When it comes to villains, there are few baddies that can stand up to the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime reigns as one of the most terrifyingly chaotic fiends in pop culture, and many people instantly think of Heath Ledger when the character is talked about. The late actor famously played the Joker in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and Ledger's death has often been linked his work on the film. And, now, new details about the actor's passing have been revealed which link him to the Joker once more.
According to an exclusive article by Page Six, a source familiar with the actor's death said Ledger was surrounded by Batman paraphernalia when his body was found. A law enforcement source said the actor's apartment was filled with Joker comics & literature, clown statues, and taped recordings of Ledger practicing his laugh as the Joker.
"He was studying up on the origins of clowns and all of the previous Jokers like Jack Nicholson's character and Cesar Romero's, who was the first Joker on TV," the source explained. "He was trying to make his role different from the roles of the other actors. He was even studying how to make his voice different from theirs."
The source also told Page Six Ledger's home was very clean and that his Joker research material was neatly organized. "He was a perfectionist who clearly had a lot of respect for the character. All of that stuff was very tidy. He cared a lot about it," the source said.
Eight years have passed since the acclaimed actor tragically passed, and Hollywood continues to wonder what might have happened if Ledger had lived. In 2012, attention was drawn back to Ledger and his family when a documentary titled "Too Young to Die" was released. The film covers the life and death of Ledger and gives viewers a inside-look at the actor's final days.
Most notably, the documentary showed fans one of the journals which Ledger kept his research about the Joker in. Broadview Pictures uploaded a clip featuring the notebook a few years back which went viral. In the video, fans can see clippings which Ledger attached to the pages of his notebook. Most of the images are of the Joker, but a picture of Malcolm McDowell from Stanley Kurbrick's adaptation of A Clockwork Orange can also be seen.
The disturbing images can only give fans a glimpse into Ledger's last days, but no one can ever truly know how the actor felt about his sinister role. Shortly before his death, the actor did an interview with Empire Magazine where he talked about his inspiration for 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," he said. "I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He's just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown...Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke."
[H/T] Page Six