Jake Gyllenhaal has credited Brokeback Mountain
with helping to change attitudes towards homosexuality in the United States, saying he's "so proud" to have been "a little part and parcel" of the country's gay rights advances over the last decade.
The 34-year-old – who admitted last year
that starring in the Ang Lee-directed movie gave him a new appreciation of film’s social and political power – also said during a round-table discussion at Loyola Marymount University
that while it's "ok" to be gay in Hollywood in 2015, the industry is still in the process of "changing".
Asked when attitudes towards openly gay movie stars would change, Gyllenhaal replied: "I wish I had that answer. I mean, I think it is changing, first of all. And it's pretty amazing how it's changing.
"And one of the things that I'm so proud of, in terms of being in that movie, was to see how, within the past basically 10 years, how much has changed. You know, when the Supreme Court passed just a little while ago, I felt like we had been part, a little part and parcel of that movement.
"You know, my parents taught me as a kid: do your work. Do it well. Try as hard as you can, whatever it is. It will one day, for the long [run], it will make some sort of change somewhere.
He added: "But when will it be OK for an actor to be gay? I mean, it's OK now."
Discussing his role as Jack Twist in the 2005 cowboy drama, Gyllenhaal continued: "I know a lot has been made of the choice to do it, but it just didn't seem like something that was scary to me.
"You know, it was binding, because sometimes a lot of that character is very specifically the more overtly gay character of the two. The one who's struggling with it less. And I didn't really realise that.
"And that was an interesting journey for me, giving into that idea. Being the one who tries to push the relationship."
While marking celebrating the film’s tenth anniversary earlier this year,
director Ang Lee revealed that Gyllenhaal's co-star, the late Heath Ledger, based his gruff character of Ennis Del Mar on one of his “homophobic, gay” uncles – click here to find out more
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