Almost two decades since its triumphant debut in theaters, Brokeback Mountain continues to hold a groundbreaking status in the collective consciousness for various reasons. Notably, Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Lureen Newsome contributed a distinct dramatic element to the film. Surprisingly, Hathaway’s audition for the role did not initially leave a strong impression.
The legendary film also showcased Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist and Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar, both delivering remarkable performances. Their masterful portrayal of forbidden love and suppressed yearnings garnered critical praise, leaving a profound and enduring impression on audiences, solidifying its status as a cinematic classic.
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Ang Lee Discussed Anne Hathaway’s Awkward Audition
In a reflective interview with Variety, director Ang Lee delved into Brokeback Mountain’s historical significance, recounting the somewhat awkward audition that ultimately secured Anne Hathaway her crucial role in the film.
“On the Universal lot for auditions, the casting director told me the next actress coming in to read was going to apologize for her clothes and makeup but to just let her do that and go into the reading. Then Anne came in, wearing heavy makeup and dressed as a princess, because she was shooting a parade scene for ‘The Princess Diaries 2’ on the Universal lot. She used her lunch hour to audition for the part,” Lee said.
The humorous and ironic sight of Hathaway dashing into the audition, adorned in the attire from 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, paints a vivid and amusing picture. Brokeback Mountain’s renowned premise of a same-s*x romance between cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) encapsulated a poignant sense of tragic destiny. Interestingly, the roles Anne Hathaway auditioned for, while seemingly princess-like, were far from joyful and majestic.
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Was Anne Hathaway’s Character Not Appreciated Enough
Lureen, portrayed by Hathaway, embodied one of the lesser-acknowledged tragedies in the film. Initially introduced as a determined and independent young woman, unafraid to pursue her aspirations in both career and personal life, she boldly pursued the affections of rodeo enthusiast Jack Twist, showcasing her assertive nature.
As their relationship progressed from courtship to years of marriage, the evolution of Jack’s feelings became apparent, ultimately leaving Lureen broken and cynical in her middle age. Her demeanor seemed nonchalant towards the vague circumstances surrounding her husband’s fate. It’s intriguing to note that Anne Hathaway auditioned for this very role, dressed as a princess.
The anecdote holds a certain relevance to the trajectory of Hathaway’s career, as it foreshadowed the dramatic turn it would soon take. Her portrayal of Lurleen in Brokeback Mountain, though a supporting role, exemplified a journey of emotional turmoil, depicting the poignant descent of a woman who had once presented herself as a formidable force to the world.
Brokeback Mountain is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.