From the very first time we saw Heath Ledger in 10 things I hate about you, we fell in love with him. The charming Australian accent, great acting chops, and not to forget his extraordinarily good looks, all aligned perfectly to earn him a great horde of fans. Oh, and him singing, “Can’t take my eyes off of you” definitely put the final nail in the coffin. We all thought that from then on, we’ll be watching Ledger in many high-budgeted, mainstream movies and him rising to stardom of the Hollywood life.
Apparently, Ledger had entirely different plans. Ledger was passionate about acting, and by passionate we mean he was prepared to turn down many great offers because he was looking for a role that would challenge him as an actor. And though he achieved that and even lived a fraction of that life, but his real and major recognition came when he was no longer alive to accept that; the Academy Award for best actor. And of course, it was for a role none other than The Joker in The Dark Knight. So, how did he end up becoming the best Joker so far? Let’s see:
He Was Committed To Diversity:
Before the Joker, Heath played the character of a gay man in Brokeback Mountain, and a teen heartthrob in 10 things I hate about you. Not many know that Heath Ledger was highly criticized for the role when he was casted for by Nolan; after all, it was not easy to fill the shoes of actors like Robin Williams, Steve Carell, and Paul Bettany, who played the joker prior to him. So, Heath did the unthinkable and designed a shoe of his own. He presented the most menacing, mercurial, and diabolic joker the world has ever seen.
He Was Always In Character:
Ledger was so committed to his role that his co-stars from the Dark Knight said that he always used to stay in character, even when the cameras were not rolling. At one instance, he startled Michael Cane with his originality that Cane forgot his lines. Christian Bale said that at one point, he felt that Heath completely ruined all his plans because he was so much more interesting than him.
Most actors just learn their lines, appear on set, and play their part. However, Heath wasn’t like them. In a documentary named Too Young to Die: Heath Ledger, we could see Ledger’s character flipping through the pages of Heath’s diary, a major portion of which was contributed to the Joker. Only perfection can result from so much research and fascination with a character.
Heath became the Joker:
People closer to Heath described his attitude as being fun loving and happy; the Joker was the complete opposite. So, in order to get in character, Heath secluded himself from society and checked into a hotel room for 6 weeks for understanding isolation and the joker’s perspective of life. He wasn’t interested in mimicking Jack Nicholson’s Joker; so, he practiced changing his voice, his gait, and his expressions.
While all the actors who played Joker were great in their own way, Health’s stood out due to the fact that he became fixated with the character. He himself declared it to be one of the most fun characters he has ever played. He didn’t play the part of the Joker; he became the joker!