Actor Heath Ledger, best known for his iconic portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 The Dark Knight, was someone with tremendous talent, grace and wisdom.
Ledger got his acting start in the ‘90s and early 2000s in movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale. He even received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal in the 2005 groundbreaking, LGBTQ film Brokeback Mountain. Then came the role of a lifetime of playing the most recognizable villain opposite of Christian Bale’s Batman. His casting was met with a lot of hate and disagreement from fans. After wrapping filming for The Dark Knight in 2008, Heath suffered from an accidental overdose.
The film was released later that year, and Ledger’s performance was met with widespread critical and audience praise. He posthumously won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker. His performance as the Clown Prince of Gotham is still widely held to high esteem and has made the role “intimidating” to fellow actors who take the role.
In a recent GQ interview, Christian Bale praised co-star Ledger’s performance.
“I was watching him going, ‘This is absolutely fantastic. Are we in trouble here?’ When [director Christopher Nolan] and I first sat down we said, ‘You know the problem with Batman is that the villains are always more interesting. Batman is actually very close to being a villain himself, so let’s never let him become dull by comparison. Unfortunately, I was sitting there going, ‘I feel a little bit dull by comparison,’ because Heath is just killing this. But I’m so proud of that film, I love it. The Dark Knight is absolutely extraordinary, and it was such a pleasure to have got to work with Heath.”