Seriously sad news… Heath Ledger dead at 28…

Wow. I’m driving home and hear the news break that Heath Ledger, who is playing the Joker in the new Batman film The Dark Knight has died at the age of 28. He was found surrounded by sleeping pills…

It’s way to early to speculate as to what drove him to whatever point he was at in the ends (if his death was a suicide) but, of course, people already have. It’s part of the Cult of Celebrity, where peoples’ lips wag at anything curious or new – and this is the latest in that long sad cycle of obsession. Sadly, I’m part of it/interested in it too, but at least I acknowledge that this obsession is… far the ideal area we should focus our attention on.

I was (and am) looking forward to his portrayal of the Joker, and, if you’ve seen the trailer, you can see he is genuinely creepy in the role. That said, I wonder…

I’d read that Ledger was a true method actor, and often spent weeks and weeks in hotel rooms researching and preparing for roles. His (now) last role was a murdering sociopath. I also read that Michael Caine, who plays Alfred, said he was genuinely frightened when he shot his scenes with Ledger. Heath, apparently, stayed in character throughout the shoot. When he was supposed to be thrown on a table by another character, he had them shoot it again…

“Harder. I want to FEEL it.”

Someone on a message board brought this up, and like I said, we don’t know (and will probably never know) what happened, but the point is so spot-on I have to repeat it here:

In the end, the only person the Joker ever killed in real life may have been Heath Ledger.