Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I know how to quit you, Heath Ledger

KM and I were driving KJ home from her latest hospital stint when we heard the stunning news about the death of Heath Ledger.

As sorry as I am to admit it, my first reaction when I heard the radio headline was, "I'll bet it had something to do with drugs." And indeed, the initial report by the New York Times and other media outlets indicates exactly that. A shame, a pity, and a tragic waste.

Although it was probably his least demanding role, my favorite Ledger performance was his turn as the youthful jousting wannabe in A Knight's Tale, a picture that a lot of folks disliked, but that I thoroughly enjoyed through repeated viewings. It was in that film that Ledger's natural boyish charisma really shone. I was not as impressed as some others were with his more dramatically challenging work — I found his much-acclaimed clenched-jawed acting in Brokeback Mountain, for example, excessively mannered and affected, to the point of weirdness.

When Heath was cast as the Joker in Christopher Nolan's upcoming Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight, I couldn't imagine for the life of me how that was going to work. Ledger seemed far too lightweight for a role with that much darkness and venom in it. The trailers, however, won me over, and I was looking forward to seeing the full impact of Ledger's portrayal. I still am, though the experience will doubtless be bittersweet now.

Another successful young talent devoured by the demons of fame and fortune, or so it appears.

And that's no joke.

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2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous sourmouse offered these pearls of wisdom...

Is this John Gibson's blog?

6:51 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Sourmouse: No, but I used to think Debbie Gibson was cute. Does that count?

9:49 AM  

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