New information about Heath Ledger’s obsession with the psychopathic character Joker in the Batman movie The Dark Knight has emerged, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Investigators who entered the 28-year-old Australian actor’s Manhattan apartment following his fatal drug overdose have revealed that he turned his abode into a shrine for the Joker. A source said Ledger, who died in 2008, had literature on the Joker, tons of comic books, clown statues, and recordings of him practicing his Joker voice in different octaves.
“He was studying up on the origins and all of the previous Jokers like Jack Nicholson’s character and Cesar Romero’s who was the first Joker on TV. He was trying to make his role different from the roles of the other actors. He was even studying how to make his voice different from theirs.”
In the aftermath of Ledger’s death, many have blamed his Joker role for his downward spiral. In an interview with the Brokeback Mountain star, he said that he had holed himself inside a room for a month, scrawling in a diary as the Joker and trying out different voices.
Ledger died January, 22, 2008, a few months after he had finished filming The Dark Knight, His naked body was discovered by a masseuse who had kept an appointment at his Soho apartment.
The following month, the Batman movie in which he played the Joker to critical acclaim was released, grossing over a billion dollars at the box office. Ledger received a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the blockbuster movie.
Heath Ledger’s death was deemed an accident from an “acute intoxication by the combined effects of sleeping pills, anti-anxiety drugs and pain killers.” In 2007, the Australian actor revealed that he was struggling with insomnia and getting only two hours of sleep every night.
After the Knight’s Tale had died, the journal that he had scrawled in when he was holed in a hotel room was recovered. On the last page was an ill-omened scribble of “bye bye.” The journal also included creepy pictures, drawings of the joker, and depictions of hyenas and clowns.
The fact that Ledger’s home was a shrine containing plenty of Joker memorabilia has led to a conspiracy theory that the villain comic book character contributed to his death. People are suggesting that the actor was haunted by his villainous role, and it eventually took over his mind and ended his life abruptly.
An excerpt from Rolling Stone supported this view.
“He couldn’t seem to disengage, the inexactness bothered him. Ledger had no formal training in acting school, it teaches you to approach a role as foreign language you temporarily speak. Ledger didn’t have that. He needed to dig and inhabit the part of himself that was that character.”
However, his father has spoken out saying that his son was responsible for his death. Kim Ledger revealed that his daughter, Kate had warned Heath the night before his death about the cocktail that he took, which eventually led to his death.
“His sister was on the phone with him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets. He said ‘Katie, I’m fine now. I know what I’m doing.'”
In the aftermath of his death, Kim has been working hard trying to raise awareness for the abuse of prescription medicine, especially in Australia. In 2014, a UN World Drug Report listed Australians as the biggest users of drugs for recreational purposes.
Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989, said he was not happy that he was not consulted about the creepy role.
Nicholson had offered a cryptic comment to reporters when he was told that the Aussie actor was dead, “I warned him.”
[Featured Image by Warner Bros.]