Struck down in 2008 at the age of 28 due to a drug overdose, Heath Ledger left cinema-lovers with the memory of a brilliant and talented actor who would have gone on to have an incredible career.
The actor asked to be hit!
But the tragedy of his death meant he was unable to extend his career as much as he could have, although the films he was in undeniably had a significant impact on the history of the 7th Art. And he definitely made an impact with The Dark Knight that was released in 2008, in which the actor played the role of the Joker. 'This role was quite demanding for Heath Ledger and he wanted to give it his all', as Christian Bale explained who played the role of Batman by his side.
In the book ‘100 Things Batman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’ by Joseph McCabe, the actor revealed what Heath Ledger asked him to do so that their scenes were as believable as possible.
‘Our first scene was in an interrogation room together and I saw that he’s a helluva actor who’s completely committed to it and totally gets the tone that Chris [Nolan] is trying to create with this. […] As you see in the movie, Batman starts hitting the Joker and realizes that this is not your ordinary foe. Because the more I hit him, the more he enjoys it. The more I’m giving him satisfaction.’
‘Completely ruined all my plans’
‘Heath was behaving in a very similar fashion. He was kinda egging me on. I was saying ‘You know what, I really don’t need to actually hit you. It’s going to look just as good if I don’t.’ And he’s going, ‘Go on. Go on. Go on…’ He was slamming himself around and there were tiled walls inside of that set which were cracked and dented from him hurling himself into them. His commitment was total,’ explained Christian Bale.
‘Heath turned up, and just kind of completely ruined all my plans. He’s so much more interesting than me and what I’m doing,’ continued the actor who admits that Ledger practically stole the show even though he was the one playing the main character in the film.