How Heath Ledger prepared for the role of the Joker

It’s no secret that Heath Ledger died of an overdose of six drugs – accidental, not intentional. The close ones of the actor are still sure that the role of the Joker in The Dark Knight became fatal for the young and promising actor.

To get used to the character, the actor spent 43 days in a motel all alone, studied comics, and kept a diary of observations of his character. In the same diary, he kept newspaper clippings with tragic news, photographs of hyenas, a smiling clown, and Alex DeLarge – a character from A Clockwork Orange, from which he later copied gestures and facial expressions. He took lessons from a ventriloquist to get the trademark of Joker laugh.

Ledger also personally sketched the image that, in his opinion, the Joker should have. And he stayed in the role throughout the filming. The actor became so much like a psychopath that he was able to improvise the most frightening scene from the film – the Joker’s applause. During the filming of the interrogation scene, Heath insisted that Christian Bale beat him for real.

Psychologists speculate that the actor drove himself to a bipolar personality disorder, which led to uncontrolled use of antidepressants and subsequent death. The methods by which Ledger prepared for the role were also expressed by his father in the German documentary film Too Young to Die. According to Kim Ledger, Heath has always worked hard, but this time he went too far. On January 22, 2008, the actor passed away. He was 28 years old.