The Joker is a fictional character who appears in Christopher Nolan's 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight, based upon the DC Comics character and supervillain of the same name. "[4] However, later impressed with Batman Begins,[8] Ledger sought the part of the Joker from Nolan. Furthermore, it contains a list of things the Joker would find funny, such as AIDS, landmines, and geniuses suffering brain damage. Ledger's Joker also explores techniques found in the actor's previous performances, including his clown act in Terry Gilliam's fantasy film The Brothers Grimm, while also referencing paintings by artist Francis Bacon, Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange, and various punk rock musicians, as well as a vocal style rumoured to be influenced by Tom Waits.[1][2]. "Everything about what he does from every gesture, every little facial tick, everything he's doing with his voice—it all speaks to the heart of this character. "[64] "It's just one of the most iconic movie performances of modern times", declared chief film critic of Variety Scott Foundas. I am Nolan noted, "We gave a Francis Bacon spin to [his face]. [10], Film critics, co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Caine, and many of Ledger's colleagues in the film community joined Bale in calling for and predicting a nomination for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in recognition of Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight. When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. [35][39][40][41], On 31 July 2006, The Dark Knight was officially announced by Warner Bros with the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker. The cast and creators of "The Stand" sound off on their Stephen King adaptation and its serious 2020 vibes. https://www.menshealth.com/entertainment/g29365030/joker-actors-list The physicality reminds me of the great silent comedians. It is a towering performance. This is the definitive Joker", calling the performance "a masterpiece". After playing roles in several Australian television and film productions during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to further develop his film career. [14] In an interview with MTV, Ledger said he regarded the experience playing the Joker as the most fun he ever had, "and probably will ever have". In hair and makeup tests, Ledger would start exploring the movements of the character. Do I really look like a guy with a plan, Harvey? [57] Travers said Ledger moves the Joker away from Jack Nicholson's interpretation into darker territory, and expressed his support for any potential campaign to have Ledger nominated for an Academy Award. [9] Based on philosophical ideas of anarchy and chaos, they looked at art by Francis Bacon for visual reference and they talked about Malcolm McDowell's performance as Alex in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange, and who Alex is in Anthony Burgess' novel of the same name. (The Dark Knight is a kid when “Joker” takes place, so Arthur meeting young Bruce Wayne involves a red clown nose rather than a Batarang.) This technique created facial textures for white paint. [56], "I can only speak superlatives of Ledger, who is mad-crazy-brilliant as the Joker", wrote Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, stating that the film is deeper than its predecessor, with a "deft" script that refuses to scrutinize the Joker with popular psychology. However, Nolan kept him on his list, and was his first option when casting the Joker for The Dark Knight. [21] As Ledger was cast early in pre-production, Nolan explained that the actor had "months and months" to prepare for the role. Going by one of the people involved, Grumpy's response about splitting it u… "[35] All of Ledger's scenes appear as he completed them in the filming; in editing the film, Nolan added no digital effects to alter Ledger's actual performance posthumously. 79 wins & 60 nominations. [33] At the end of shooting, on his Joker diary's final page, Ledger wrote "BYE BYE". [5] The 2005 fantasy film The Brothers Grimm marked a turning point for the actor as director Terry Gilliam gave Ledger (and his co-star, Matt Damon) opportunities to create characters they had not been given before. The actor was found dead … While meeting for the part of Batman in Batman Begins, Ledger explained that he was not interested in working on such a film. I don’t have a plan … The mob has plans. Warner Bros., Blu-Ray DVD. "[49], Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker received widespread critical acclaim, winning numerous posthumous awards for his performance, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor,[51] a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture,[52] the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role,[53] the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor,[54] a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role,[55] and a Best Actor International Award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards. One of the greatest tragedies to strike previously was the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in The Dark Knight. ", "Heath Ledger is magnificent. (Warner Bros.) Also released in 2008, the war thriller “The Hurt Locker” saw Bigelow win the Oscar for Best Director. Having shot … [19], – Scrawlings from Heath Ledger's Joker diary[22], During a span of six weeks, Ledger "locked" himself away in a hotel room, forming a character diary and experimenting with voices. The worst of the worst were sent here, except for the Joker, who, rumor had it, was locked away as Arkham’s sole remaining inmate. In the film, he wears the character's traditional purple and green color palette, while his facial appearance includes clown makeup that covers facial scars of a Glasgow smile, and green hair. [9], Application of Heath Ledger's makeup was done with the actor scrunching special facial expressions. