Heath Ledger Rejected An Oscars Gig Over A ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Joke

The ultimate LGBTQIA+ ally.

In a new interview with Jake Gyllenhaal, it can be revealed that the late Heath Ledger was the ultimate LGBTQIA+ ally. 

For more on the film industry, make sure you check out this episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

According to Gyllenhaal, the two of them were asked to speak at the 2007 Academy Awards, but Heath refused. Why? Because of a joke that was written into the ceremony’s opening monologue. In an interview with fashion magazine, Another Man, Gyllenhaal said:

 “I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it… And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, ‘Oh, okay…whatever.’ I’m always like, ‘It’s all in good fun.’ And Heath said, ‘It’s not a joke to me — I don’t want to make any jokes about it.’”

Honestly, as if we couldn’t love Heath Ledger more! Brokeback Mountain was one of the first few Oscar-nominated movies that had an LGBTQIA+ storyline. Props have to be given to Heath Ledger for being so adamant that the film Brokeback Mountain, which centred itself around a homosexual relationship, be taken seriously. We honestly have no choice but to stan. 

Jake Gyllenhaal also commented on Heath’s character, saying:

“That’s the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, ‘No. This is about love. Like, that’s it, man. Like, no.’”

Having said that, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s relationship with the Oscars extends beyond this. Brokeback Mountain received eight Academy Award nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film lost to the forgettable-movie Crash which received backlash for its win from fans and critics alike. 

Brokeback Mountain was robbed!

Heath Ledger did end up winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight a few years later. When he won, he had devastatingly already passed away from an overdose of oxycodone, diazepam, hydrocodone and doxylamine at the age of 28.

We ranked Heath Ledger as our favourite actor to come out of Home and Away, make sure you check out that list for more.

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A Star Power Ranking Of All The Celebs To Come From ‘Home And Away’

From Summer Bay to centre stage.

We’ve all gotta start somewhere, and for these stars, it was on Channel 7. Home And Away has been running for over 30 years and as a result, it’s spawned some incredible, Aussie stars. So, we thought it was a good idea to rank them for how big of an impact they’ve made in the entertainment industry. Without further ado, here’s our list!

6. Dannii Minogue

Credit: Channel 7

While her sister was getting her big break on Neighbours, Dannii Minogue was getting her start in Summer Bay.  Before you knew her as the Masked Singer and X-Factor judge, Dannii Minogue played Emma Jackson on Home and Away. From 1989 to 1990, Dannii Minogue was an important figure in Summer Bay. Starring in over 200 episodes, Minogue racked up two Logie nominations for Most Popular Female Talent. It wasn’t exactly her first tv appearance though, as she was a star on Young Talent Time years prior. Since then she had a kickin’ music career spawning the hits “Love and Kisses”, “This Is It”, “Jump to the Beat” and “Baby Love” and now, being the personality we all know and love. 

5. Simon Baker

Credit: Channel 7

Before we knew him as The Mentalist, Simon Baker was chilling around Summer Bay. The 50-year-old played James Hudson from 1993 to 1994. After this time, he left the show to star in another Aussie series, Heartbreak High, for 6 years. Since the 90’s he moved to the States and made it big in Hollywood. His notable performances include The Guardian, The Devil Wears Prada and Land of the Dead. 

4. Isla Fisher

Credit: Channel 7

Before she played the shopaholic we all fell in love with, Isla Fisher played Shannon Reed on Home and Away. Her character was a bisexual young woman who developed anorexia and roamed around Summer Bay from 1994 to 1997. Since her time on the show, she’s starred in the hilarious romcoms Wedding Crashers and Definitely, Maybe. She is currently married to Sacha Baron Cohen and the two of them have two children. Love that for her!

3. Chris Hemsworth

Credit: Channel 7

While his brother was killing it on Neighbours, Chris Hemsworth got his start on Home and Away. Chris played Kim Hyde on from 2004 to 2007. He was so popular with Aussie audiences, he won Most Popular New Male Talent award at the 2005 Logie Awards! When talking about Home and Away, Chris Hemsworth said, “The role in Home and Away is consistent work for me and is a great experience. It is so fast-paced and basically it allows me to learn a lot about the industry.” Since his lengthy time on the show, he’s joined the Marvel squad as Thor and starred in Snow White and the Huntsman.

