Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jack Nicholson Had Warned Heath Ledger of the dark impact of "The Jocker"

Before he died, Ledger told reporters that it took a ton of energy to play the role, but that it was the most fun he ever had.

"It was one of those moments where I was asked if I'd be interested in playing The Joker, and I knew five seconds later exactly how to play it," he said.

"Yeah, I could see someone getting really crazy off of that," says Maz Jobrani, a real-life stand-up comic. "A lot of times, comics will then get upset at the audience for not understanding them, and they go, 'You don't understand me, I'm funny, you people are horrible, you people should go to hell!'"

Jobrani adds that many comics, like The Joker, are a little bit crazy — and it's their peculiar worldview that makes them funny.

In his interpretation of The Joker in the new film, The Dark Knight, actor Heath Ledger thrives on that insanity.

"I keep coming back to the way he physically incarnates madness," says Levitz. "Leave the makeup aside, leave the costuming aside — if you had Heath Ledger in plain clothes, who's a very handsome, well-presented, very affable looking man — if he walked in a room and started acting in the behaviors that he uses for The Joker, you'd get the hell out of that room fast. And that's pretty cool."

Ledger's Joker may be enthralling for viewers, but playing the role took its toll.

The Australian actor told reporters that he barely slept while playing the part. Even when his body was exhausted, he couldn't stop his mind from reeling, he said.

The challenge of the role wasn't lost on Jack Nicholson. When told of Ledger's death, the actor's immediate response was: "I warned him."

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