Melbourne, Jan 13 (PTI) Actor Jake Gyllenhaal said he first met his “Brokeback Mountain” co-star Heath Ledger while auditioning for Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge!”.

In an interview with GQ Australia, Gyllenhaal said that he and Ledger, who passed away at the age of 28 in 2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, became friends because of “mutual frustration” of not getting the part they auditioned for.

“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. But I never met Heath, I only heard about him.

“When Ewan was cast, I finally met Heath and we sort of became friends before ‘Brokeback Mountain’ based on our mutual frustration,” Gyllenhaal said.

The 37-year-old actor recalled a conversation where Ledger turned down the lead in Luhrmann’s next.

“When ‘Brokeback Mountain’ came out and it got all the attention it did, 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 fucking turned it down!’ So that was how much Heath loved me, you know. That was how I met him,” Gyllenhaal said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.