There have been numerous celebrity deaths in the past few weeks which has been hard to believe, but I also can’t believe that it has been 8 years since Heath Ledger passed away.
I know several people I grew up with will always say how much they loved him in 10 Things I Hate About You, while I on the other hand, have watched The Dark Knight countless amounts of times- (13 times in the theatre, believe it or not!).
In honor of the 8 year anniversary, here are my favorite films starring Heath Ledger:
- You guessed it, The Dark Night (2008). I definitely have not watched this film as many times as I have because of my love for Christian Bale. I was entirely enthralled with Ledger’s ability to play the Joker while adding a new side to him we had not yet seen. Several people have a theory that this role contributed to his death, but I choose to not see it that way. “Between takes, Heath Ledger stayed out of character even as he wore the character costume, just being himself. The actor would goof around, skateboarding while in his Joker costume on set, and smoking cigarettes. John Caglione described Ledger as helping others around to relax, never letting “the intense nature of the roles overwhelm him.”
- A Knight’s Tale (2001) While I had seen his other films before I had seen The Dark Knight, I never really appreciated him or his roles until after his death and I watched more of his films again. A Knight’s Tale was the first movie I watched starring Ledger other than The Dark Knight after his death. While I enjoyed how funny the movie was, and I put up with the love story aspect, I really appreciated the father/son relationship that was also an important part of the story. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s definitely worth a try.
- Lords of Dogtown (2005) I am a huge fan of Emile Hirsch and while critics noticed how there were a few flaws, I really enjoyed this film. I went into watching it not knowing that Heath Ledger was even in it, but when I watched his performance I respected his talent in this film right away. I am not alone- “Ledger’s portrayal of Skip Engblom was applauded for its realism and is considered one of the film’s principal highlights. Joe Donnoly, who knew Engblom, was impressed by Ledger’s attention to detail, saying, “He’s almost eerie in how precisely he nailed not only the mannerisms, cadence and physical presence of Skip… but also how he raises Skip’s spirit, which is the heart and soul and most what’s really great in a not-altogether-great film.”
- The Patriot (2000) This is a movie I have not watched in far too long, and while I am no longer a huge fan of Mel Gibson as a person, I had enjoyed him as an actor awhile back. This film is far from perfect, but it was one of Ledger’s more serious, major roles and he was chosen out of several other well known actors for a reason. I might just have to watch this later….
- Ned Kelly, Four Feathers, The Order, all of these were purchased for me for one of my birthdays right when I began to look into Heath Ledger’s career more. I honestly don’t remember too much about them other than Ned Kelly and I was too young when I first watched them to really appreciate them, so I am just going to give them honorable mentions for the time being.
Looks like I’m going to need to have a small Heath Ledger marathon!
What are your favorite Heath Ledger films?