Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the Joker in #TheDarkKnight is perhaps the most iconic super-villain in cinematic history, and it is one of the reasons the film is so celebrated. Sadly, Heath Ledger passed away shortly after filming — another great talent taken before his time.
Shortly after his death, rumors began circulating that Heath Ledger’s role as #TheJoker negatively affected his mental state and that his method acting triggered a bout of depression that he could not overcome. This rumor has been around for almost 10 years.
Recently, however, Heath Ledger’s sister addressed the long-standing rumor, and claims that all of the speculation about his role contributing to his death couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Heath Ledger's Sister Addresses Joker Rumor
At the premiere of the documentary film I Am Heath Ledger at the Tribeca Film Festival, Kate Ledger shared her observations of her brother’s mental state during the filming of The Dark Knight:
"I was really shocked, because that was him having fun. Every report was coming out that he was depressed and that [the role] was taking this toll on him, and we're going, honestly, it was the absolute opposite. It couldn't be more wrong."
She insisted that Ledger was relishing in his role as the Joker, and really enjoyed stepping into the role:
"He had an amazing sense of humor, and I guess maybe only his family and friends knew that, but he was having fun. He wasn't depressed about the Joker!"
How Did The Heath Ledger/Joker Rumor Come To Be?
The rumor that playing the Joker drove Heath Ledger "over the edge" has become somewhat of an urban myth. People have been repeating it for so long that it has become true in the minds of a lot of people. Kate Ledger voicing her observations of her brother during the filming of The Dark Knight paint a different picture than what was conveyed almost 10 years ago.
Heath Ledger's death was tragic, and afterwards people tried to pinpoint when his mental health began to deteriorate. It's human nature to try to find meaning, but sometimes we look for reasoning that isn't there.
Want to read more about Heath Ledger? Check out:
- Heath Ledger Created A Shrine To The Joker In His Apartment Before His Death
- 10 Insane Facts You (Probably) Didn't Know About Heath Ledger's Joker
- UPDATE: Spike TV's New Heath Ledger Documentary Now Has A Trailer
The rumor stemmed from a 2007 article in The New York Times; Ledger stated that he was battling insomnia after he was done filming The Dark Knight. After his passing, people began to use that article as a launchpad for connecting the two events.
In the end, we don’t know what Heath Ledger’s mental state was during the months leading up to his passing or what – if anything – served at a catalyst for the decline in his mental health. Kate Ledger’s observations of her brother during the filming of The Dark Knight serve as a small window into his life, and help counteract the rumors that have been circulating since his untimely passing.
What was your favorite Heath Ledger role? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.
(Source: The Telegraph)