There was also another possible contender for the role of Christian: Jake Gyllenhaal. Like Ledger, he was too young for the role, but their experience auditioning for Christian made them laugh when they were on the set of Brokeback Mountain, according to Gyllenhaal’s 2018 interview with GQ Australia.

“I auditioned for Moulin Rouge! Baz Luhrmann picked three actors. It was Ewan, it was Heath and me. And we auditioned with a lot of different actresses, it was a long process,” he recalled. “But I never met Heath, I just heard from him. We’d shuffle in and out of rooms. They would literally get me into a room and lock the door and Heath would come in and then Heath would shuffle through the door. I did never seen him. “

After meeting, the two of them bonded over their “mutual frustration” of missing out on the opportunity at Moulin Rouge! To play, but it also became a kind of joke. As he put it, “Heath called me and he said: [affects Ledger impersonation] “Hey buddy, I have some news for you.” I said what? ‘ He said, “Baz just offered me his next film. I just wanted you to know, I refused! ‘”