“There’s so much to be learned from that”: Andrew Garfield Was Inspired by Heath Ledger’s The Dark Knight Role for His Spider-Man

After Heath Ledger left a lasting impression on Andrew Garfield, the actor took inspiration from Joker for his Spider-Man.

andrew garfield as spider-man, heath ledger in the dark knight


  • Andrew Garfield had the opportunity to star alongside the late legend Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
  • Following their collaboration, Garfield watched Ledger’s performance as Joker in The Dark Knight which had a lasting impression on him.
  • Captivated by the Ledger’s incredible range and talent Andrew Garfield took inspiration from Joker for his role in The Amazing Spider-Man.
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With a filmography spanning from critically acclaimed projects like The Social Network to donning the superhero suit for Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man films, Andrew Garfield has worked with several renowned Hollywood stars throughout his decorated career. But one collaboration that changed his life was with the late actor Heath Ledger.

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man in Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man

Ahead of The Dark Knight actor’s untimely demise, Andrew Garfield had the opportunity to share the screen with him in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. During their brief time of collaboration, Garfield learned lessons from Heath Ledger that not only etched a place in his heart but also inspired his role as Spider-Man.

Heath Ledger Left a Lasting Impression on Andrew Garfield

Ahead of Heath Ledger’s unfortunate demise, Andrew Garfield had the opportunity to work with the star on Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). It was the last film Ledger did before his death, which also starred Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Lily Cole.


Watching Heath Ledger work in the movie, Andrew Garfield was captivated by the actor’s incredible range and talent. But what stunned him the most was his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008). Although Garfield didn’t get a chance to speak to Ledger about Joker, he noted being aware of the actor’s excitement.

Heath Ledger and Andrew Garfield in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Heath Ledger and Andrew Garfield in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

 “The movie wasn’t out, but I knew how excited he was. I was talking to his friends about it, who had been involved in the process, and they were so jazzed about how people were going to react to him.” Garfield told MTV News.

Heath Ledger’s commitment to his craft and his willingness to take risks left a lasting impression on Andrew Garfield. Thereafter, the Tick, Tick… Boom! actor mentioned developing a desire to bring a similar level of depth and nuance to his own roles.

Garfield Took Inspiration From Ledger for Spider-Man

Considering that Heath Ledger‘s Joker was a part of the fantasy world created by the DC universe, Andrew Garfield patiently waited for opportunities where he could use the character and Ledger’s performance as an inspiration. Finally, the moment arrived when he was cast as MCU’s Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man films.


Speaking highly of Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker performance and praising the way he fully immersed himself in the character’s psyche, Andrew Garfield admitted learning things from the actor that he later applied to his own superhero films. Although the roles were gravely different, Garfield claimed to be inspired by Ledger’s approach to his character.

Andrew Garfield in a still from The Amazing Spider-Man 2

What I learned from watching him in that movie was that it was so honest and specific. Somehow he made this very broad character incredibly honest and human. There’s so much to be learned from that, because otherwise during the big fight sequences, who cares unless you have a good understanding of who the characters fighting are?

Certainly, deriving influence from Heath Ledger’s Joker helped Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man to offer a more introspective and emotionally vulnerable take on the classic hero.

The Amazing Spider-Man films are available on Disney+.


The Dark Knight is available on Max. 

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is available on Apple TV. 


Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Articles Published: 1578

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1500 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.