2. Naomi Watts

Credit: Channel 7

She’s starred in one of the most iconic horror remakes of all time and – not to mention – a movie that many call the best film of all time, but never forget the time Naomi Watts was in Summer Bay. Naomi Watts played the paralysed Julie Gibson on Home and Away for a very brief time in 1991. Since her time on the show, she moved to the States and starred in some of the most iconic films known to this generation. Naomi Watts has been nominated for Academy Awards twice, once in 2003 and another in 2012. 

1. Heath Ledger

Credit: Channel 7

Topping our list is the one and only, Heath Ledger. Before you knew him as The Dark Knight or one of the gorgeous cowboys in Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger played Scott Irwin on Home and Away. In 1997, Heath Ledger played the bad boy of Summer Bay who took Sally Fletcher’s virginity in the back of his van. After two years on the show, this Aussie icon went to star in the unforgettable 10 Things I Hate About You before passing away in 2018 from an accidental overdose. The incredible actor won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the Joker after he passed.

If you loved this list, make sure you check out our Neighbours one too.

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Nothing Burns Like These Retro Aerobics Workouts

BYO Lycra.

When was the last time you watched a retro aerobics workout? Now that you’re not going to the gym as much as before, we know you’re struggling to get back your workout motivation. As a result, we thought we’d suggest something a little unconventional that is just so random it just might work. Instead of running around your local side-streets, why not whip out a yoga-mat in front of the telly and watch some retro aerobics workouts.

For more on COVID-19 isolation, check out It’s Been A Big Day For…

We’ve rounded up the best ones for you!

Jane Fonda’s Beginners Workout

Whip out your leggings and yoga-mat because it’s about to get sweaty up in here! Jane Fonda probably has the most famous retro aerobics workout of all time, and for good reason. Taking her viewers through a rigorous routine filled with ballet, pilates and strength routine at a very quick pace, this workout is far from “beginner” level. But, what’s a workout without a little challenge! So next time you feel the need to watch Grace and Frankie, sub in this Fonda-alternative instead. 

Tony Britts’ “That’s It” Workout 

The BBC are resurfacing old videos of Tony Britts and boy oh boy, are we not complaining. Donning an infectious smile along with a cropped black mesh top and extremely tight shorts, Tony Britts was giving BBC breakfast tv audiences life, henny! Tackling the “that’s it” retro aerobics workout will leave you puffed, inspired and overall entertained. Enjoy!

Marky Mark’s “Form, Focus, Fitness”

Before Mark Wahlberg starred in the Spenser Confidential, Transformers and Boogie Nights, the actor that we all know and love was actually a rapper. Back in his rap days, he extended his ‘Good Vibrations’ to modelling and retro aerobics workout videos, hence we have this incredible flick here. There’s quite a lot in here, so if you want to give this workout a crack, we recommend setting aside a week.

Cindy Crawford’s “Next Workout”

Got a spare hour? Cindy Crawford has the perfect retro aerobics workout geared to help build speed, agility, endurance, balance and flexibility. The resistance and aerobic movements will burn around 500 calories if done completely. What are you waiting for? Next time you’re bored in self-isolation, whip out the mat for this toning throwback clip. 

Cher’s “Hot Dance”

There is nothing that Cher can’t do. Whether you know her as a singer, actress, model or gay icon, you know of Cher. And just when you thought she’d done it all, here’s another talent you can add to the list. “Hot Dance” is described by Cher as “38 minutes of fat-burning fun.” Now while I don’t trust anyone that uses “fat-burning” and “fun” in the same sentence, I do trust Cher. The 38-minute retro aerobics workout is led by Cher’s choreographer, who suggests that you can attain Cher’s incredible physic by doing this routine. Sign me up.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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