8 Things You Didn't Know About 'Brokeback Mountain', As Told By Anne Hathaway

A decade after filming Brokeback MountainAnne Hathaway is spilling a lot secrets about the film. Originally Hathaway read for the part of Alma, that eventually went to Michelle Williams. Hathaway was instead cast as rodeo rider Lureen, at her own request. "I said, 'Oh no, no, no, no, no. I'm not Alma. I need to be seen for the other part,'" Hathaway recently revealed. But it was a fortunate decision for the actress, who was just 22 at the time. In fact, Hathaway credits the role for getting her the Devil Wears Prada part alongside Meryl Streep. 

Until that point, Hathaway's largest role was in Princess Diaries, but fortunately Ang Lee, the director of Brokeback Mountain, showed Streep a clip of the film to base her casting choice on. "She approved my casting based on that," Hathaway said. "Meryl only had the Princess roles to go on and [Lee] was kind enough to show her that scene [before the film came out]." The winning scene was where Hathaway's character has to tell Heath Ledger's character that Jake Gyllenhaal's character has died. Hathaway credits the scene as being "responsible for [her] entire career."

But that wasn't the only thing Hathaway revealed about the Academy Award winning Brokeback Mountain. Here are two other secrets she spilled plus six other little known facts about the film. 

1. WHEN SHE READ FOR THE PART SHE WAS DRESSED AS A PRINCESS

Hathaway sprinted from a Princess Diaries shoot to audition for the role. Fortunately, Lee didn't mind that the attire was so different from her eventual role of Lureen. Lee said: "I told her, 'It's OK. You play a Texas princess, anyway.'" 


2. LEDGER'S PURSED LIPS WEREN'T AN ACTING CHOICE

The actor hardly opened his mouth when he spoke throughout the movie. Though some thought it was a way for him to better speak with his cowboy accent, Hathaway revealed that it was because "he was worried that flies might get in."

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3. THE MOVIE POSTER WAS INSPIRED BY TITANIC

Lee said that the marketing team drew upon the famous romantic film when designing the movie poster. "[We] didn't research posters of famous Westerns for ideas. [We] looked at the posters of the 50 most romantic movies ever made." The winner? Titanic.


4. THE PLAID SHIRTS SOLD FOR OVER $100,000

Gyllenhaal and Ledger's plaid shirts were auctioned off and longtime gay activist Tom Gregory, the lucky winner, paid $101,100.51 for them. "They really are the ruby slippers of our time," he said of the clothing. 


5. THEY MOTIVATED EXTRAS WITH HOCKEY

Much of the film was shot in Calgary, Alberta and when scenes called for a crowd of extras to be overjoyed, they were given the direction to act like their hockey team, the Calgary Flames "had just won the Stanley Cup."


6. THEY HAD UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS WITH THE SHEEP

When Lee was asked if the intimate scenes were hard to shoot, the director responded that more problems came from working with the sheep that the two men's characters were supposed to be herding. "[The intimate scenes] are a lot easier to deal with than location and sheep!" Lee said. He had previously struggled with sheep when directing Sense and Sensibility, saying "No more sheeps. Never again sheeps" after a particularly hard time wrangling the animals. The solution for Brokeback Mountain was to digitally animate much of the flock.

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7. KATE MARA WAS WAY TOO OLD FOR HER CHARACTER

Mara played Heath Ledger's daugter, but in real life was only four years younger than him. "I was a little bit nervous about that," Mara has said. I thought, 'how are we going to make it believable? Are people going to laugh?' But [Ledger] was so genius that he never made me feel odd about it during the scenes."


8. GYLENHAAL HAD TO GO TO "COWBOY CAMP"

To toughen up the actor, Lee sent him to "cowboy training camp" where he learned to ride horses, wrangle sheep and other cowboy activities. Lee required the actor really get into his role saying, "Jake needed to get blisters and bloody hands, chopping wood, hauling bales of hay, and putting up fences."



Image: Focus Features; Paramount Pictures

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