By Meghan Overdeep
Updated Jan 11, 2018 @ 9:00 am
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It's been well over a decade since he met the late Heath Ledger, but the circumstances that lead to their friendship are still fresh in Jake Gyllenhaal's mind.

In a cover story for GQ Australia, the Stronger star recalls how their unlikely bond was actually forged through a particularly grueling casting process for a well-known film. Spoiler: neither of them got the part.

“I was auditioning for Moulin Rouge!—Baz Luhrmann had chosen three actors. It was Ewan [McGregor], it was Heath, and me," Gyllenhaal, 37, remembered. "And we auditioned with many different actresses, it was a long process. But I never met Heath, I only heard about him. We would be shuffled in and out of rooms. They would literally put me in a room and lock the door and Heath would come in and then Heath would be shuffled through the door. I never saw him."

Ultimately McGregor was cast, and Gyllenhaal and Ledger became friends long before Brokeback Mountain based on their "mutual frustration" alone.

"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 f*cking turned it down!’" Gyllenhaal recounted with a laugh.

"So that was how much Heath loved me, you know," he said. "That was how I met him.”

Cue the tears!