Heath Ledger famously prepared for his role as the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight by sequestering himself from the cast (and much of the world) in a hotel room. There, he developed the voice, makeup, body language, and chaotic personality that would ultimately win him an Oscar and a place in movie legend. It’s also where—some say—he went off the deep end and started down the road to his untimely death from drug complications at the age of 28.
Now, we don’t necessarily buy the idea that the Joker killed Ledger, but a look into the diaries the actor used to prepare himself for his signature role is nonetheless eerie. As part of a German television documentary reposted by Entertainment Weekly, the performer’s father opens up a notebook filled with scribbles, images, and ideas his son put on its pages while in character as Batman’s arch nemesis.
“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,” his father tells the audience. “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.” Indeed.
Take a look for yourself in the clip above and note the familiar statuette shadowing this inside look at what it takes to turn yourself into a madman.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)