News Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger Initially Bonded Over "Mutual Frustration" with This Actor By Meghan Overdeep Meghan Overdeep Twitter Meghan Overdeep is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn who covers all things celebrity and pop culture. She worked as a News Blogger for InStyle for two years and is currently a Senior Staff Writer at Southern Living. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on January 11, 2018 @ 09:00AM Pin Share Tweet Email 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. Jake Gyllenhaal Remembers Heath Ledger: "I Miss Him as a Human Being" "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!