Here’s how Heath Ledger changed himself to play the role of The Joker in The Dark Knight

Here's how Heath Ledger changed himself to play the role of The Joker

Heath Ledger also known by his full name Heath Andrew Ledger is an Australian actor, who was born on 4 April 1979 in Perth, Australia. He is very famously known to play the role of The Joker in 2008 Action/Adventure movie The Dark Knight directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie was released on 18 July 2008. Here’s how Heath Ledger changed himself to play the role of The Joker.

About Heath Ledger:

At the age of 17, Ledger packed his belongings and left Australia to pursue a career as an actor. He got a few tiny roles here and there, including a main role in a television show. But Ledger had huge ambitions, and people around him saw it right away.

Despite being a complete unknown in the industry, Ledger heard the script for 10 Things I Hate About You while staying with a friend in LA and decided he wanted the main part. Ledger auditioned for and was cast in the role of Patrick, launching his career as a young heartthrob into the public media. He was approached with film offers for roles comparable to those in 10 Things, but he was not interested.

His Character as a Joker in The Dark Knight

It is believed that the character that Heath Ledger played role of the Joker, who is playing the antagonist (a bad guy) is one of the best character that cinema may have come across. Ledger’s anarchist supervillain was a far cry from Jack Nicholson’s hammy version of the same character in 1989, with strung-out hair, greasy self-applied pancake makeup, and a Glasgow smile that’s as unnerving as it is uneven (suggesting perhaps half of it was self-inflicted to make a matching set of scars).

How did Heath Ledger managed to pull of this one? How did Heath Ledger fully developed a character which is totally opposite of him? Here’s how Heath Ledger changed himself to play the role of The Joker.

Perhaps Heath Ledger spent six weeks in a hotel room in order to prepare for his part as The Joker. During his lengthy period of isolation, Ledger dug into the character’s psyche. He committed himself to perfecting The Joker’s every quirk, especially the voice and that sadistic-sounding laugh (for the voice, Ledger’s objective was to avoid echoing Jack Nicholson’s work as the Joker in 1989). The chaotic, unkempt style of punk singer Sid Vicious was mixed with the psychopathic mannerisms of Malcolm McDowell’s character, Alex De Large, from A Clockwork Orange to create Ledger’s version of The Joker’s image (1971).

When it comes to the Joker as a character, he spends considerably more time off screen than on during The Dark Knight’s runtime. The Joker appears for barely 33 minutes of The Dark Knight’s epic 152-minute runtime, far less than the typical duration of a Hollywood blockbuster. Despite this, he is ubiquitous throughout the picture, casting a shadow over each of Nolan’s three protagonists: vigilante Batman played by Christian Bale, police lieutenant James Gordon played by Gary Oldman, and district attorney Harvey Dent played by Aaron Eckhart.

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