A German documentary about the late actor Heath Ledger contains some fascinating footage of the diary that Ledger kept in preparation of his iconic, Oscar-winning portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.
His extreme and dark obsession with completely immersing himself in the role is widely considered to be what fueled his 2008 overdose on various pain killers.
BuzzFeed dug up a 2007 interview Ledger gave with Empire discussing the depths to which he sank to give arguably the greatest villainous performance in film history.
“It’s a combination of reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it. I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He’s just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown.”
These are the eyes of a beast.
The man in the video below is Heath’s father, Keith, and he can be seen narrating as he flips through pages of his sons diary titled “The Joker” as an Academy Award glistens in the background.
The journal reveals that Ledger had many inspirations for his performance, including hyenas, clowns, comic strips, and Alex DeLearge from A Clockwork Orange.
According to LADbible, the front cover in itself is a metaphor for the Joker: innocently childish and playful on the outside, but twisted within.
The diary ends with the words “BYE BYE” scribbled in capital letters on the page, an eery foreshadowing of what was to come for the great actor.
Check out the footage below: