Heath Ledger's Sister Says Demanding Role As The Joker Had Nothing To Do With His Death
Heath Ledger's sister has said that his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight had nothing to do with his death.
Kate Ledger was speaking ahead of a new documentary, I Am Heath Ledger, when she said that his tragic death from an overdose of prescription drugs in 2008 had nothing to do with his reported method acting. She also said the speculation about his mental health at the time of his death is largely unfounded.
Rumours have circulated since her brother's death that his demanding role in the Batman film, coupled with his method technique, had led him to suffer from a bout of insomnia that ultimately resulted in an overdose of prescription medication.
The rumours about the role contributing to his death may have stemmed from an interview Ledger did with the New York Times in 2007, which described the role as 'physically and mentally draining', leading him to have trouble sleeping.
He told the paper: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night.
"I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."
Speaking ahead of the documentary's premiere, Kate said: "I was really shocked, because that was him having fun.
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Heath Ledger's mother and sister, Sally Bell and Kate Ledger. Credit: PA
"Every report was coming out that he was depressed and that the role was taking this toll on him, and we're going, honestly, it was the absolute opposite. It couldn't be more wrong.
"He had an amazing sense of humour, and I guess maybe only his family and friends knew that, but he was having fun. He wasn't depressed about The Joker!"
I Am Heath Ledger, which has recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, reveals Ledger's long-standing problem with sleep, although it doesn't comment or speculate on his final days.
Credit: Warner Bros
Ledger was just 28 when he was found dead in his New York apartment, months before The Dark Knight was set to be released.
Matt Amato, producer of I Am Heath Ledger, added: "I hope it's an antidote to a lot of the gossip that exists in the world.
"There are some really terrible things about Heath out there."
I Am Heath Ledger will be being made available on Spike TV on May 17.
Featured Image Credit: PA