Christopher Nolan discusses how Heath Ledger developed his take on The Joker, 'A lot of it was about unpredictability'
It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since we lost Heath Ledger.
Reminiscing about one of Ledger's strongest performances, Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan lent a little insight into how the actor crafted his take on The Joker.
Ledger portrayed the Batman villain in Nolan's 2008 second act The Dark Knight, which released just six months after his death from an accidental overdose. Considered the interpretation for which all future Joker's would be measured, the role earned Ledger a posthumous Oscar in 2009.
"A lot of what Heath did, he would discuss with me but ... he'd sort of give me hints about what he was going to do," Nolan told BBC Radio 1. "We'd talk about it a bit and I would try to be an audience for him, gauge with him what he was doing. But a lot of it was about unpredictability and I think he wanted to play his cards a little closer to the chest. So he would very gradually reveal the voice to me and the way he was going to do things. But not in one go like, "Oh here's The Joker.'
"We watched him sort of develop it with the wardrobe and the makeup and everything and I got to be a part of that creative process which was great fun, but on set there were always moments like that clapping or things he would do with his voice."
Nolan was especially taken with Ledger's voice development, remarking that it could never quite be nailed down.
"His voice was so unpredictable," says Nolan. "He created this bizarre pitch. I've seen a lot of people try to imitate it since. You never quite knew if he was going to go high or if he was going to go low. You never knew what that guy was going to do and that's what was terrifying about it."
(image via Warner Bros.)