The tagline for “Brokeback Mountain” reads, “Love is a force of nature.”
And they’re not kidding. Seems Mother Nature may have contributed to “Brokeback” co-stars Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger falling in love after shooting their first scene together in Ang Lee‘s unorthodox western love story.
The actors got short notice that, due to melting snow, they needed to rush and film a scene that takes place in the happy and carefree early days of Ennis and Alma’s relationship.
The scene required the two to ride a toboggan down a steep and slippery mountainside in Alberta, Canada. When the sled toppled over, the couple had to tumble and frolic in the powdery white snow. “For the first few takes, they rode down the mountain, fell off the toboggan and got up giggling and laughing,” recalls costume designer Marit Allen.
“But after the last take, Michelle didn’t get up and she couldn’t even move. She’d twisted her knee quite badly and was in a lot of pain so an ambulance was called. But Health was absolutely beside himself. He was so upset. He felt it was his fault because he had rolled off the sled on top of her so when the ambulance arrived to take Michelle to the hospital, he insisted on getting in with her and the door closed behind them. There was a romance from that moment on.”
A romance that resulted in the birth of their daughter, Matilda Rose, a little over six weeks ago.
Photo: Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain.”
( Focus Features)