If there’s one character that will go down in the history of cinema all across the world is Heath Ledger’s role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The late actor died due to a drug overdose and won his first-ever Oscar for the same role.
Christian Bale played the role of Batman in the film and various reports suggested that playing such a dark character had a huge impact on Ledger’s mental health.
Last year, a documentary was released on the life of the late Joker actor Heath Ledger where his family was also involved. His sister was spotted saying, “He was having fun. He wasn’t depressed about the Joker.” But the length to which he got involved in the role was also shown brilliantly in the same.
Ledger once told the New York Times that playing the role of Joker in The Dark Knight was ‘physically and mentally draining’. The actor already had sleep issues after he got involved in the role so much, his sleep cycle got even worse.
In fact, in an interview with Empire back in 2007, Heath Ledger revealed that he locked himself up in the hotel room to prepare for the role and said, “It’s a combination of reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it. I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He’s just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown.”
The documentary also featured Ledger’s father, Kim who revealed that the actor maintained a diary which is also shown in the same. “It was hard to read that,” Kim Ledger said in the documentary. “He galvanized the upcoming character. That was typical of Heath. He would do that. He liked to dive into his characters, but this time he really took it up a notch.”
The Dark Knight did a business of over $1 billion at the global box office and Heath Ledger’s Joker became an iconic character in the history of cinema.