The world was shocked when young actor Heath Ledger passed away nearly ten years ago.
The 28-year-old was seemingly hitting all new heights, having just wrapped up on what is considered his greatest role, The Joker, in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film The Dark Knight.
In a career spanning a decade and a half, he won a number of awards, with most coming from the 2005 drama Brokeback Mountain. However, after his death he went on to earn a lot of posthumous accolades, including a BAFTA, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
He was an interesting man, with his acting techniques and life being talked about a lot since he died in 2008. Last year police investigating his death found that he had turned his apartment into a shrine to The Joker.
The New York Post reported that inside his ‘immaculately clean’ New York loft apartment there were dozens of Batman comics, books about the Joker and clowns, clown figures and recordings of himself practising his ‘Joker voice’.
It was well-documented at the time that his role of the Joker in The Dark Knight became an obsession for the star. A source told Page Six: “He was studying up on the origins of clowns and all of the previous Jokers like Jack Nicholson’s character and Cesar Romero’s, who was the first Joker on TV.
“He was trying to make his role different from the roles of the other actors. He was even studying how to make his voice different from theirs.”
At the time of his death many people spoke out, claiming that the role was what caused him to enter a ‘dark period’ and to turn to drugs to cope with this.
Given his popularity, it makes sense and is great that an insightful documentary about his life is coming our way.
The doc, called I Am: Heath Ledger, airs on Spike in May and will look at the actor’s life and the lead up to his accidental drug overdose in 2008.
It will apparently feature first hand accounts of people who knew and loved him, like his father, Kim, who has previously spoke about his death.
“It was totally his fault. It was no one else’s – he reached for them,” Kim told Daily Mail Australia.
“He put them in his system. You can’t blame anyone else in that situation. That’s hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him.
“His sister was on the phone to him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets.
“Because he was travelling a lot, he would pop in to a doctor. In the case of someone with a higher profile it’s often a case of ‘what do you want’ instead of ‘what do you need’.
“There’s so much pressure on them to perform so even though your body is telling you that it’s not good and needs time, it’s like ‘just take these painkillers and keep going’.
“That was the case with Heath. He had to be back on set to finish [the next day].”
Hearing about his death is still pretty hard for all his friends, family and fans, but one thing that’ll never die is our memory of him as the brilliant actor he was. This documentary will do nothing but make us more enthralled with him, and have a better understanding of his brilliance.