Is this the Tom Waits interview that inspired Heath Ledger’s Joker?
When Christopher Nolan released his 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight the world wasn’t ready; Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker caused a sensation and changed not only the genre, but his legacy as an actor.
In what is described as the greatest performance of his career, Ledger’s portrayal of the DC Comics villain was shrouded in undeniable emotion as the film would eventually be released six months after the actor’s accidental prescription drug overdose.
Despite his initial casting for the role proving controversial, the doubts only seemed to further motivate the Australian actor who deemed the role as his opportunity to silence any doubters and propel his acting abilities to the very top of Hollywood—and he was right. Following the widespread critical acclaim, Ledger’s performance would be celebrated with countless posthumous awards with its crowning glory coming at the very top; an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Despite some murmurs of discontent around Nolan’s decision to cast Ledger as the villain, the director knew all along that it was a perfect match: “Heath was just ready to do it, he was ready to do something that big,” Nolan insisted afterwards. Together, both director and actor had the same vision for the path of the joker, agreeing to cause as much psychotic, anarchic chaos as possible.
Christopher Nolan Talking about Heath ‘Joker’ Ledger Behind the scene
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