We’ve said this before but it bears repeating. Few performances are as memorable as Heath Ledger’s terrifying, smirking inevitability as The Joker in The Dark Knight, a performance which earned him a posthumous Oscar. Heath Ledger told Empire about his preparation for the role, “I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary.”
Now we’ve seen the diary.
The video below comes from the German documentary series “Too Young To Die”, which did an episode on Heath Ledger last year. They interviewed Heath’s father Kim Ledger, who produced the Joker diary and flipped through it on a table next to Heath Ledger’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
The diary contains classic Batman panels as well as pictures from A Clockwork Orange, joker playing cards, and old pictures of circus clowns. Surprisingly, the pages we see don’t have any pictures of Tom Waits, whom we assumed was a huge influence on Ledger’s performance.
The clip is overdubbed in French during some parts, so EdwardInSpiteOfMe provides a translation:
“This is the Joker’s diary. In order to inhabit his character, he locked himself up in a hotel room for weeks. He would do that. He liked to dive into his characters, but this time he really took it up a notch.”
“The hospital scene is interesting because when he was a kid, his sister Kate liked to dress him up as a nurse. He was really funny like that. He also was in the movie. This is a make-up test which was done eight months before. Before the end of the shooting he wrote ‘bye bye’ on the back of the page. It was hard to see this.”
Bye bye. :(
And a reminder: