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Batman Director Remembers Ledger

| Filed under: AustraliasticHeath Ledger

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Christopher Nolan, who directed Heath as the Joker in this summer's Dark Knight film, has written a touching tribute to the departed actor.

CLICK HERE to check it out!

One night, as I’m standing on LaSalle Street in Chicago, trying to line up a shot for “The Dark Knight,” a production assistant skateboards into my line of sight. Silently, I curse the moment that Heath first skated onto our set in full character makeup. I’d fretted about the reaction of Batman fans to a skateboarding Joker, but the actual result was a proliferation of skateboards among the younger crew members. If you’d asked those kids why they had chosen to bring their boards to work, they would have answered honestly that they didn’t know. That’s real charisma—as invisible and natural as gravity. That’s what Heath had.

Heath was bursting with creativity. It was in his every gesture. He once told me that he liked to wait between jobs until he was creatively hungry. Until he needed it again. He brought that attitude to our set every day. There aren’t many actors who can make you feel ashamed of how often you complain about doing the best job in the world. Heath was one of them.

One time he and another actor were shooting a complex scene. We had two days to shoot it, and at the end of the first day, they’d really found something and Heath was worried that he might not have it if we stopped. He wanted to carry on and finish. It’s tough to ask the crew to work late when we all know there’s plenty of time to finish the next day. But everyone seemed to understand that Heath had something special and that we had to capture it before it disappeared. Months later, I learned that as Heath left the set that night, he quietly thanked each crew member for working late. Quietly. Not trying to make a point, just grateful for the chance to create that they’d given him.

Those nights on the streets of Chicago were filled with stunts. These can be boring times for an actor, but Heath was fascinated, eagerly accepting our invitation to ride in the camera car as we chased vehicles through movie traffic—not just for the thrill ride, but to be a part of it. Of everything. He’d brought his laptop along in the car, and we had a high-speed screening of two of his works-in-progress: short films he’d made that were exciting and haunting. Their exuberance made me feel jaded and leaden. I’ve never felt as old as I did watching Heath explore his talents. That night I made him an offer—knowing he wouldn’t take me up on it—that he should feel free to come by the set when he had a night off so he could see what we were up to.

When you get into the edit suite after shooting a movie, you feel a responsibility to an actor who has trusted you, and Heath gave us everything. As we started my cut, I would wonder about each take we chose, each trim we made. I would visualize the screening where we’d have to show him the finished film—sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we’d done with all that he’d given us. Now that screening will never be real. I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly.

Back on LaSalle Street, I turn to my assistant director and I tell him to clear the skateboarding kid out of my line of sight when I realize—it’s Heath, woolly hat pulled low over his eyes, here on his night off to take me up on my offer. I can’t help but smile.

Via The Dark Knight Blog

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342 comments to “Batman Director Remembers Ledger”

More comments: [1] 2 3 4 »

  1. tori says – reply to this


    1

    FIRST

  2. alicia says – reply to this


    2

    first

  3. Connie Girl says – reply to this


    3

    1st

  4. BJ. says – reply to this


    4

    Woot Woot for Heath Ledger night! Sorta. Suck A Dick Perez.

  5. LOVE YOU HEATH says – reply to this


    5

    Awww. a skater ta'boot. We love you Heath. RIP, HL!!!

  6. as says – reply to this


    6

    first

  7. B says – reply to this


    7

    So tragic.

  8. pam says – reply to this


    8

    First….he looks scary !!

  9. theanswer says – reply to this


    9

    RIP

  10. Fat Pez EAT SHIT! says – reply to this


    10

    Eat shit and DIE fat pez you stupid ugly ass morbidly obese clown!

  11. bayley says – reply to this


    11

    so sad
    =(

  12. 1st says – reply to this


    12

    1st bitches

  13. mo says – reply to this


    13

    will be missed RIP

  14. serenditpy says – reply to this


    14

    that is absolutely lovely - left me with a tear in my eye. What a tribute.

  15. ryan says – reply to this


    15

    creeepy

  16. Amy says – reply to this


    16

    that was unbelievably well written and a great insight into who Heath really was.

  17. Julia says – reply to this


    17

    :( I miss him

  18. ona says – reply to this


    18

    Well said. RIP Heath

  19. kaitlyn says – reply to this


    19

    heart-warming. that's how he should be remembered.

