Award-winning director Gus Van Sant revealed the difficulties in casting the lead roles for the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain” before the project was given to Ang Lee. Van Sant wanted to cast “big names” for the film, but none of the Hollywood stars approached accepted the offer. Among those whom the director mentioned to have said no to playing gay lovers were Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Philippe, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. Producer and screenwriter Diana Ossana, who adapted the original short story by Annie Proulx for the big screen along with Larry McMurtry, backed Van Sant in an email to IndieWire. “Yes, all those young gentlemen (at the time) turned down the project, for various reasons,” she said. We don’t know about you, but we think that it is definitely for better and no one would cope with these roles the way two extremely talented and very attractive actors, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, did. It was a brave step to depict gay love on TV by then, it was a big step for straight actors to agree to play this kind of love, but it worked great both for the audience and for the critics, in conclusion everybody won.