By Kyle | January 23, 2008
In a disturbing New York Times interview a few weeks ago, the late Heath Ledger said that the stress of playing the Joker–a psychopath with zero empathy–was interfering with his sleep. As he completed filming on “The Dark Knight” in London, he spoke of popping a couple of Ambien and still being able to sleep only an hour, suggesting that he might have felt the need to keep upping the dosage to dangerous levels.
Warner Bros., which is running a chilling trailer of “The Dark Knight,” is going to have not just a marketing challenge but a creepy issue on its hands when the film comes out, and the Method actors’ ideal of hurling oneself utterly–mind, body and soul–into a role may come under some serious scrutiny.
The Times interview contains another grim portent, too: Todd Haynes, who directed Ledger as an isotope of Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” compared Ledger to James Dean.
“Dylan was completely inspired by James Dean, and Heath has a little bit of James Dean in him, even physically, a kind of precocious seriousness,” Mr. Haynes went on. “As adult actors seem more and more infantile and refusing to grow up, middle-aged guys with their baseball caps, Heath is one of those young people who have a real intuition, a maturity beyond their years.