  20. kellyanne says – reply to this


    20

    1st!

    we miss you heath!!

  21. sara says – reply to this


    21

    first

  22. Jusa says – reply to this


    22

    Very lovely.

  23. Antonia says – reply to this


    23

    whoa!! first! super touching

  24. mgr27 says – reply to this


    24

    What a great lost he is to the world.

  25. netta says – reply to this


    25

    That is one of the best tributes I've ever read. You will be missed Ledger, you will be missed.

  26. savvy says – reply to this


    26

    "I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly."

    …beautiful

    i still cant believe he's gone

    R.I.P Heath

  27. orlando says – reply to this


    27

    so touching

  28. will says – reply to this


    28

    first!

  29. caro says – reply to this


    29

    so sad

  30. nena says – reply to this


    30

    truly talented young man and a charmer at that, sometimes artists think they need that extra boost from drugs to fuel their creative genius, but sad.

  31. Geminat.com says – reply to this


    31

    That was sweet

  32. Liz says – reply to this


    32

    Can't wait to see the film! Too bad it's his last.

  33. missinghim says – reply to this


    33

    he'd be proud of what he left behind

  34. parkerbaby says – reply to this


    34

    so sad.
    i feel so bad for baby Matilda!
    Rest In Peace, Heath.

  35. Woohoo says – reply to this


    35

    What a great remembrance of Heath! I am so glad to be able to have read this! Thanks Perez

  36. bri says – reply to this


    36

    touching

  37. I totally... says – reply to this


    37

    I totally miss Heath! I heart him

  38. sera bae says – reply to this


    38

    wow i love heath

  39. Brittani says – reply to this


    39

    Perez Hilton is fucking sexy

  40. mercedes says – reply to this


    40

    i love heath

  41. Eva says – reply to this


    41

    Touching..

    I got a little teary eyed. Im glad that he's not "just another actor" and that his creativity was taken seriously and appriciated

  42. me says – reply to this


    42

    Very nice article…he was a great talent

  43. John says – reply to this


    43

    he better pay tribute in the movie !

  44. ooh pickles says – reply to this


    44

    wow that's a fascinating look into what heath was really like.

    *sends up prayers for heath's fam*

  45. Sean says – reply to this


    45

    Christopher Nolan is a class act. It goes to show you what kind of artist and man Heath Ledger was. We can only pray these rumors of heroin and cocaine abuse is untrue. Heath's portrayal of the Joker will go down as one of the greatest in movie history.

  46. fernanda says – reply to this


    46

    I think this is how heath should be remembered… He seemed to be such an amzing person

  47. Bam says – reply to this


    47

    first?

  48. dude says – reply to this


    48

    it really is a shame

  49. punkercan says – reply to this


    49

    Pretty cool. first

  50. Jennifer says – reply to this


    50

    Wow… that was great and very sad… RIP heath, You're in a better place now.

  51. Cara says – reply to this


    51

    It is so touching to see that someone remembers him for who he was, for the legacy that he leaves behind — not just for the scandals and dirt that everyone seems to be so desperately looking for. Though I obviously do not know much about his real life, he seems like one of the good ones, honest and hard working.

  52. FAT PEZ SUCKS ON SHIT! says – reply to this


    52

    FAT PEZ isn't it a shame that your morbidly obese ugly ass looks WORSE than this every day WITHOUT even trying to? Go kill yourself FAT PEZ!

  53. sarah says – reply to this


    53

    first bitchessssssss

    eat me!

  54. Joshie says – reply to this


    54

    love the touching tribute, Heath u will always be remember. I miss You, and u were a great person and actor. Rest In Peace!

  55. georgia says – reply to this


    55

    wow, whatta guy
    you don't hear about many characters like heath
    we truly did lose one of the best

  56. chelseaa says – reply to this


    56

    FIRST!
    this is touching, r.i.p heath

  57. erug says – reply to this


    57

    first

  58. Nikki says – reply to this


    58

    Wow, that was really touching, elegantly written, truly sentimental and spoken from the heart.

  59. Lydia says – reply to this


    59

    RIP Ledger!! Can't wait to see him in Batman.

