Heroes are a popular choice for media representations of fiction. Because they embody all that is good in the world and are there to save it all, their fan bases grow around them.
A Shift in Who Makes a Villain?
This feat has been achieved by a few villains: MegaMind (Spiderman 3), Sandor Clegane(Game of Thrones), and New Goblin (Spiderman 3). One can’t help but point out that their role as heroes was what made them popular. Heath Ledger’s Joker, in stark contrast to the effect of villains, captivated both film critics and comic-lovers alike with The Dark Knight. Ledger’s terrifying, yet captivating performance of the Joker set the standard for how any villain should be presented.
Comic fiction’s Joker is a recurring role. Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, and Jack Nicholson have all played the role of the evil villain with the evil smile. The utter brilliance that Ledger’s Joker was executed is what makes it one of many villain faces we see when we think of them.
Props to create an icon
Heath Ledger was one of a few actors to receive the academy awards posthumously. In 2009, he was awarded Best Supporting Actor. Fans were shocked to learn that he died from an overdose. They savored his performance on the screen. According to reports, Ledger had a very unconventional approach to preparing for the role.
He was kept in a hotel for six months, and experimented with different voices and laughter styles to create the psychotic character. He would meditate on his thoughts and acts, trying to become one with the lip-smacking villain. But he discovered a diary. He used it to get inspiration and prepare for the most important role of his life.
His family shared snippets of the diary he kept in a documentary called Too Young To Die. It was released in 2017. The “Joker Diary” is now an infamous name for it.
The Joker Diary: Unboxing
The Joker Diary appeared to be a mysterious work that contained random writings and scribblings from Ledger’s thoughts and acts. He used these to create the Joker’s personality. Although isolating oneself was part of his acting routine, his family was surprised by the contents of his diary. The majority of the content was not known. However, snippets provided clues that he could have used in order to improve his Joker persona.
Images by Alex DeLarge, A Clockwork Orange
The images of Alex DeLarge (a fictional psychopath who terrorizes people just for fun) were pasted in multiple places. Christopher Nolan, director of the film, revealed that Ledger was asked to imitate the personality and listen to Heavy Metal music. He asked Ledger to imitate the personality of the psychopath and he did so to get an idea about his character.
Hyenas having a good time
Ledger was known to have used images of hyenas to create the Joker’s menacing, yet disturbing laugh. The Joker’s maniacal laughter is synonymous with this character. Ledger seems to have tried to keep the joke unique from previous versions. It is possible that the actor thought it appropriate to add the laugh of hyenas in order to create the bizarre, yet chilling effect of Joker’s presence.
Lines from the Hospital Scene
Pages of the diary described the famous hospital scene where Harvey Dent (aka Two Face) meets the Joker. It is particularly memorable when he struggles to control the remote switch as the hospital explodes. It was one of many improvisations Ledger made to his character, according to the filmmakers.
The Hint of a Farewell
The words “Bye Bye!” are written in large letters towards the end of Ledger’s diary. The bizarre nature of these entries only adds to their absurdity. Some fans believe that this was Ledger’s way to his death. This seems like a fitting sign that Ledger is about to end his big act. However, Ledger’s family denies these claims and says that Ledger was planning to return for the third installment in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Joker fans still find the words haunting their imaginations even after the movie’s release.
Also included were photos of clown makeup and the word “chaos”, in green color. Random words like AIDS, blend babies statistics, landmines and other random words were also included. These are all things the Joker might find amusing, which aligns with his personality.
Heath Ledger was also said to have used his diary between scenes. He probably kept the Joker’s diary close to his chest throughout filming.
Even with the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death and the contents of the diary, it is hard to argue that modern cinema has lost an early star. Ledger’s performance was so good that Michael Cine, a veteran actor, admitted that he had forgotten his lines during a scene because he was afraid of the Joker’s arrival.
According to some reports, he was involved in the Joker’s costume and makeup selection. This simply shows how much effort he put into creating the iconic pop culture figure. Heath Ledger has made Heath Ledger’s Joker a household name in comic and film fans minds with his impressive act.