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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TOUCH A SOUL - NEVER BE FORGOTTEN - REMEMBERING HEATH LEDGER

Heath, without knowing, left many with an indelible mark.

We never forget those who put us in touch with our own souls.
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Lullaby by Dark Mean - darkmeanband
Vidoe uploaded by leeses1973

This is a wonderful video. My heart sunk when I saw the picture at the beach. I became a Heath Ledger loving fan this year. Even in death, Heath reaches out and grabs hearts and souls. Bless him.

Those of us who feel Heath's radiant spirit and know that his eyes expressed his soul ~ share a special awareness of beauty.

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This is the best read I have found on Heath:

Heath Ledger ~ The Untold Story

Read the full article:
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991,00.html

Those who are quoted in the article:

Wes Bentley who co-starred with Heath in The Four Feathers expresses himself about Heath in this article as well as:

Terry Gilliam, Director of Brothers Grimm and The Imaginarium and Doctor Parnassus, Marc Forster, director of Monster's Ball, Todd Black producer of A Knights Tale, Donna Morong, the casting director of Ten I Hate About You, Gil Yunger, director of Ten Things, Steve Alexander, agent, Mel Gibson, Catherine Hardwicke, director of The Lords of Dogtown, Diana Ossand, screenwriter of Brokeback Mountain, James Schamus, producer of Brokeback, Rodrigo Prieto, cimematographer of Brokeback, Nicola Pecorini, friend and cinematographer, Gary Oldman, Emma Thomas both of The Dark Knight, Charles Roven of TDK and Brothers Grimm.

Excerpts of the article:

Page 7 of 28

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_7,00.html

Alexander: Sony asked me to come over and read the script for Spider-Man. It was going to be a really cool tentpole movie. But as soon as I said Spider-Man, Heath said, ''It's not for me. I would be taking someone else's dream away.'' He never second-guessed his decisions or said ''what if'' — which was amazing, because I certainly did!

Marc Forster, director, Monster's Ball: When he read the script, Heath said, ''Look, I get this character. I totally understand him. I'll come down there and breathe in that world.'' He wanted to try something different, something where the movie wasn't resting on his shoulders. The one thing he said was, ''I'm not going to participate in the promotion of the movie. I’m just going to come in and focus on the acting.''

Alexander: Monster's Ball (pictured) definitely did some heavy lifting for him. A lot of important filmmakers and studio executives saw him in a different way after that movie. It achieved exactly what we wanted it to in terms of stripping away the shininess of a leading man.

Page 8 of 28

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_8,00.html

By 2004, Ledger's career momentum had slowed following a series of critical and financial flops: the period epic Four Feathers(pictured), the Australian Western Ned Kelly, and the horror film The Order.

Alexander: Heath was going through growing pains. He wasn't really going forward, he wasn't really falling back — it was just kind of a push. He was getting more experience, but the movies weren't working. He said he was sort of tearing his career down so it could be built back up the right way.

Bentley: Heath didn't give himself enough credit for his talent as an actor. He didn't know what he had so he decided to enjoy what was being offered to him. I wanted to explain to him, ''Please wake up to how great you are.'' He didn't have any classical training. He didn't have anyone making him feel like he had credibility. The only voice he listened to was his own self critic, because it was the loudest.

Alexander: Heath generally backed out of almost every movie that he did. He would say yes to something and then he really started thinking about it and it would spin him out. He'd go away and he'd tinker and play and then we'd have a conversation several weeks later and he'd say, ''I got it. I figured it out.''

From page 9

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_9,00.html

Terry Gilliam, director, The Brothers Grimm: [Cinematographer] Nicola Pecorini was working on The Order, and he called me and said, ''This kid is extraordinary. He's fearless.'' I went out to L.A. and met Heath and just liked him immediately. As we were talking, he was constantly jiggling around. I was like, ''That's great — you've got to keep that.'' He just had this incredible energy that was intense but very vulnerable at the same time. Heath was determined to be his own man, despite his success. Johnny Depp was someone he really admired. I introduced them at the Toronto Film Festival. Johnny has a good sense of competition. Right from the start, he was just, like, ''Ooh, this guy — watch out!''

From page 10

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_10,00.html

Black: Heath was the pied piper. If you were sad, he took care of you. If you were happy, he made you happier just by dancing or talking or laughing. Fear didn't enter his psyche. He would say whatever was on his mind. If he didn't like you, you would know it, and if he liked you, you would know it.

From page 13

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_13,00.html

Gilliam: He was a very old soul. When we were in Prague doing Grimm, there was one night we went to see this gypsy band. Somehow his age came up in conversation. At that time, Matt Damon was 32, and I always felt Heath was the same age, if not older. He said, ''I'm 24.'' I said, ''What? That's not possible!'' He had a kind of wisdom you only get from centuries of former life. He could talk about any number of things — books, ideas — and this was not a 24-year-old you were talking to. Maybe he was part aborigine somewhere down the line.

