I f----g turned it down!'"

"So that was how much Heath loved me, you know," Jake said. "That was how I met him."

Jake also told the magazine his latest role as Jeff Baumanin in Stronger is his toughest yet.

"It pushed me more than I've ever been pushed," he explained. "I pushed myself as a result. Sometimes I took it probably too far, admittedly. I mean, it has consumed me for two-and-a-half years."

Looks like we'll be seeing him at the Oscars.

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