Christopher Nolan's ‘The Dark Knight’ is still one of the best superhero movies ever, partially thanks to Ledger's performance as the Joker. And of course, everyone remembers THAT scene from the film...
10 years later, this film always manages to have people talking about it. We particularly remember the iconic character ‘The Joker’ played by the late Heath Ledger. While all the scenes that the actor played were scrutinised, a new story from the set has come to light.
The magazine Vulture conducted its investigation and managed to elucidate the mystery of an iconic scene: the Joker's magic trick.
In case you somehow forgot, here's what happens: the Joker arrives at a meeting of some of Gotham's seediest baddies. In his pocket, a pencil. He sets the pencil up on the table so it's standing vertically. As one of the lackies approaches the Joker, Ledger's character grabs the henchman by the head, slams him face first onto pencil and voila, the pencil disappears.
A scene shot without special effects
You should know that this sequence was a real ordeal for the actors to shoot. And especially for Charles Jarman, comedian-stuntman, designated to be the victim of the demonic Joker. It took 22 takes to make the scene perfect! First with a very slow speed, so that Jarman had the time to train himself to grab the pencil before his head hit the table. Then, back to the normal speed.
The actor has also revealed to Vulture that he lost consciousness many times during the filming. And this is the one and only time Heath Ledger snapped out of his Joker character.
‘[I had] three [knockouts] that I can recount. My second day, my forehead came out to, I’d say, at least an inch from my head. The first [knockout] was for a couple of seconds, and I remember that daze and coming to. Because it was the first time, I didn’t want to mess the shot up. Heath actually asked me when I was coming to, saying, “Are you okay? Are you okay?” I was like, “Yeah, yeah, I’m good.” Then he slipped back into The Joker again.’