33 Little Known Facts About Heath Ledger

By : Talltanic - 3 months ago
Heath Ledger, 4 April 1979 - 22 January 2008, was an Australian actor who played roles in 10 Things I Hate About You, Brokeback Mountain and his most famous role of all – The Joker in The Dark Knight. Today we learn a little more about the man who played those roles and we find out more about what made The Joker the best Joker to ever grace our big-screen!

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13 - Smile for the camera…
The scars that Ledger wore on his face for The Dark Knight were not in the original comic book series. Ledger wanted to make the character uniquely his own, and thus sported what is known as the Glasgow Smile. The phrase originated in Scotland, where gang members would leave their enemies with scars just like these. It was the perfect addition to the role according to Ledger, and we couldn’t agree more!

12 - Enjoy the ride…
Much of the shooting for The Dark Knight took place in Chicago, and while in full costume – make-up and all – Ledger would ride around the set on his skateboard. He found it very relaxing… who can blame him when you think of how he had to change character to get into the role of The Joker!

11 - He started it…
There’s a scene in The Dark Knight where Batman is interrogating the joker, and Ledger asked Bale to literally beat him as hard as possible so that the scene could be as real as they could make it. It really makes you see the film in a totally different way when you hear of all these things that Ledger has added, doesn’t it?

10 - No happily ever after…
But there was some happiness which resulted in a beautiful little girl named Matilda. Ledger met Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain. They were together for 3-years. Matilda is now 12-years old.

9 - Just Dance…
Heath Ledger loved dancing, and he drew a lot of inspiration from Gene Kelly. Kelly was a well-known actor, singer and exceptionally talented tap dancer. He starred in many musicals during the 1940’s and 50’s, including the movie Xanadu. Ledger never starred in a musical, but he did show some of his talent off in the movie, A Knights Tale.

8 - Last Project…
One of the last projects that Ledger was involved in was a music video for Modest Mouse. The single was called King Rat, and it was completed by co-director Daniel Auber and a few others. It was released on the 4th of August, 2009.



7 - Dress it up…
We’ve already touched on the hospital scene, and the whole scene is just brilliant and shows the insane, crazy side of the Joker, especially when you see him wearing the nurses dress. The line, “do I really look like a guy with a plan?” could not have been more apt for the entire scene. In the scene there is an explosion, and the directors agreed the explosion would be a little delayed, however Ledger decided the explosion would happen on his time and that exact moment when it happened was completely unscripted and it worked brilliantly.

6 - A little sleep deprived…
When he was interviewed back in November of 2007, Ledger admitted that his roles in “I’m Not there” and “The Dark knight” left him feeling very sleep deprived. He said, “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. … I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” Many believe it was this severe lack of sleep that led him to become dependent on sleeping pills which ultimately led to his unexpected and tragic departure of this world.

5 - Almost there…
It’s been said that Ledger turned down the opportunity to play the part of Spiderman! He said he wanted to give someone else a chance to do it, and the role ended up going to Tobey Maguire! When he was given the opportunity, he said 'It's not for me. I would be taking someone else's dream away'."

4 - Forward planning….
When Heath left this world, it was said that he hadn’t updated his will to include his then 2-year old daughter Matilda. So, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell donated their entire salary from the film, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassius”, to Matilda.

3 - Cause for concern…
Many speculated that the Ledger’s part of the Joker contributed to his early demise, because it led the actor to severe depression. That information has never been confirmed, but when you think of everything he did to ensure he portrayed the role to perfection, perhaps there is a little truth in it.

2 - It’s no joke…
Heath Ledger was the first non- American to take the role of the Joker. The first person to ever take the role as the “real-life” Joker was Cesar Romero. He took the role in the West-led Batman series during the 60’s. He refused to shave his mustache for the role, giving make-up artists quite a hard time every time they had to do his face. Looking at his character now it’s hard to believe he wasn’t forced to remove his facial hair as it looks a little silly.


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33 Little Known Facts About Heath Ledger