QUEER VOICES

Here's Why Jake Gyllenhaal Didn't Sweat Playing Gay In 'Brokeback Mountain'

'The struggle for identity is everybody’s struggle. No matter what it is."

It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since "Brokeback Mountain" hit theaters.

The seminal queer film had a massive impact -- not only on the lives of many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals who saw it, but also on our culture because it was one of the first mainstream films to authentically portray queer experiences.

"Brokeback Mountain" star Jake Gyllenhaal recently sat down with the LMU film school to discuss his career and reflect on the film, which was released on Dec. 9, 2005.

During the conversation, Gyllenhaal shared with the audience why he didn't necessarily sweat playing a queer role:

I had been brought up in an elementary school where, my first few grades, I remember being specifically told that my teachers were gay. I was just that age and that was just how it was, and my parents were very… you know, that’s how I was raised. Like super-progressive. And so it’s just something I took for granted, weirdly. At the time. I think, now, younger generations do take that for granted in a lot of ways. I don’t think that takes away from the struggle of identity and what that is. But the struggle for identity is everybody’s struggle. No matter what it is.

The actor also discussed  the iconic "I wish I knew how to quit you" scene from "Brokeback" and the way that his involvement with the film shaped his future as an entertainer.

Check out the clip above to hear more.

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