Superstar Madonna has hailed "brave" Hollywood hunks Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger for portraying gay cowboys in their forthcoming movie Brokeback Mountain.

Madonna was treated to an early screening of the ANG LEE-directed movie, by one of the movie's producers, and is delighted the actors have taken on such controversial roles.

The MATERIAL GIRL enthuses to British gay magazine Attitude, "I loved it. Shocking. Surprising. The guy who financed my movie did that too. He's a very mild mannered chap from Minnesota and we'd just screened the latest cut of my film and he asked if I wanted to see it.

"I was thinking, 'OK, this really square, straight guy,' and he showed me this movie. It's amazing.

"They're really good those boys and they did a great job. It's very brave of them."