While speaking at the premiere of I Am Heath Ledger, a new documentary about the Academy Award-winning actor who passed away in 2008 when he was only 28 years old, Ledger’s sister, Kate, clarified that his role in The Dark Knight had nothing to do with his death. For years, there have been rumors that Ledger’s mental and physical transformation into The Joker led to his untimely demise. He locked himself into his motel room, he told the New York Times he “probably slept an average of two hours a night,” and his journal at the time is… chilling. But according to Kate, that’s all they are: rumors.
“I was really shocked, because that was him having fun,” she said. “Every report was coming out that he was depressed and that [the role] was taking this toll on him, and we’re going, honestly, it was the absolute opposite. It couldn’t be more wrong. He had an amazing sense of humor, and I guess maybe only his family and friends knew that, but he was having fun. He wasn’t depressed about the Joker!” Matt Amato, the producer of the Ledger family-approved film, said “I hope it’s an antidote to a lot of the gossip that exists in the world. There are some really terrible things about Heath out there.”