Heath Ledger had kept a detailed diary for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The diary, which was the last literary work of Ledger, will now be featured in a German documentary about the actor and his methods.
It was known that Heath Ledger kept a journal to prepare himself for one of the most iconic and memorable roles he would play in his life. Unfortunately the Joker was one of the last characters Ledger portrayed before his death. The “Heath Ledger diary,” as it has come to be known, was once briefly discussed by the actor’s father in 2013.
Heath Ledger died a few months after completing The Dark Knight. So powerful was his performance, he was bestowed with an Academy Award. However, Ledger wasn’t around to receive the honor. An autopsy had confirmed that Ledger died of an overdose of prescription drugs. But some strongly believe that the insane intensity in which Ledger prepared for the role of the psychotic and sadistic villain, coupled with the immense pressure to get it exactly right, was hugely contributory to his sad demise.
The diary which Ledger kept specifically to prepare for the role is believed to contain his notes, thoughts, guidelines and insights into the minds of criminally insane with whom Ledger was believed to have interacted. Now the diary has resurfaced and is the subject of a documentary. While majority of the information available about the diary is anecdotal, this documentary promises to be one of the most exhaustive and detailed look at the diary that Ledger penned in, in preparation to play the Joker. Speaking about the diary in a short video, Heath Ledger’s father Kim says.
“He pretty well locked himself up in a hotel, in his apartment, for a month or so, to sort of galvanize the upcoming character in his own mind. That was typical of Heath on any movie. He would certainly immerse himself in the upcoming character. I think this was just a whole new level.”
The video is very brief and seems to be an attempt to rile up some curiosity about an actor who died over seven years ago. However, despite its brevity, it does offer a glimpse into the level of dedication exhibited by a young actor towards a role that was once famously portrayed by Jack Nicholson and will soon be played by yet another dedicated actor, Jared Leto.
Each page of the diary is choc-a-bloc with handwritten notes and scoured photos including stills from A Clockwork Orange, a photo of a hyena and classic panels from comic books featuring the Joker, reported Hollywood.com. Hopefully the documentary will shed some more light on the actor’s methods.
[Image Credit | John Stanton / Getty Images, YouTube Screen Grab]