‘Joker’ is one of the top favorite villains in the world. His personality and how deranged he is is what makes the character so versatile. People love him because he is not just bat shit crazy but intelligent at the same time. Considering the hero is as great as the villain, no one likes an easy fight.
Heath took his inspiration for this character from ‘Clockwork Orange.’ This movie has come out in the 1970’s and was the craziest movies of its time. The strange mannerisms of the character had to be acted with authenticity. Very close to how an insane person would act. Heath went the extra mile to play this role, and no one could have nailed it better.
Not many actors improvise, but the ones that do take it very seriously. One needs to be talented to do something on the spot that adds to the character. Heath would keep adding things in scenes or get lost in playing the character. Surprisingly a lot of those unscripted scenes ended up coming on the screen.
Heath died not long after the shooting of the film was over. This also made people think that getting into this role a little too deep made him go into depression. He was also not there when post-movie work had to be done. Many famous actors played his roles to fulfill his missing bits. Later due to his death, they all donated their payment to Heath’s daughter.
The scene when Joker dressed up in the hospital was one of the most epic scenes. He did not care what he looked like and what people thought of him. The explosion that took place in that scene was supposed to happen after a little while. But Heath took the remote in his hand and exploded it before anyone anticipated it. He did it so it looked real and also because that is what his character would do.
Everyone was aware of the fact that Heath loved to skate and would do if often on set, but it got a little creepier considering that he did it while he was fully dressed for the role of ‘joker.’ The environment of the set was pretty positive and relaxing. But Heath going crazy onset was the only sore thumb.
Everyone wants to be Batman! When the auditions were opened for the ‘the dark knight,’ Heath originally wanted to play the role of Batman. But unfortunately or fortunately he ended up getting the role of ‘joker.’ And the person who decided that Heath would be the best person to play this role stands corrected, as he ended up winning an Oscar for it. And this is not the first time that someone has been rejected for a role. Jennifer originally wanted to play ‘Monica’ in ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ but ended up playing ‘Rachel.’
Glasgow smile is essentially a famous gang signature from Scotland. A group of criminals marked their enemies, leaving them with this scar. They would take a knife and cut the mouth till the ear. So their opponents remember them for the rest of their lives.
We keep talking about how Heath improvised during the film. There is one scene that stood out. The scene where the bank is being robbed, Joker wore a mask. The mask was chosen very carefully as it was the same mask that Romero was wearing during the 1960’s series.
Heath was known and expected to do weird things on the set of ‘the dark knight.’ This was because he did not want to get out of character when he wasn’t acting. People did not agree with the extreme lengths Heath took for just acting, but for some people – doing this role is a serious job that requires dedication. He kept a journal with him that was close to a crazy person’s rambling jotted down. It had pretty messed up and twisted things written in it, and there are reasons people thought he had lost it a little.
There is a thing called as ‘method acting.’ The actors start to think and live like the character to get all the aspects of it. The psychological aspects as well as the physical ones. This way an actor truly gets into the shoes of the role he is playing. He isolated himself and imagined what it would be like if he were insane. Being alone for so long made him realize what it would be like for a character like ‘joker.’ He had to stop after a while as ‘method acting’ started to affect his relationships.
The role played by Heath was so well played that it almost came to life. Michael Caine, a well-known actor, producer and author claimed to have never seen someone play this particular role better than Heath. He also claimed that it scared him like it’s no one’s business. Originally the character was not as grim, and it always had makeup that of a clown along with a sense of humor. But when it came to Heath, he was the one who truly brought out the psychotic side of the villain.
As mentioned before, Heath wanted to go the extra mile for this role. If you expect him to method act, you can also expect him to make his fight scenes real. There was a scene where Batman beats up joker during an investigation. Heath wanted to get beaten up, in reality, to make the scene look authentic. He was willing to undergo pain just for that character.
The makeup artist assigned to the film was originally supposed to do Heath’s makeup. But considering how Heath wanted to put his element and perception of the character into his acting that he did the makeup himself. He didn’t want a touch of perfection in his makeup, and he wanted it to stay natural – Like an insane person had painted his face.
Everyone knows that if an actor wants to win an Oscar, you do not end up doing a ‘superhero’ movie. Oscars usually look for categories like art films, or movies that have a strong message to give. When Heath won an Oscar for this role, it took everyone by surprise as it was so unexpected. He was not just the first one in history to win one in a category like this but also the first one to win after he has passed away.
There has been endless debate about whether the joker was just another crazy individual or was there was a genius hiding behind that character. Heath made sure he played a role in such a manner, that it would tell the world that joker was brilliant at his madness. He did everything very strategically and not irrationally. There was a logic behind all his plans.