– by Joseph Jammer Medina

More than a decade ago, actor Heath Ledger took on the role of the Joker for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight. At the time, there were few who actually had faith that he could pull it off. Jack Nicholson had portrayed the Clown Prince of Crime in 1989’s Batman, and since then, it was thought that no one would be able to touch that performance.

Of course, Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker went on to gain critical and fan acclaim, and it even managed to snag a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor the following year. Ledger’s Joker was grounded, terrifying, and absolutely insane. Whereas Nicholson really leveraged the gangster aspect of the character, Ledger went more for the lone wolf psychopath approach, and our inability to understand where he was coming from only made him all the more terrifying.

Ledger’s untimely passing after the completion of The Dark Knight only went on to add to the mystique of the character. Was this character so dark that it was responsible for his death? Audiences have wondered that for years, and have been hungry to hear about the process Ledger went through behind the scenes to bring this character to life. In the decade or so since the film’s release, there have been plenty of rumors and facts that have come out about his creation of the Joker, but nothing super extensive.

Spike TV went on to make the documentary I Am Heath Ledger, and now they’re starting to release some clips online. This latest one from Joblo is a solid nine minutes pulled from the documentary, and it’s every bit as engaging as one would hope. In the clip, we get to see the beginnings of Ledger’s process, how he settled on the makeup, as well as the response from his peers. If you’re like us and have been wanting to know more about the role ever since the film came out, it’s an essential watch.

What do you think of the clip? Did you have a chance to check out the full doc? Let us know down below!

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  • Moby85

    Looks good! I do believe the depths he went into played a role into his death. And while I don’t believe he committed suicide, I do believe the drugs he took the night he died were connected to this deeply disturbing role.

    But it’s a magnum opus. One of the two best villains in movie history (along with Darth Vader) for my money.

  • noahwayne0

    Greatest on screen villain of all time. Greatest Joker of all time.

    I’ll admit, when he was cast, I didn’t get it. Even the first two trailers, I was still a little iffy, but seeing the movie – wow.

    The movie is like Heat but with the Joker and Batman. Its badass. Greatest comic book movie ever – and it isn’t close. Which is why I’m bored and uninterested in the comic book movies being made today by DC and Marvel. They just pale in comparison.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.