Bentley: Heath had great taste in music. He always knew what to play at 5 a.m.: Neil Young, ''Old Man.'' He'd find the right time for it and sneak it in.

From page 14

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_14,00.html

Diana Ossana, screenwriter, Brokeback Mountain: I called Steve Alexander and said. ''Get this script to Heath now.'' Heath was with [then-girlfriend] Naomi Watts in New York and on the way back to Australia, they both read it. When I met Heath, he told me that after they read the script, Naomi was jumping up and down on the bed going, ''You have to do this! This will repay you in ways that you can't imagine!''

James Schamus, producer, Brokeback Mountain: Heath was somebody that [screenwriters] Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana had always used as a reference point in writing the character of Ennis. You knew that part was in Heath. It was just a question of whether Ang could bring it out. Heath met Ang, and it was one of those funny conversations. All Ang wants is about 45 minutes to stare at the person. He doesn't need to say anything and doesn't care what the person has to say. But the minute Heath left it was like, ''Okay, great. Yep.''

From Page 15

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_15,00.html

Hardwicke: Heath said, ''I've got to go be a gay cowboy.'' And everyone was talking every which way, making every kind of joke. You knew it was going to be great and he had to do it. But there was the fear embodied in it, too: What was I thinking? Did I really agree to this?

Bentley: I had the offer [for Brokeback], like, five years earlier, when Gus Van Sant was going to direct it. I was definitely interested but it didn't come together. And then Heath brought it up. I got to make fun of him a lot. I said, ''You know you're going to be the gay cowboy for the rest of your life.'' It was scary for him. He wasn't gay — quite the opposite. But crossing that boundary, I don't know if I could have done it the way he did it. Heath got beyond that.

From Page 19

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_19,00.html

Pecorini: Heath was extremely relieved he didn't win the Oscar. I saw him the next day and he was like, ''It's a big, bloody weight off my back.'' I said, ''Don't you have even a little regret?'' He said, ''No. It's over! I'm free now!'' If he had won, he would have had to deal even more with this system that wanted to guide his career and his life. He immediately threw himself back into a project that was really important to him: a movie he wanted to make about ['60s British singer] Nick Drake. That was one of his dream projects. The moment the Oscars were over, he said, ''Now we can do the Nick Drake thing.''

From Page 23 of 28

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_23,00.html

Pecorini: When he came to me with the first makeup test of the Joker, I said, ''S---, man, they're going to fire you!'' And he said, ''Maybe, but that's the only way I can play it.'' Movie studios are scared of daring. They're scared of pushing the envelope. And Heath was exactly the opposite. He was always pushing, pushing, pushing. It was in his nature to push the boundaries.

Gilliam: Heath was exhilarated by playing the Joker. He said, ''I'm able to do things I never believed were inside me.'' He's working with great actors, like Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart, and he'd say, ''I go into these scenes, and they can't do anything to me!'' He used to just giggle that he had found a character that was impregnable. They could beat him, hit him, and it wouldn't make a difference because he was so utterly wacko. It freed him up and got him out of that uncertainty after Brokeback. It was just, ''Let's go. Let's fly.'' And he flew.

From Page 24

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_24,00.html

Roven: I showed Heath the first six minutes of The Dark Knight, the bank heist sequence, on an IMAX screen in London. I said, ''You have to see this. You haven't seen yourself be the Joker!'' He watched it, and it just blew his mind. He was so thrilled, he was just laughing. He said, ''I want to see it again!'' It's not an easy thing to rethread an IMAX, so it took about 15 minutes but we showed it to him again. That was the last time I saw him.

In late 2007, Ledger went into production on Gilliam's next film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (pictured). It was a time of intense stress, as his relationship with Williams was falling apart. Ledger began to complain of terrible difficulty sleeping.

Hardwicke: The pressures he was under, with his family, his daughter, everything, would stress out any yogi. Buddha would be stressed. You're being buffeted and pulled and tempted and flown across the ocean back and forth — how does anybody survive that? Obviously a lot of people don't.

Gilliam: All of us who were close to Heath knew what was going on, and it was not the most pleasant experience.... He was obsessed with his daughter. She became the center of his thoughts. He would drag her up to my house in London. Here's Heath, Academy Award nominee, and he'd just grab his daughter, stick her in a backpack, hop on the Tube, and come up to the house. Nobody would have thought, There's Heath Ledger. He was just a guy with a kid.

From Page 25

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_25,00.html

Pecorini: Separation when there is a kid involved is always very painful, no matter what. And Heath was always very hard on himself. His tendency was always to say, ''What did I do wrong?'' He was really bleeding. And I'm pretty sure that all his sleeping problems had nothing to do with work and all to do with Matilda and Michelle.

