The Killing Joke

The Dark Knight is finally out now and, from all reports, it's a great film made even better by Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker. I've recently caught the trailer and I've gotta say, he looks terrifying to the point that this has gone from a maybe to a must see for me. Word is that he's being put up for a post-humous award for his acting in this, his final film. Good. He deserves it as it's becoming clearer every day that this film cost him his life exactly six months ago on January 22nd this year.

Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. I just couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.

We've all heard about the troubles in Heath's life leading up to his death from an overdose of sleeping pills, but did you know he wasn't exactly himself as he went through all this? In an effort to understand the character, Heath had started writing a diary in the twisted character of the Joker. As well as containing bits and pieces about the character, including a list of what he'd find funny (AIDS is listed somewhere near the top), it also contained the Joker's view of Heath's own life and the events he witnessed. All of which added up to a reportedly hypnotic, sympathetic and realistic performance as one of the most famous comic book villains ever.

It also lead to his death as the lifestyle collaborated with his own personal hardships, experienced mostly in character, to stop him from sleeping. Sleep deprivation is a well known form of torture, affecting you both physically and mentally, which caused the young actor to start taking sleeping pills whenever he was cast in a difficult role. Combined with a burgeoning depression and anxiety problem that was also being medicated "under the counter" and pills taken to ease pneumonia contracted during late night filming in the rain, the man had more medication going into him each day than any rockstar.

It destroyed him, and cost the world a fine actor and, by many accounts, a hell of a nice guy. He'll be missed by many. And that's no joke.


19 thoughts on “The Killing Joke

  1. It's very sad. I haven't seen him in many movies, and I haven't seen him acting poorly in any of them.Like you – this was in my "maybe" pile. I thought it was getting too hyped because of his death, but after seeing the trailer and reading the reviews, it seems the hype wasn't just that. Looking forward to seeing it.

  2. No, I didn't know this. Danish media have not been writing more about his death, it was only "interesting" right after it happened.

  3. It's called The Knight's Tale over here, after one of Chaucer's stories. One of my favourite films that is. πŸ˜€

  4. I don't think I have seen him in any other movie than this one and then "The Last Knight". But I am not sure. I sometimes just don't recognize the actors. πŸ˜†

  5. It's not much reported after his death. But if you read interviews about the film with him or other actors there, you can gather the pieces. It's one of the reasons I thought it was a suicide at first.

  6. The whole style of the film is so original – using current songs to evoke how the music of the day would feel to the people. And the humour's spot on.

  7. :doh:It's the same title here, I just didn't remember it right. I loved the scene with the "We Will Rock You"-song in it. πŸ˜€

  8. believe it or not, it happens to the common working person also. not just actors, not just politicians, not just professionals. drugs and overdoses by ignorance cause more pain and death than any other form of suicide. this death, may his soul rest in peace, was not intentional — it was an accident. too bad the so called "people who cared for him" were not there to protect him and provide cousel to a talented individual. lesson learned imo. don't take each breath for granted until you've beathed the last one — he's still watching out for us all. imo.

  9. Loved Knight's Tale.. One of my favorites I don't mind popping in anytime..Followed most reports on Ledger on Enews and whatnot.. What can I say? My mum watches it and I sit in a corner and watches it too.. πŸ™„ do you think the movie is said to be phenomenal because its one of the great hits or because the guy died?Hell yeah he's a brilliant actor but till I see it I'll keep that judgement for myself..Just a couple of days ago I told my mum that he must be my generations James Dean or Monroe.. Immortalized by an early demise..

  10. I'd say that one still lies with Kurt Cobain. Nirvana were good, but not that bloody good, ya know.You've confused me now Deb. Did you mean the Joker would be watching over us, or Heath Ledger?

  11. *imagines Clint sitting in a corner, sewing a Spice Girls patch onto his cap, while Mother Grape sits in her chair watching TV*

  12. *tries not to imagine that* :insane:He and Christian Bale appear to be the kind who are prepared to really work for their art. Sad this went too far.

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