Josh Hartnett was 'going to be in Brokeback Mountain' but had to 'drop out'

"I really wanted to kiss Joaquin [Phoenix]," joked Josh of his suggested co-star in the film


Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki/Focus Features

Josh Hartnett has revealed he was "going to be in Brokeback Mountain."

The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger as gay cowboys, is one of the most critically-acclaimed LGBTQ-focused films of all time, and won three Oscars.

The Faculty star Josh claims he was eyed for the role of Ennis, played by Ledger - but had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts.

"I had a contract with The Black Dahlia"

Speaking to Australian breakfast show Sunrise, the 43-year-old explained: "'Unfortunately, I was going to do Brokeback Mountain. And I had a contract with [2006 film] The Black Dahlia that I had to film, so I had to drop out of it."

According to the Daily Mail, Joaquin Phoenix was at one point suggested to star opposite the 30 Days of Night star as Jack. Speaking of his regret about losing out on the role, Josh joked: "I always wanted to kiss Joaquin."

In his interview, Josh also explained why he stepped back from his film career at the height of his fame. "It was the best thing for my mental health and my career to keep Hollywood at bay," he said. The star went on to appear in the hit TV show Penny Dreadful.

Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, won 85 industry awards after it was released in 2005.

Earlier this year, Jake told The Sunday Times of playing Jack: "Part of the medicine of storytelling is that we were two straight guys playing these parts. There was a stigma about playing a part like that, you know, why would you do that? And I think it was very important to both of us to break that stigma."

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