It’s come to light that both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio turned down starring roles in the Oscar-winning drama Brokeback Mountain.
Gus Van Sant was initially attached to adapt author Annie Proulx's short story of the same name into a feature film, but he struggled to convince a number of top actors to take on the cowboy love story.
Nobody wanted to do it, Van Sant recalled. 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.
Reports at the time suggested Van Sant had wanted his Good Will Hunting star Damon to feature opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, the roles which eventually went to Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively, in director Ang Lee's acclaimed 2005 release.