In 2008, Heath Ledger pulled out all the stops in his portrayal of the Joker in Batman’s The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger, The Joker, elevated the film to classic status, but, tragically, he wasn’t around to see it.
Heath Ledger pushed himself to the limit for the interpretation of the Joker
The Australian died at the age of 28 after a drug overdose while the film was in post-production.
Previously, Ledger was additionally dedicated to the role of the Joker, in a performance that would earn Posthum an Oscar.
As part of his method, he acted for weeks, keeping a diary, which was then shared with the documentary makers behind the 2012 film Too Young to Die.
The diary contained a wide range of manic compositions, the hyenas, clowns, comic strips and Alex delarge from Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic, A Clockwork Orange.
In the documentary, his father, Kim, said Ledger isolated himself to get into the character’s unhinged psyche.
He said, “He locked himself in a hotel room for weeks.” That was typical of Heath.
“He liked to really get into character,” his father continued.
Ledger also went all out physically, encouraging co-star Christian Bale [Batman] to really beat him up during an interrogation scene.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bale recalled, “As you see in the movie, Batman starts hitting the Joker and recognizes that he’s not your ordinary enemy. Because the more he beat him, the more he enjoyed it.”
Given the great effort Ledger put in, after his death it was rumored that the strain of the role had affected him mentally. However, his sister Kate denied these claims and assured that he loved playing the role.