  60. AndyG says – reply to this


    60

    Unbelievable

  61. :( says – reply to this


    61

    FIRST!!!

    Thats so sad i miss heath

  62. maggie says – reply to this


    62

    thats so sad… i really really wish he hadn't died… i wasn't a big fan or anything but it's alway sad when someone so loved dies… it's a great tragedy

  63. Duck says – reply to this


    63

    RIP. Truly will be missed.

  64. maya says – reply to this


    64

    sweet. luv it. first

  65. me says – reply to this


    65

    heath

  66. stephy says – reply to this


    66

    first, andthats so sad

  67. Lysa says – reply to this


    67

    first

  68. Robyn says – reply to this


    68

    I love Heath Ledger. He was so likeable in everything I ever saw him in. I can't believe how saddened I am by his passing. I pray his soul is at peace, and my thoughts go out to his family, especially Matilda.

  69. Shabangbang says – reply to this


    69

    I can't wait until this movie comes out..RIP Heath and God bless his family.

  70. lalala says – reply to this


    70

    first

  71. sarah says – reply to this


    71

    first! How sad…but what a wonderful testiment how one person can make such a difference. It is clear he was truly loved by those who knew him, and even by those who didnt.

  72. b_deezy says – reply to this


    72

    first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  73. booyaaa says – reply to this


    73

    first bitchesssssss!!

  74. Paris3970316 says – reply to this


    74

    This is so perplexing the death of a great actor who had innumerable skills. His death is a great loss to the industry and wherever Heath is right now, I'm sure it is a much happier place where the lights are always on and everyhting is done on a single take! So Heath cheers to you and farewell, and just remeber 3, 2, 1, ACTION!

  75. partygirl says – reply to this


    75

    heath was a hottie. :D

  76. WHATWUT! says – reply to this


    76

    FIRST!

  77. Heather says – reply to this


    77

    That just makes me sad.

  78. Sarah says – reply to this


    78

    aw.

  79. suekay says – reply to this


    79

    …………….. sadness

  80. c says – reply to this


    80

    aw

  81. lana says – reply to this


    81

    Bravo?

  82. meh says – reply to this


    82

    that's beautiful

  83. hfan says – reply to this


    83

    beautifully written

  84. Sara says – reply to this


    84

    Thats beautiful.

  85. melissa d says – reply to this


    85

    rip heath

  86. kim says – reply to this


    86

    sooo sad :(

    i love you heath

  87. mishy says – reply to this


    87

    beautiful…

  88. Kori says – reply to this


    88

    Wow! That was amazing.

  89. Albert says – reply to this


    89

    so sad, and touching

  90. jacqueline says – reply to this


    90

    wow that just really shows us how great he was at his job and how wonderful of a person he was. He made a huge impact and will be missed a lot. The best actor by far in my eyes.

  91. b says – reply to this


    91

    sad.

  92. kt says – reply to this


    92

    thats so cute.
    and sad.
    rip heath

  93. Cheekz says – reply to this


    93

    I live in Chicago and i must say when they were filming this movie it was insane downtown. He will be greatly missed and this was a very touching tribute. It still feels unreal.

  94. jan says – reply to this


    94

    that made me cry!

  95. Oh my goodness says – reply to this


    95

    That is so touching. My heart aches for the people who knew Heath personally and loved him. I can't imagine losing somebody I love so wholeheartedly when they're so young. A death this young doesn't make sense. He wasn't sick…he shouldn't have died. I don't want to ever live in a world where death makes sense. I'm blessed because I haven't experienced such a loss. I loved Heath as an actor, but that isn't on the same caliber as actually knowing him and loving him for him.

  96. b says – reply to this


    96

    www.RememberHeathLedger.com

    @@@@@

  97. Seriously says – reply to this


    97

    Who really gives a crap if your first. Its very sad that Heath died unexpectedly. This is one of my quotes that prove that Heath touched many and will be missed dearly. One of the great young film actors has died, SHOW SOME DAMN RESPECT FOR THE MAN!

  98. pattycakes says – reply to this


    98

    a thing of beauty and he will be missed by all…

  99. newsgrrl says – reply to this


    99

    That would have been a film to work on….

  100. Janet says – reply to this


    100

    So well written and a great insight.

More comments: [1] 2 3 4 »