Perth Film School

You Are Viewing

A Blog Post

Remembering Heath Ledger

Heath was most famously known for his role as the Joker in the movie The Dark Knight and received many awards posthumously for his outstanding performance. (I think we can all agree, he was the very best joker!)

Ledger lived a carefree childhood in Perth, Australia. He did a lot of hanging out, playing sports, and swimming at the beach. His sports of interest were hockey and cricket. He himself raced and won several titles as a go-kart champion.  His club’s president once said “he had a lot of potential to do very well as a sportsman” (a multi-talented young man!)

Heath Ledger had a passion for acting early on in his life. After his first taste of acting Ledger continued to want to be a performer. Ledger began working on choreography, and dance along with still acting. He found a role on the big screen as an extra in the movie Clowning Around, and he later got a small role on a TV show called Ship to Shore. At the age of 16 Ledger completed his graduation exams early and moved to Sydney Australia to pursue his acting career.

Ledger had a pretty easy transition from Australia to America based on the facts gathered about his life. Once he made the move he immediately caught the eyes of Hollywood directors as he starred in movies almost immediately. 10 Things I Hate About You was Ledger’s debut as an actor in the American film industry. The film made its debut in 1999. Ledger played a teen rebel named, Patrick Verona. (Safe to say it’s everyones fave rom-com!)

In 2000 Ledger found another starring role in The Patriot, starring alongside Mel Gibson. Ledger again played a young man who wanted to go off and fight in the Revolutionary War. During his audition for the film, told producers he was wasting their time, and his. He said, “I am the worst auditioner in the world, I really am fucking shit”. He ended up getting the role without even auditioning. This role proved to help really launch Ledger’s career. (WOW!!)

He was approached to play in Spiderman afterwards but turned it down because he felt that he didn’t deserve the role. ( A true legend, he most definitely deserved to play the highly admired web-slinger!)

In late in 2005 Ledger played his most controversial role yet. Brokeback Mountain the story of two homosexual cowboys was released among much controversy. Ledger co stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal (a fantastic duo!) On the set of the very same film Heath Ledger met Michelle Williams and according to the director of the film he said “the two clicked right after rehearsal!

After many more hit movies, we come to his last… but most amazing performance yet! The Joker.

He took on the extremely challenging role of probably the hardest character any actor could play, after some wise words from Nicholson telling him how demanding this character was he said he’d do his best (which he most definitely did!). Here are some of his very own words on how he became the joker- ” I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices, it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath, someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts”

We wish we were still able to watch this true legend work in the film industry today!