Heath Ledger had a miserable time on the Brokeback Mountain set - because director Ang Lee treated the late star like an "alienated prop", according to the film's producer James Schamus.
In an Entertainment Weekly magazine tribute piece - marking the first anniversary of Ledger's death - Schamus and British filmmaker Terry Gilliam both recall how difficult the acclaimed film was for the Aussie, who played gay cowboy Ennis Del Mar.
Gilliam recalls his The Brothers Grimm star calling him from the set and revealing he was far from happy.
He says, "He felt alone and isolated. I think it was his sense of not getting the kind of warm support we gave him on Grimm."
But Gilliam adds, "Whatever it did, it produced an extraordinary performance."
And Schamus explains, "During casting, rehearsals, and pre-production, Ang (Lee) is like the warm, wise, cuddly daddy bear. The minute he yells 'Action' on the first shot, the actors become alienated props he kind of puts up with... It's tough on actors.
"He doesn't yell at people or humiliate them, but it's a very tough space. Heath had very difficult days. You could really feel the pain he was going through."
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