5 things you probably didn't know about Heath Ledger


Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Instagram | @heathledger

As we look forward to the Spike TV documentary, I Am Heath Ledger, premiering on 17 May, we share 5 things you probably didn't know about the late Heath Ledger

1. Heath Ledger was worried about flies while filming Brokeback Mountain
In his role of a gay cowboy that really got him noticed, Ledger had his lips pursed in a lot of scenes in Ang Lee's film. It's not just a look he adopted for the character. In an interview with co-star Anne Hathaway, she revealed that Ledger was worried that the flies would get into his mouth.

2. Ledger didn't turn full Joker until the cameras started rolling for real

Which probably explains how an actor as experienced as Michael Caine, his co-star in The Dark Knight, would forget his lines. It's reported that when Caine first saw Ledger in his full Joker costume in the penthouse party scene, he forgot his lines as Alfred. The Perth-born actor also didn't reveal the Joker's haunting laugh and full mannerisms in rehearsals, which was probably why Maggie Gyllenhaal's shocked expression was as authentic as it was. 

3. Before his death, Ledger asked a musician friend of his to write a lullaby for his daughter
Ben Harper, one of the notable names featured in I Am Heath Ledger, shared that Ledger delivered a grand piano to Harper's home. 'Happy Ever After In Your Eyes' was a song that resulted from Ledger's request. Matilda, his daughter with fellow actress Michelle Williams, is now 11 years old.

4. He was unemployed when he auditioned for 10 Things I Hate About You
Thanks to his friend and filmmaker Matt Amato, Ledger learned of the role of Patrick in the teen cult classic. After Amato heard of his friend's new script of the film, he encouraged him to see Ledger, who he described as an unemployed roommate at the time.

5. Ledger filmed his own mini-film on the set of The Patriot

In another role that made Hollywood take notice of the young Aussie, Ledger starred in the Revolutionary War epic opposite fellow Aussie Mel Gibson, who invited Ledger and a mate on his private jet back to Los Angeles after filming had wrapped. On set, Ledger was filming his own experiences, which you can see in I Am Heath Ledger. It starts off with a shot of him alone in his trailer on the first day of the shoot, three months after he found out he had gotten the part.

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