This clip from a documentary series shows Heath Ledger‘s father flipping through a diary written by his late son while preparing to play the role of the Joker in The Dark Knight, a role that won him a posthumous Academy Award. The diary contains notes on the character, as well as collages of photos Ledger used for inspiration, including Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange.
On one page, Ledger broke down the scene in the film in which Ledger’s Joke dresses as a nurse in a hospital, just before blowing it up. Though the clip is dubbed in French, in a rough translation from the video’s description, Ledger’s father says, “The hospital scene is interesting because when he was a kid, his sister Kate liked to dress him up as a nurse. He was really funny like that.”
Ledger’s father describes how the actor would lock himself in a hotel room for weeks to prepare for each of his roles. The clip’s most disturbing part comes in the diary’s final pages where Ledger is seen in an early make-up test for the role and on the final page where Ledger scrawled “BYE BYE” over the page in big letters. “It was hard to see this,” Ledger’s father remarks.
Here is the full translation of the clip, provided in the clip’s about section:
This is the Joker’s diary.
In order to inhabit his character, he (Heath) locked himself up in a hotel room for weeks.
He would do that. He liked to dive into his characters, but this time he really took it up a notch.
The hospital scene is interesting because when he was a kid, his sister Kate liked to dress him up as a nurse. He was really funny like that. He also was in the movie.
This is a make-up test which was done eight months before. Before the end of the shooting he wrote “bye bye” on the back of the page. It was hard to see this.