10 years ago, a tragic death of a younger actor shook the world. “Joker’s” cruel joke, they said.
On 22nd January, 2008, the world woke up to the news of Heath Ledger’s death. The Australian actor had gone on to become a legend in no time for the choice of roles he essayed. Be it ‘Patrick’ from ’10 Things I Hate About You’ or his last one which was Bob Dylan’s biography, Ledger was a screen favorite.
But the most iconic role we remember him is for that of ‘Joker’ from ‘The Dark Knight’.
While it is no news that Joker’s character had taken the actors sanity away, what made us come to terms with the graveness of situation was his diary.
The actor penned a diary of his journey of being a ‘Joker’. He went on to called the dairy namesake.
A read through and one is briefed about his sleepless nights and how he was on a medication of sedatives like Ambien to treat insomnia. Heath had just finished filming of Bob Dylan biopic ‘I'm Not There’ and ‘The Dark Knight’.
If the reports are to be believed, Ledger passed away because of the lethal dose drugs. An autopsy showed oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine in his system.
During the filming of the documentary on Ledger’s life, a German filmmaker stumbled upon the diary the former had left behind.
Kim Ledger, Heath’s father disclosed how many a muse the latter had for his performance. From hyenas, clowns, comic strips to Alex DeLearge from Stanley Kubrick's cult classic, A Clockwork Orange, he had them all jotted down in there.
Kim revealed how heath had put himself on a self-imposed exile to play ‘Joker’, but it was usual.
"He pretty well locked himself up in a hotel room for weeks. He galvanised 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," Kim said in the documentary.
What was spine-chilling was the words 'BYE BYE' written in large letters in the diary.
While many of us think that ‘Joker’ was the worst thing that could have happened to Ledger, Christian Bale, his co-actor recalls Ledger saying: "[The Joker was] the most fun I've ever had, or probably ever will have, playing a character."
Heath went on the win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously. He even won the Golden Globes, Australian Film Institute, BAFTA and Los Angeles Film Critics Association for the role.
Take a look at the now-treasured diary:
Here's a trailer of the documentary. Full version is available on Netflix.
Information source: ladbible
Title image source: identitymag