Josh Hartnett says he missed out on ‘Brokeback Mountain’ kiss

“Brokeback Mountain” would have looked very different if Josh Hartnett and Joaquin Phoenix were the leads. And they almost were.

Hartnett, 43, and Phoenix, 47, were both up for the roles of cowboy-lovers Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. The parts ultimately went to Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger, who died in 2008.

Hartnett admitted in an interview with News.com.au that he wanted the part so he could smooch on the Oscar winner.

“I was going to do ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ” he told the outlet, adding that he was forced to drop the Ang Lee romance due to filming the 2006 drama “The Black Dahlia.”

The “Joker” actor was also cast at that time, although Hartnett said that “it was a different film altogether” with both men starring.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain.”
©Focus Films/Courtesy Everett C

“I’ve always wanted to kiss Joaquin,” the “Pearl Harbor” star added. “So that’s my biggest regret.”

The 2000s Hollywood heartthrob retreated away from the spotlight in recent years. In a separate interview on Wednesday with the Australian morning show “Sunrise,” Hartnett explained why he stepped away from show business.

Josh Hartnett
Hartnett starred in lucrative career-making movies in the 2000s including “Pearl Harbor,” “Black Hawk Down” and “The Black Dahlia.”
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

“Luckily, I think I hit onto it early on in my life,” he said. “It’s about creating a good home life and being able to do things that are wild and wonderful like making films, which is such a privilege.”

The father of three can more recently be seen in TV series such as “Penny Dreadful” and “Paradise Lost.”

Hartnett first discussed his departure from Hollywood with Details magazine (via Us Weekly) in 2014.

“I was on the cover of every magazine,” he said at the time. “I couldn’t really go anywhere. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn’t trust anyone.”

“I still get offered film and TV roles, luckily, but years ago, if I saw a role I wanted, there was a good chance I could grab it,” said Hartnett, who broke out with high school horror “The Faculty” in 1998. “When I see a role now, I’ve got to fight for it. It’s not bad. It’s actually more rewarding. Depressing when something doesn’t go your way, but only for a minute.”


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