Heath Ledger’s family has dismissed suggestions that playing The Joker affected his mental health.
The actor died on January 22, 2008 of an accidental intoxication from prescription drugs. A few months earlier, he had finished filming his role as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. He later won a slew of posthumous awards for his performance, including an Oscar.
Persistent rumours have suggested that going “method” for the role triggered a bout of insomnia which ultimately led to Ledger taking the medication thatcaused his death. However, the actor’s sister Kate Ledger denied this at the premiere of a new documentary about the actor, I Am Heath Ledger.
“I was really shocked, because that was him having fun,” she told the Daily Telegraph. “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.”
Kate Ledger added: “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!”
Meanwhile, the documentary’s producer Matt Amato said of the film: “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.”