Oldman: Most of the conversations we had were about family. I think because I had been through being a single dad in the past, he was picking my brain a little. The last time I saw him, he said he was looking forward to spending some time with Matilda.

Pecorini: I'm convinced Heath caught pneumonia at the end of that year. I remember I forced him to see a doctor, even though he didn't want to. The doctor said, ''Yes, you have the beginning of pneumonia. You'd better get antibiotics and go home and sleep.'' He got the antibiotics, but he refused to go home and sleep. And that very night, he delivered one of his best performances I have ever seen him deliver. He went on nerves, mainly. (Pictured at 2007's Venice Film Festival)

From Page 26

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_26,00.html

In January 2008, Ledger traveled to New York for a brief break from filming on Parnassus. On Jan. 22, he was found dead in his SoHo apartment. There was immediate speculation he had overdosed on illicit drugs, but autopsy reports ruled his death an accidental toxic combination of prescription painkillers, anti-anxiety medication, and sleeping pills.

Gilliam: I was in Vancouver, and there was a computer with a BBC website and it says, ''Heath Ledger found dead.'' My immediate response was, ''It's a f---ing Warner Bros. publicity stunt for the Joker!'' We kept looking at the computer thinking it was going to change. But it wouldn't go away.

Hardwicke: I was in a van in Oregon scouting a location we shot for Twilight. And my phone just exploded. And then you're just on the ground, weeping. At least I was outside in this beautiful place with the trees and the green and you could just try to connect with his spirit right then.

Schamus: It was one of those ''where were you on the day Kennedy was shot'' moments. I called Jake and remember wailing.

Oldman: I call it the cosmic s--- hammer. Just one of those things. I can't even say I ever remember seeing Heath smoking. It was a complete shock.

Gilliam: They tried so hard to pin [drug abuse] on him, but they couldn't because Heath was as clean as you could be. We know about the pills. But he had stopped smoking. Marijuana was no longer in his life, which he had enjoyed a bit. He wasn't drinking. Nothing. This was a body that had cleansed itself for over a year of anything.

Pecorini: He was so solid into keeping clean, it was quite stunning. I really think he died of a broken heart. I know it can sound very romantic, but it's very tragic. I think that's what killed him.

From Page 27

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_27,00.html

Alexander: We were making these incredible plans about what was next, career-wise. The day after he died, he was going to meet Steven Spielberg to explore the idea of playing Tom Hayden in a movie about the Chicago 7. This wasn't a guy who was even for a second thinking about checking out in any way, shape, or form. There's a moment in The Dark Knight when Heath's hanging upside down and he says to Batman, ''You and I are destined to do this forever.'' It's a very sad moment. A sequel certainly would have happened. I cringe when I read that he was a tortured soul or a Method actor who couldn't get out of his own way because he'd played this dark character. It's just not true.

From Page 28

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252991_28,00.html

Bentley: I wish I knew what was going on with the prescription drugs. I could have said, ''That's not gonna help. Don't mix all that.'' I think he just didn't know what he was doing. I feel like at least he would have listened to me. I didn't go to the funeral because I know Heath would have been laughing at it. He would have had that smile on his face. At the very least he would have shrugged it off.

Pecorini: I remember when we went to the memorial service, most of the people there had nothing to do with Heath. He used to despise most of them, and there was no reason for them to be there. I understand the family wanting to give the ''Hollywood community,'' so-called, the opportunity of saying goodbye. But I’m telling you, 85 percent of the people in that room had no right to be there. It was pretty disturbing for me.

Oldman: If Heath does get an Oscar nomination, I can just picture him up there, looking down and going, F---!

Pecorini: We joked about [an Oscar nomination]. Heath used to say, ''This time I'm going to give them such a hard time — they'll have to cry to get an interview.'' He knew he'd done something special. But he was saying, ''This time I’m going to lead the dance.''


This was one of the comments left by
:
I found myself struck by the tragedy of this young man's death. I didn't know the man and can't claim to know what was going on in his head, but obviously, he was in pain. I believe that he was only trying to find some peace and rest. I think that he just wanted the pain in his head and his heart to quiet just long enough to let him sleep...and in his desperation, he slept too deeply. The man was a damn good actor and by all accounts, a genuinely nice man who loved his daughter. God rest.

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Heath Ledger wanted to do a movie about Nick Drake.
A very well-done video of Nick Drake's Pink Moon
Uploaded by leeses1973

This is the best Pink Moon video on Youtube that I have seen. The undulating and swaying visuals are a perfect match for the rhythmic undercurrent of the guitar. And I love the percussive picture displays "dancing" in ensemble with the songs percussive rhythm sections.

Great work, Lisa. Heath would like this very much. Hopefully, he is smiling at it from where he is.


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