Ten years after playing a gay man on screen in "Brokeback Mountain," actor Jake Gyllenhaal commented this week on the state of rights for the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in America.
BET sat down with the actor, primarily to discuss his role in the new film "Southpaw" (Gyllenhaal comes in around 1:17). However, reporters used the moment to also ask Gyllenhaal about changing perceptions surrounding gay identity -- both in Hollywood and on a larger, societal level.
Specifically, the reporter asked the "Brokeback Mountain" star if he felt that "perceived risk" of portraying a gay leading role in Hollywood had evolved in any way. He responded:
“Oh, definitely it’s changed. I think playing a role and living a life are two very different things. I think telling stories, and all different stories, is what makes acting so great. It’s why I was really proud of 'Brokeback Mountain' and everything it had to say. And it was an interesting journey to go on to learn about that world.”
Gyllenhaal, who won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for Best Supporting Actor in "Brokeback," also offered his thoughts on the recent SCOTUS ruling that legalized same-sex marriage on the federal level.
“When I heard about the news I thought, 'Wow, how far we’ve come in a decade. And how far we have to go in so many things.' But I think, hopefully, something like that in terms of the resistance of society and seeing that it’s possible to change was such an amazing thing. I remember thinking, my mom sent me the decision. And how it was written, I thought it was so beautiful. And she said it’s all about love. My brother said to me a few weeks ago, all we leave behind is the wake of our love -- that’s all we have. And to know that wins out sometimes is an inspiration to me.”
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