Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his thrilling and disturbing performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. His deeply twisted persona of the insane Batman villian eventually led to the actor’s death months before the films release.
During his preparation, Ledger kept an intense journal full of images of Alex DeLearge from A Clockwork Orange, Joker comic clippings, Hyenas and the words “chaos” and “anarchy” written to inspire his dark character. A German documentary crew now gives a glimpse into his life during that time and his journal, in a film called Too Young To Die.
In the clip from the film above, Ledger’s father flips through his son’s journal, explaining what his son was like during film preparation.
“He pretty well locked himself up in a hotel, in his apartment, for a month or so, to sort of galvanize the upcoming character in his own mind,” Kim Ledger said. “That was typical of Heath on any movie. He would certainly immerse himself in the upcoming character. I think this was just a whole new level.”
The aftermath of the role led to Ledger’s descent into mental anguish, and an accidental prescription overdose causing his death.