Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Heath Ledger, and paying tribute to the late actor, director Christopher Nolan has been reflecting on their collaboration on The Dark Knight, which of course saw Ledger honoured with a posthumous Academy Award for his iconic portrayal of The Joker.
“A lot of what Heath did he would discuss with me,” Nolan told BBC Radio 1 (via ComicBook). “He’d sort of give me hints of what he was going to do and we’d talk about it a bit and I would try to be an audience for him, sort of gauge with him what he was doing but a lot of it was about unpredictability and I think he wanted to play his cards a little close to the chest. He would very gradually reveal to me the voice and the way he was going to do things, but not in one go, not ‘here’s the Joker.’ We sort of watched him develop it with the wardrobe and the makeup and everything.”
“I got to be a part of that creative process which was great fun, but on set there were always moments like that clapping or things he would do with his voice,” Nolan continued. “His voice was always so unpredictable. I took huge pride in having been in any way involved with this great performer, this legacy. He was an extraordinary person, an extraordinary actor and for him to be recognized in that way I think it was very meaningful for his family and meaningful for film history that what he contributed, and he contributed in many different ways to film history, but that it be marked in that way I was very proud to have been part of that.”
It’s certainly testament to Ledger’s talent that now, even ten years later, his Joker still stands in a league of his own when it comes to comic book villains.