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Heath Ledger: 4 Sacrifices Made By Him That Proved Him A Biggest Joker Ever

Heath Ledger: 4 Sacrifices Made By Him That Proved Him A Biggest Joker Ever
Written by Medhaavi Mishra

The actors who have played the Joker on the big screen have put a lot of work into portraying this character, whose psychology, personality, and behavior are difficult to express. Also, Heath Ledger made sacrifices that established him as the biggest joker ever. Even though his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight won him an Oscar, Heath Ledger has left the world with so much more than that.

Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian actor and music video director. He was born on 4 April 1979. Ledger grew up in Perth, Australia. Heath is well known for giving intense and passionate performances in a variety of roles. After appearing in a number of Australian television and film films during the 1990s, Ledger relocated to the US in 1998 to further develop his career in film. Twenty films were produced by him, the last two of which were posthumously released. His work included the films 10 Things I Hate About You(1999), The Patriot(2000), A Knight’s Tale(2001), Monster’s Ball(2001), Lords of Dogtown(2005), Brokeback Mountain(2005), Candy(2006), I’m Not There(2007), The Dark Knight(2008), and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). 

He met the actress Michelle Williams on the Brokeback Mountain set, and they started dating in 2004. On October 28, 2005, in New York City, their daughter Matilda Rose was born. Heath passed away when she was three years old. Matilda, his daughter, is Heath’s greatest tangible legacy.

He was nominated for the BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe Award, and Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, making him the eighth-youngest nominee in the category at the time. In Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, he played a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters who embodied aspects of Bob Dylan’s life and persona. Along with the rest of the ensemble cast, he received the Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award for the movie.

In order to prepare for his role at The Dark Knight(2016), the actor had spent a month staying alone in the hotel. Heath Ledger used that time perfecting the character’s voice, laugh, personality, and even loneliness. As prep for filming, the actor wrote every emotion and thought of the Joker in his diary. Ledger’s performance of the Joker has been praised by the public because of his meticulous preparation and ability to completely transform into the character. Ledger stated that playing the Joker was “physically and mentally draining” in an interview with the New York Times. It also had an impact on his already terrible sleep, with the actor claiming that some days he could only get about two hours of sleep. 

A medicine overdose that was accidental caused Ledger to pass away on January 22, 2008. A few months prior to his passing, Ledger had wrapped up filming for The Dark Knight, portraying the Joker. Over $1 billion was made at the box office for The Dark Knight, and Ledger received a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Oscar winners Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix have since performed the role on film. 

The truth about Heath Ledger’s life is much more human than those sneaky stories could possibly imply. This is the terrible true story of Heath Ledger, from his parents’ divorce through his coming-of-age as a talent to watch, his iconic performances in some of the most acclaimed films of the mid to late aughts, and his depression, terrible insomnia, and resulting drug dependence. 

Ledger came forward and made some huge sacrifices that produced fruition and earned him recognition from the critics and fans alike, in addition to some outstanding screenwriting and great directing by one of the finest.

The following four sacrifices made by Heath Ledger make his version of the Joker the greatest:

Six Weeks Of Self-isolation

Six Weeks Of Self-isolation

One of the most well-known facts regarding how Heath Ledger developed the character of the “Agent of Chaos” is that he spent six weeks isolating himself from the outside world and living solely in a hotel room. He also wrote the renowned “Joker” diary at this time, which detailed the thoughts and feelings of the actor. On the inside of the sheets were also put comic book clipping and images of hyenas.

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Dry Mouth Caused By Unnatural Voice

Heath Ledger has an extremely deep voice. In order to play the Joker, Heath Ledger used an unnatural voice that caused him to face dry mouth in between takes. Because of this, he started licking his lips to keep them moist when he spoke, which greatly contributed to the overall development of his character. It was later revealed in the 2017 biopic I Am Heath Ledger that he did it to keep the prosthetic for his scar moist and adhered to his face.

Threw Himself On Walls In Order To Actually Get Hurt

Threw Himself On Walls In Order To Actually Get Hurt

Ledger requested Christian Bale to strike him as hard as possible during the interrogation scene from the movie, but when the latter declined, he started to throw himself against the walls to make the contact appear real. There were tiled walls within that set that were cracked and dented from him throwing himself against them while he was slamming himself around.

Severe Insomnia As A Result Of Playing The Joker

Severe Insomnia As A Result Of Playing The Joker

Despite having insomnia problems for years, Ledger’s condition worsened as he was shooting The Dark Knight as the Joker. In the end, the actor’s lack of sleep caused his early death before the film’s release from an accidental overdose of prescription sleeping pills, and the artist did not survive to see his works. 

Heath’s life can’t be reduced to just one outstanding moment, unlike so many others. Instead, his integrity, creative enthusiasm, and commitment to pushing himself were constant reminders of the great impact he had on the world. Heath always looked for ways to push himself, whether it was in a big budget comic book film or a home movie that no one saw until years after his death. He actively pursued new experiences and refrained from creatively repeating himself. 

About the author

Medhaavi Mishra