Heath Ledger was an Australian actor and director, who gained worldwide popularity for his portrayal of the roles of Ennis Del Mar in “Brokeback Mountain,” and the Joker in “The Dark Knight”. On his birthday, we share some things about this great actor:
“No amount of money changes what I do between ‘action’ and ‘cut’. Before I got into the industry, I never imagined I’d have anywhere near the money I have now. I don’t need any more. It’s not that I don’t want the money, it’s just that I would have been really happy sitting on a beach or surfing every morning. I never had money, and I was very happy without it. When I die, my money’s not gonna come with me. My movies will live on – for people to judge what I was as a person. I just want to stay curious.”
1. Heath Ledger was born Heathcliff Andrew Ledger to Sally Ledger, a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a race car driver and mining engineer.
2. Heath and his sister, Kate Ledger, are named after the two main romantic characters of the Emily Brontë novel, “Wuthering Heights”, Heathcliffe and Catherine..
3. Ledger was a passionate chess player. He won the Western Australia’s junior chess championship when was a cute 10-year old. He continued playing chess even as an adult.
4. Heath made his acting debut in “Clowning Around” in 1992 and his second role was in a TV series “Sweat” in 1996 in which he played a gay cyclist.
5. While playing the famous role of “Joker”, when he dresses up as a nurse for a scene, the name on his uniform is written as “Matilda”. Matilda is the name of Ledger’s daughter.
6. Heath is the first and the only actor to be nominated for the performance as Joker. Also, he is also the first and the only actor to be nominated from a Batman movie for acting skills.
7. He won 25+ posthumous awards for his role of “Joker” in “The Dark Night” in 2008 including Academy Awards, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award.
8. Ledger’s work comprised nineteen films, including “10 Things I Hate About You”,” The Patriot”, “A Knight’s Tale”, “Monster’s Ball”, “Ned Kelly”, “The Brothers Grimm”, “Lords of Dogtown”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “Casanova”, “Candy”, “I’m Not There”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”.
9. Heath was named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 2001 and also chosen by Empire Magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the world in 2007.
10. Heath was the second person to win an acting posthumous award. The first person to win it was Peter Finch.
11. He played the role of a clown in both in first complete role ( Clowning Around) as well as his last complete role ( The Dark Knight) .
12. The day after he died, he was supposed to meet with Steven Spielberg to explore the idea of playing the character of “Tom Hayden” in a movie based on Chicago 7.
13. In order to get a good feel and understand the Joker’s insanity, Heath checked into a motel room and isolated himself from the world for six whole weeks! During that time, he took the effort of learning the Joker’s voice and laugh.
14. For his iconic portrayal of “The Joker” in “The Dark Knight”, Ledger, using the cosmetics and clown makeup, designed the whole make-up of “Joker” himself.
15. “Don’t shoot the messenger”.This is the last line spoken by Ledger in his last movie ”The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”.
“I don’t have a technique. I’ve never been a believer in having one set technique on how to act. There are no rules and there is no rulebook. At the end of the day, it all comes down to my instincts. That’s the one thing that guides me through every decision professionally. Socially, also. That’s my technique. Yeah, you read through the script 100 times. I guess I have little characteristics about myself. Sometimes, most often than not, once we start shooting I won’t look at the script at all until we finished shooting. It’s kind of like it’s been imprinted in my head during rehearsals. You just let it go.”
(Reel.com, May 2001)
“You know when you see the preachers down South? And they grab a believer and they go, ‘Bwoom! I touch you with the hand of God!’ And they believe so strongly, they’re on the ground shaking and spitting. And fuck’s sake, that’s the power of belief… Now, I don’t believe in Jesus, but I believe in my performance. And if you can understand that the power of belief is one of the great tools of our time and that a lot of acting comes from it, you can do anything.”
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