Back in 2013, a clip from an impending German documentary about actor Heath Ledger surfaced online that showed Ledger’s father Kim Ledger thumbing through his son’s “Joker diary,” which he kept while developing his now iconic (and Oscar-winning) iteration of the Batman villain in The Dark Knight. That clip was subsequently taken down, but it went back online about a year ago and has been making the rounds once again today. Ledger’s diary is quite beautiful, and it’s full of reference points for the actor’s take on the character, including clippings from A Clockwork Orange, certain comics issues, and even hyenas. Even though it was a “comic book movie,” Ledger approached the role as seriously as he had any other, and his father notes in the clip that it was typical of the actor to “immerse himself in the upcoming character,”—though he admits The Dark Knight was “just a whole new level.”
The documentary, titled Too Young to Die, chronicles Ledger’s evolution from young Australian performer to complex character actor. He was truly one of the best of his generation, and it pains me to think about how much more incredible work was lost with his premature death.
You may have seen this clip before—possibly even two years ago when we first posted it—but since it’s making the rounds once again, we figured it was worth highlighting once more. Check it out below, via The Independent.