This is my first blog post and I wanted it to be something I am passionate about, something that is important to me. The problem is that the events and people that interest me are mostly connected to the past. However, my friends told me that as a part of the assignment I have to write about something that is connected to today. To be honest I’m 60-90’s addict (and yes I know it’s weird). So I decided to connect my interests to the assignment. The event which I want to connect to my post happened 7 days ago and even if it is not an antiquity today it is also not something extra new too. One second in this superfast world is able to build and destroy countries, values, relationships, people and everything in general. I think there are people and events that will never be old, unimportant or uninteresting. The values they leave should always be a measure for generations and keep them alive in everyone’s memory. Now let’s concentrate on our “guy who stole the show”. I can’t imagine my first post being about someone else than him.
Seven days ago, on Jan. 22, was the 9th anniversary of Heathcliff Andrew Ledger’s death. Maybe the name Heathcliff Andrew does not say you anything. Heath would sound more familiar, but the Joker from the Dark Knight movie will for sure be bright in your memories. None remembers the hero of the film, Batman, right? While, when one thinks about the movie they think about the Joker. Is the Joker that powerful character? No for sure! I have an impression that writers did everything to prove that the Joker has the right to be the bad guy because of his background story they created but why didn’t the character succeed before the Ledger’s performance. I mean, many talented actors played the role. Even Jack Nicholson played and his Joker was amazing but it cannot even come close to Ledger’s performance. 2016’s blockbuster Suicide Squad starred Jared Leto as Joker. I as nearly everyone was expecting something extremely outstanding from his performance. Since 2014 I was waiting for it: for something as extraordinary as Ledger’s Joker and something as different from everything else that I’ve seen as Leto could do it. Of course, it is not secret for anybody who has seen the movie that nothing was special about the Joker. Leto did a great job and every scene with him was just perfect but was it something to put around Ledger’s Joker? No. Of course NO. Everyone in the movie was in their places. Will Smith took the most time of the movie, Jared did everything to make his performance different from those done before him, Cara Delevingne and the rest of the cast did what was expected from them to do and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) “stole the show” as much as the director let her. Heath played many different roles and his talent was obvious in many of them especially in the difference between his characters but the movie that opened him as acting genius was the Joker.
First of all, not only the character opened him as an actor but he opened the character too. He is famous for his acting technique known as Stanislavsky’s method acting. This is one of the most popular techniques among actors nowadays. Christian Bale, who played Batman, also uses method acting. His performance in The Machinist (2004) cannot be something to forget about. He was the one the audience should concentrate on after the Dark Knight was released. He was the good guy, punishing the bad ones, saving his girl and becoming the favorite among Gotham city folk (blah-blah). Then why everyone associates the movie with Ledger’s character? His acting was everything we remember from the movie. His uniqueness is that he did not only fit into his character or become his character by understanding its body language and movements but also start to think as his character. Nolan, the director of the movie, explained that Ledger had “a very long time to obsess about it, think about what he was going to do, to really figure it out.” In addition, Nolan had Ledger read Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and study the paintings of Francis Bacon. Then, months before shooting began, Ledger isolated himself, writing and collaging images to help him get inside the character’s head. So he was not only in his character’s shoes as it is usually being said, or in its body, but in its head.
When production began, Ledger was on set every day in full costume and makeup but he’d only be in character when filming. Make-up artist John Caglione told Movie Geeks United in 2012 that Ledger would skateboard around, goof off, smoke cigarettes, and give out bear hugs at the beginning and the end of every workday. However, when it was time for him to work, he did everything to bring the character out at will. When in character, he certainly made an impression on his co-stars. Bale told The Guardian that Ledger had “turned up and just kind of completely ruined all my plans. Because I’m like, he’s so much more interesting than me and what I’m doing.” October of 2007, Ledger said playing Joker was “the most fun I’ve ever had, or probably ever will have, playing a character.” Then on January 22, 2008, he was found dead in his Manhattan loft. Rumors started to immediately circulate about the role of the Joker taking its toll on him, causing the death. This also shows his connection to the role. I don’t want to go deep into the story of his death but I want to think that this post helped you to remember a unique artist who brought acting into a whole new level.
Here I leave a video link to one of his outstanding onscreen scenes as Joker, hope you will enjoy it.