Heath Ledger’s magnum opus was his time spent as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s second Batman film, The Dark Knight. While this period of his life was short and was followed by tragedy, it is safe to say that his portrayal of this character will forever be iconic. The extents of his method acting to play a character as messed up and complex as this is something audiences are dissecting to this day.
From locking himself in a room for days on end, to actually banging his head against tiles for the sake of a scene, the one thing that was clear about his performance was that the actor was willing to go to great lengths to make sure he gave the best performance that he could. There was a lot of preparation work that was required for this role, and it would seem that one of these was also taking inspiration from legendary musician, Tom Waits.
Heath Ledger Drew Inspiration From Tom Waits
Heath Ledger’s preparation for the role of the Joker was very extreme and extensive. The actor fully committed to what he was doing, going as far as to lock himself in a hotel room for over a month, And making notes of how he wanted to play the character. All these kinds of extreme methods of acting aren’t unheard of, he took it a bit further. On top of trying different voices and accents, he was also trying to figure out the perfect way of walking and posture that would perfectly suit a character like this.
Ultimately, Ledger settled on the body language and way of speaking of Tom Waits, musician, songwriter, and actor who established himself exceptionally well through hit songs like I Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You, Underground, Hoist That Rag, and Time. On top of this, he has also made appearances in films like The Outsiders, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and The Dead Don’t Die.
Heath Ledger Only Focused On One Interview
Many actors tend to draw inspiration from real-life, people to play the characters that they’re playing. they would obsessively watch their works, public appearances, and interviews, to try to perfectly mimic the individual. One more expect that this is exactly what Heath Ledger did when it came to drawing inspiration from Tom Waits for the Joker. This, however, was not the case at all. The actor was only interested in studying the musician’s appearance on The Don Lane Show.
he found this to be very fascinating and the fact that the character was inspired by this one interview, gives the entire appearance a haunting feeling. If anyone were to look at this interview, they would not be able to watch it without thinking of Ledger’s character in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, from his constant fidgeting, the way that he talks, the movement of his hands, and even the movement of his head, it is like Ledger became Waits for the sake of this movie.