Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio Turned Down ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ Says Gus Van Sant


Brad Pitt Leonardo Dicaprio
Brad Pitt Leonardo Dicaprio

“Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” director Gus Van Sant revealed in an interview with IndieWire that both and Leonardo DiCaprio passed on “Brokeback Mountain,” the gay love story that snagged eight Academy Award nominations in 2006 — the most of any film that year.

Van Sant, who was approached to direct the film that was ultimately helmed by Ang Lee, recalled the lack of interest from actors in portraying the roles that earned Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger widespread acclaim and accolades.

“Nobody wanted to do it,” Van Sant 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.”

Diana Ossana, who produced the film with James Schamus for Focus Features, confirmed Van Sant’s casting revelations in an email sent to IndieWire.

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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