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. Jay Yaws-December 15, 2020. [63] David Denby of The New Yorker, otherwise critical of the film, praised Ledger's "sinister and frightening" performance, which he says is the film's one element of success. The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of the Dark Knight Trilogy, 2013. [10] Heath Ledger was cast before there was a script. [37][38], Ledger's death affected the marketing campaign for The Dark Knight[39] and also both the production and marketing of Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; both Nolan and Gilliam celebrated and paid tribute to Ledger's work in these films. When the film was released in July 2008, six months after Ledger died from an accidental overdose, the performance received universal acclaim and numerous posthumous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. As Ledger closed his eyes tight, Caglione put on the black makeup. Ledger also got to choose the Joker's weapon among different rubber knives, and he worked closely with costume designer Lindy Hemming on deciding the look for the character. Total Film reviewed that Ledger is "burning brightly as he embodies an icon. When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. The Riddler? He tricks four of them into killing each other, then kills the last one himself and escapes with the money. [7][8] The actor reflected on his problems with portraying superheroes, saying; "I would just feel stupid and silly. [13] Ledger was given Alan Moore's graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke for preparation for the role, as well as Grant Morrison's graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, which he "really tried to read and put it down". The Joker first appears in person at the beginning of The Dark Knight, as part of a six-member gang wearing clown masks who rob a mob-owned bank. Gordon shows Batman a joker playing card left at the crime scene. Until, almost tenderly, he turns inside out through his mouth. After learning that Batman has captured Lau, Maroni and the Chechen accept the Joker's offer. "[7] Casting director John Papsidera reflected on the casting choice, saying the filmmakers knew they needed somebody courageous to play the part. Caglione called the application work "a dance". You know what I am, Harvey? He was played by late Australian actor Heath Ledger. [25] Nolan explained Ledger's early and "peculiar" ambition for the voice of the character, saying that the actor had studied the way ventriloquist dummies talk. Or perhaps he had escaped. Nolan was impressed enough with the first video shoot that he chose to not be present when Ledger shot the video with a kidnapped reporter (Anthony Michael Hall). According to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus cinematographer Nicola Pecorini, Ledger had talked with him about Johnny Depp's off-kilter portrayal of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in relation to The Dark Knight, aiming to make a performance that would be "so far out he'd be fired". The Joker, incarnated with chilling authority by the actor, is simply one of the most twisted and mesmerizing creeps in movie history.". It's hard to get a handle on how those elements combine. Here we've … Interrupting a videoconference between mob bosses Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts), the Chechen (Ritchie Coster) and Gambol (Michael Jai White) with their accountant Lau (Chin Han), he offers to kill Batman for half of the mob's money. Heath Ledger turned down playing the … The Joker embodies themes of chaos, anarchy and obsession: throughout the film, he expresses a desire to upset the social order in Gotham through crime, and defines himself by his conflict with Batman. By Ben Sherlock Nov 16, 2020 Ledger's casting as the Joker was initially controversial but it is now considered his finest performance; Ledger himself regarded it as his most enjoyable. 0. [65], Main antagonist of the 2008 film The Dark Knight. Tim Teeman commented for The Times that "Ledger is so terrifying and unpredictable that his very presence on screen makes you nervous." "Don't act, just read it", Nolan had told Ledger for a test screening. [3], —Heath Ledger on why he preferred playing the super-villain. Joker's Henchman (uncredited) Tommy Bartlett ... Maroni's D.A. His shoes have an upward swoop at the toe, reminiscent of clown shoes. [26], Ledger developed the Joker's voice and mannerisms slowly over time and during camera tests. Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” Heath Ledger as the Joker ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C It was Heath Ledger’s 2008 performance that first brought the Joker from part to art. His voice frequently shifts in pitch, so that he speaks his dialogue hitting higher notes, followed by an immediate lower voice capable of landing two octaves below. Director Christopher Nolan talks about his conversations with Heath Ledger about the Joker. ", "The Dark Knight: Heath Ledger Talks Joker", "A look at how Heath Ledger viewed his career, "Christopher Nolan Reflects on His Batman Trilogy, Heath Ledger & More", "Christopher Nolan Spends the 'Knight' at Lincoln Center: 5 Things Learned About Batman and Beyond", "Movies: In Stetson or Wig, He's Hard to Pin Down", "IESB Exclusive: Heath Ledger Talks the Joker! It also earned him a posthumous Oscar nomination, one of 15 nominations the Batman films have received over the years. Michael Caine (Alfred) forgot his lines while Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel) couldn't look straight into his eyes in that scene where Joker is asking whereabouts of Harvey Dent at the party. [17] Nolan later acknowledged the scene to be his favorite in the film, saying "I had never seen anybody sell a punch the way Heath was able to do with Christian. The Joker himself posed as one of his thugs, going by the call-sign Bozo. The Joker gets a new solo series beginning in March 2021. [6] Gilliam helped Ledger put on a clown act for that film, an experience the actor later acknowledged as an influence for his performance as the Joker. English, USA. [32], Heath Ledger always showed up early onset. Staff and agencies. Here are his 10 best. [5], Director Christopher Nolan had met with Ledger over the years for different roles. The stunt actor was knocked out three times, and narrowly avoided a pencil to the eyeball ", "Everyone Was Also Furious with the Initial Casting of Heath Ledger As The Joker", "Del Toro's, Dini's and Loeb's Reaction to Heath Ledger's Joker", "Slumdog Millionaire wins Oscar for Best Picture; the late Heath Ledger is Best Supporting Actor", "Golden Globes 2009: Heath Ledger wins best supporting actor for The Dark Knight", "PGA and SAG Bow to Peer Pressure, Name Slumdog Millionaire Best Picture", "Heath Ledger honoured by Australian film industry", "The critics' verdict on Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight", "Movie News: Ledger's Knight Costars Call for Posthumous Oscar", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joker_(The_Dark_Knight)&oldid=995019187, Pages using citations with format and no URL, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 19:40. [57], Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stated that Heath Ledger's portrayal is a "key performance" and pondered whether he would become the first posthumous Academy Award-winning actor since Peter Finch in 1976. Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Australian actor, photographer, and music video director. As the Joker wears a mask through the scene with minimal dialogue, Nolan set the prologue first in the schedule because he wanted to put off performance worries, allowing Ledger to enjoy that relief. You know, Heath Ledger, Joker, didn't make any sense to people at all. "[60] Mark Lee, writing for The Daily Telegraph, commented that Ledger accomplished "a genuinely unsettling, brilliant nuanced portrait of evil". The Batmobile in action in The Dark Knight. "But the truth is, I feel very lucky to have something productive to do, to have a performance that he was very, very proud of, and that he had entrusted to me to finish. I eagerly anticipate more! The Batman: 10 Actors Who Could Play The Joker For Matt Reeves. Ever. [9], Ledger and Christopher Nolan both explained seeing eye-to-eye on the Joker's appearance in the film, sharing common reference points for who the character was going to be. In addition, largely due to that incarnation's popularity that regarded his very dark nature, several later incarnations of the Joker were depicted in a similarly dark manner. [22] It was revealed that Ledger had read Grant Morrison's writing of The Clown at Midnight (Batman #663) and based the list upon the Batman writer's prose. The Joker is not mentioned in The Dark Knight Rises, the 2012 sequel to The Dark Knight, out of respect for Ledger's memory. [23] The diary contains scrawling and cuttings inside. It has a bit of, "Inside. "[47] In his 2016 book The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, NPR contributor Glen Weldon recalled that fans were outraged over the choice of Ledger, due to his past roles in films such as Brokeback Mountain (2005). ... A force of nature". Between takes, Ledger would stay in costume and makeup just being himself. She tried to present a backstory for the character "that he really doesn't look after himself". [9] "Heath was just ready to do it, he was ready to do something that big. The Joker rigs explosives on two ferries leaving the Gotham bay, one containing citizens and the other transporting criminals, and tells the passengers that he will destroy both boats unless one blows up the other by midnight. By Spencer Perry - December 10, ... appearing as one of the main players during one of The Joker… The Joker? Five small-time criminals served under the Joker in the robbery of Gotham National Bank,& four of which were methodically or accidentally killed off in the heist. For The Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt called Ledger's performance "a beauty". He then blows up the hospital and takes a busload of hostages. [19] The director and his leading actors all liked the idea of shooting the key scene early on. During the ensuing panic, the Joker sneaks into Gotham General Hospital disguised as a nurse to meet with Dent and persuades him to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for Rachel's death. However, the novelization of the film makes an ambiguous reference to the character while describing Blackgate Prison: Now that the Dent Act had made it all but impossible to cop an insanity plea, it had replaced Arkham Asylum as the preferred location for imprisoning both convicted and suspected felons. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. Still, Phoenix brings exceptional artistry to his Joker. You can almost imagine what he smells like. The filmmaker also acknowledged that the voice performance was based on the Alexander technique. The Joker is a fictional character who appears in Christopher Nolan's 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight, based upon the DC Comics character and supervillain of the same name. Tom Holland Rushes to Be First in Wishing Jake Gyllenhaal a Happy 40th Birthday, The Internet Wants Chadwick Boseman To Get An Oscar For His New Netflix Movie, Joker Gets His Own DC Comics Series for First Time in 45 Years, The Billion-Dollar Film Club: 46 Movies to Reach $1 Billion Worldwide, Biggest Golden Globe-Nominated Transformations Over the Years, Top 30 Highest-Grossing Comic Book Movies, Favourite Cast Member Of The Dark Knight Trilogy, The 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards, TGIF's Look at '10 Things I Hate About You', Remembering Heath Ledger - A Tribute to the Legendary Actor/Superstar, Endless Summer: 30 Years of Home and Away, This Will Change The Way You Watch '10 Things I Hate About You', The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Heath Ledger zhou nian ji, si suo bei shang zai guang ying liu zhuan zhong man man pin chang. Time: 00:51:20. [12] Highlighting the opportunity for freshness, Ledger aimed for a new and different interpretation of the character, separate from previous film incarnations. Heath … This corruption, this decay in the texture of the look itself. Batman subsequently apprehends the Joker, who states that he believes that they are meant to fight each other forever. The patterns and designs chosen were very popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods; however, they are given an eccentric twist using the purple and green color palette. Batman ultimately foils the Joker's plan by taking the blame for Dent's crimes. [36] Nolan has dedicated the film in part to Ledger's memory. His work consisted of nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Monster's Ball (2001), Lords of Dogtown (2005), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Candy (2006), The Dark Knight Nolan acknowledges this unpredictability to be part of the character's slinky physical movements as well, saying that Ledger's performance "[is] always a surprise". Loeb, who had been critical of Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the Joker in 1989's Batman, expressed his excitement for Ledger's interpretation, saying the casting felt "just about right. Heath Ledger as the Joker in 2008's "The Dark Knight." Another A psychopathic criminal mastermind and mass murderer with a warped, sadistic sense of humor, the Joker is hired by Gotham City's mob bosses to kill the vigilante Batman (Christian Bale), and also comes into conflict with Batman's allies, Gotham police officer James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Heath Ledger's father reveals dead actor's 'Joker diary' written during The Dark Knight. The Joker utters many memorable quotes in the film. The Joker was portrayed by the late Heath Ledger as the main antagonist of The Dark Knight, a role that won him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. [15], —Christopher Nolan on Ledger's performance.[16]. I couldn't pull it off and there are other people who can perfectly, but I just couldn't take myself seriously. The Dark Knight Trilogy; The Dark Knight actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister has died. The Joker announces that people will die each day until Batman reveals his true identity, and makes good on his threat by assassinating Gotham Police Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (Colin McFarlane) and mob trial Judge Janet Surillo (Nydia Rodriguez Terracina). Of course, Ledger’s Joker performance in The Dark Knight was just as lauded as the one Phoenix gave in Joker, as it earned him the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2009 Academy Awards. John Caglione described Ledger as helping others around to relax, never letting "the intense nature of the roles overwhelm him". Scrap book features pictures of hyenas and clowns, and comic strips [45][46] Nolan remembered the cynicism he endured surrounding Ledger's casting, saying that "the whole world turned around and said 'What are you doing?' American Batman writers Paul Dini and Jeph Loeb both chimed with the positive reactions. Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro gushed of his impression for Ledger's performance, finding it "really, really edgy and scary". Nobody was really sure. The first thing he would do, according to Caglione, was to give bear hugs to cast and crew members around the set. , when at age 22 he started to watch some of his films … Ledger! Believes that they are meant to fight each other forever, later impressed with Batman Begins, 8! Mannerisms slowly over time and during camera tests was a double-edged sword kept things and. 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