Heath Ledger, his Joker remains legendary: here’s who inspired him

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Why so serious? For some, perhaps this phrase says nothing at first glance, but it was pronounced by one of the most talented and multifaceted artists who have ever appeared on the big screen, in one of his most iconic and unforgettable interpretations: we are talking about Heath LedgersAustralian actor and director who died prematurely on January 22, 2008at the age of just 28, for aacute intoxication caused by the combined effects of anxiolytics and sleeping pills.

Heath Ledger is awarded the 2009 posthumous Oscar in Los Angeles

Already 15 years have passed, yet the character of Jokerinterpreted by him in The dark Knight (The Dark Knight) by Christopher Nolan is still today a point of reference for i villains cinematic. An interpretation that earned him several posthumous awards, including, a Oscars and a Golden Globes how Best Supporting Actor in 2009. Disturbing and disturbing, still his Joker manages to make the strings of the soul vibrate, even after the superb version recently revived by Joaquin Phoenix.

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Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar ne Brokeback Mountain

Heath Ledger, from the beginning to his meeting with the Joker

Born in Perth on April 4, 1979at age 10 Heath Ledgers he soon had to face his parents’ divorce, an experience that would profoundly mark the actor’s private life. As a teenager he discovers and cultivates his great passion for cinema and gets his first part in 1999, playing in the comedy 10 things I hate about youby newcomer Gil Junger. The following year he won a leading role in it The Patriotalongside the star by Hollywood Mel gibsonwhile in 2001 he took part in the original historical (and anachronistic) film A knight’s fatedirected by Brian Helgeland.

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The actual consecration, however, comes in 2005, when Heath Ledgers is chosen in the leading role for four films: The Brothers Grimm and the Charming Witchby Terry Gilliam; Lords of Dogtownby Catherine Hardwicke; Casanovaby Lasse Hallstrom; Brokeback Mountainby Ang Lee. And it is thanks to the interpretation of the shy Ennis Del Mar in the movie of Leewhich the talented Australian actor will definitely explode, also obtaining nominations for the Golden Globesto the BAFTA and above all to Oscar Prize how Best Leading Actor. Finally, in 2006, it was officially included in the cast de The dark Knightwhere he prepares to face his most difficult challenge: the Joker.

Heath Ledger, the Joker: a journey into the depths of madness

One could almost say that there was a moment in Heath’s artistic career Ledgers, in which art has taken over the person: a complete and total immersion in the darkest depths of existence. Interpret the Joker by Christopher Nolan it meant taking a journey into the psyche of a character complex and multifaceted, an authentic physical and mental sacrifice in favor of art. And Ledgersmeticulous and manic to the extremes, he could have dealt with it better than anyone else.

This he knew well too Nolanwho chose the Australian not only for his ductility, but above all because he was convinced that the boy could play the role of such an iconic character, without fearing comparisons with previous actors. The goal was to tell not so much the origins, but the evolution of Joker as an answer to Batmanin a bond between the two that the same Ledgers defined as “a relationship in which one cannot live without the other”: the dark knight e his nemesis.

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Fanart that takes a scene from The dark Knight

The fact remains that that of the villains license plate DC Comics can be considered for all actors as the litmus test: Jack was the forerunner Nicholsonin the Batman directed by Tim Burtonwhich gave the public a version of the Joker perhaps more goliardic and “playful”, totally in antithesis with the one provided by Heath Ledgerswho instead focused above all on the interiority of the character, a psychopath, a sociopath, “a threat to anarchy that had to enjoy creating terror on a large scale”.

Heath Ledger, the genesis of the Joker: cross and delight

The dark downward spiral that connected Heath Ledgers to the figure of Joker it is certainly one of the most significant and sinister events of the Hollywood scene: the culmination of his professional life, but also the beginning of a deep abyss that ended up engulfing him. The actor isolated himself for six weeks in a hotel room, holding a diary in which he wrote down every detail of his work. The aim was to get more and more intimate with the character, enriching him with details: every single fold of the face, expression, smile, nothing was left to chancebut it was the result of meticulous research.

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He is a psychopath with no conscience of his actions, an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded mass murderer, with zero empathy

Heath Ledger, in describing the Joker

He tried to create one voice particular, that it was immediately recognizable and studied a walk slightly curved, perfectly suited to the aggressive nature of the character. Heath Ledgers he knew the universe well A.D (having read comics like The Killing Joke And Arkham Asylum), but also drew inspiration from a real-life character.

Two seem to have been Heath’s main sources of inspiration Ledgers in the genesis of Joker. To outline the somatic and character traits, the Australian actor based himself on Sid Viciousiconic British bassist of the Sex Pistols (who also died very young), proposing the look chaotic, decadent and emaciated appearance. To further enrich the characterization of the clownwas instead inspired by a fictional character, namely theAlex DeLarge of Stanley’s masterpiece Kubrick Clockwork Orange (played by Malcolm McDowell), from whom he “stole” the psychotic attitudes and explosive personality.

If the final result proved successful from an artistic point of view, so much so that even today and for many years still his Joker will continue to be a character cult of the genre – and not only – likewise Heath Ledgers it will come out irretrievably transformed. Engaged at that time also on the set Of Parnassus – The man who wanted to deceive the devilby Terry Gilliamthe Australian actor seemed to particularly accuse him psycho-physical stress caused by the intense interpretation of the villains from the A.D.

The last interview with Heath Ledger, who passed away a few weeks later

In an interview given to New York Timesthe same Ledgers he confessed that he found himself unprepared to face that role, both emotionally and physically. Take the form of Joker therefore it had an enormous specific weight on his own emotional balance: hence, the emergence of a persistent insomnia disorderwith the consequent drug abuseeven if regularly prescribed by the doctor. The rest is history: the diabolical clown it completely enveloped him, until it occupied a large part of his life and tragically took over.

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