Author Topic: Heath Ledger - News Accounts  (Read 364295 times)

Offline southendmd

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1020 on: February 19, 2009, 02:31:19 pm »
What a beautiful tribute to Heath by his family, and how Brokebackian, too!  8)

This makes me want to visit Perth even more.  Now we have another must-visit location on our round of Heathworthy places to see in Oz.  And this park is a much happier stop than Karrakatta Cemetery, or even Cottesloe Beach.

Exactly!  Save your pennies, Brokies.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1021 on: February 20, 2009, 08:05:42 pm »

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/ent?guid=20090220/499e46e0_3421_1334520090220-1260393886
Ledger's Legacy: A new generation's James Dean?
By JOCELYN NOVECK (AP National Writer)
From Associated Press
February 20, 2009 7:20 PM EST
NEW YORK - It was a decade ago, and director Gil Junger was seeking fresh talent for his upcoming movie, "10 Things I Hate About You." He'd already seen 250 or 300 kids. In walked a young Australian TV actor looking for work.

After a quick line reading and a bit of improv, "I was stunned," Junger says now. Certain he was looking at someone with enough raw magnetism to be a movie star, he turned to his casting people. "Hire him immediately," he recalls saying of Heath Ledger.

Ten years after that teen flick launched his brief but hugely promising film career, Ledger is an overwhelming favorite to become, on Sunday, only the second actor to win a posthumous Oscar. If he does, the words "Oscar-winning actor" will doubtless precede each mention of his name forever.

But beyond that, what will his legacy be?

Will he be remembered by future generations simply as the talented, versatile young actor he was? Or will his sex appeal endure, lumping him with cinematic heartthrobs of the past? Will he be remembered for one role, his leering Joker in "The Dark Knight"? Or will his premature death be the defining memory, making him this generation's version of '50s cult icon James Dean?

It's easy to see why the Dean comparison has been so tempting. Both actors died in their 20s - Dean in a car crash at age 24, Ledger of an accidental prescription-drug overdose at 28. Like Ledger, Dean was known for a provocative kind of charisma, embodied in the famous photos of his misunderstood teenager in "Rebel Without a Cause."

Both were recognized with two Oscar nominations - Dean's were both posthumous, for "East of Eden" and "Giant." And both will remain forever young, with no inkling of how they would have aged or how their careers would have fared.

But in many ways, the two weren't alike at all.

"Dean was a whole different animal," says film historian Leonard Maltin. "He became a cultural icon because of the rebel role he embodied, and even the sort of glamorously grisly way that he died. I'd wager that many young people who have posters of him on their walls haven't even seen his movies."

Ledger, on the other hand, had no singular screen persona - it was in large part his versatility that set him apart. Imagine another young actor playing Ennis Del Mar, the taciturn, confused cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain," or the menacing Joker of "The Dark Knight," with the heartthrobs of "A Knight's Tale" and "10 Things I Hate About You" thrown in.

"There wasn't a Heath Ledger personality," says Maltin. "Ledger was a serious actor who will be remembered because he gave several indelible performances. He inhabited each role."

Maltin hopes Ledger will also be remembered for the creative risks he took - for example, taking a small role as a prison guard in 2001's "Monster's Ball," a choice that showed his reluctance to be typecast. "That sent a signal that this was a serious young actor, not a pretty boy looking to score points," Maltin says.

For some fans, it will always be Ledger's Oscar-nominated performance as the tortured ranch hand in Ang Lee's 2005 "Brokeback Mountain" that remains his defining performance, his diabolical Joker notwithstanding. Screenwriting professor Richard Walter hopes that role will be a central part of his legacy.

"He might indeed be a kind of James Dean figure, but I think he was a far, far superior actor to Dean," says Walter, who runs the screenwriting program at UCLA's film school. "Dean's whole persona was kind of a cartoon character." He predicts Ledger will remain a major name in cinema - "maybe not for as long as 20 to 30 years, but for a long while."

Ledger has now won a slew of awards for "The Dark Knight," including the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, and it would be a surprise if he didn't capture the supporting actor Oscar. The award would be a fitting yet bittersweet bookend to his career.

"Winning an Oscar would go a long way toward solidifying the actor's legacy," says Todd Boyd, professor of popular culture at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

But will that legacy be one of an enduring cultural icon like Dean? "I think any time you have a celebrity who dies young while seemingly on the way up the ladder of success, comparisons to James Dean are inevitable," says Boyd. But Dean remains alive in our minds, he adds, because generations born after his death found his rebel image relevant to their own era.

"If future generations discover Ledger and find ways to make his image applicable to their times, then people may one day be asking whether a future celebrity who dies prematurely while on the way up is akin to Heath Ledger," Boyd says.

Ledger's family is celebrating his legacy in its own way. A dozen family members were in Hollywood this week, attending a party thrown by Australians in Film to honor the first recipient of the group's Heath Ledger scholarship, a 29-year-old Australian actor named Oliver Ackland.

It wasn't known who would accept the Oscar on Ledger's behalf should he win, but the Academy has said the statuette will be given to his daughter, Matilda.

For the many still aching to see more of Ledger, he has one movie yet to be released. He died in the midst of production on "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," and director Terry Gilliam has salvaged the unfinished performance by enlisting three other big-name actors - Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell - to complete the part.

After that, Ledger's fans will be left to wonder what else this hugely talented actor might have had up his sleeve.

"The worst thing is we don't know what he would have done," notes Walter, the screenwriting professor. He points out that a similarly magnetic presence in his youth, Marlon Brando, is now remembered for a whole range of performances - the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

Junger, the director, now working on a TV version of "10 Things I Hate About You" for ABC, finds the comparisons to other actors, like Dean, of little value.

"I just think he was an extraordinary young talent whose life was snuffed out way too early," the director says.

"He would have had a shockingly good career."

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline optom3

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1022 on: February 20, 2009, 09:00:59 pm »
He would have had a shockingly good career. Poignant and past tense. Very, very sad.

Offline Monika

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1023 on: February 21, 2009, 08:46:55 am »
What if Heath Ledger Lost?
Let's face facts. Heath Ledger's going to the win the oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Not only does he deserve it for his performance, but it will be a tribute to a great actor that we lost far too early.

But the guy's screwing all the other nominees, who have no shot at being recognized for their great performances.

If for some reason any of the other actors win, they'll be viewed as that A-hole who deprived Heath of the posthumous honor. Say Phil Hoffman takes home the Oscar: A-hole. The guy's already got one. Great actor he may be, but no matter what his Heath-praising acceptance speech says, the audience will hear "I'm a dick. I'm a dick. I'm a dick. See you next year when I deprive another dead guy of an award that the world wanted him to win." What an A-hole.

Imagine if Robert Downey Jr. beat out Heath Ledger and then couldn't even be there to accept the award? That would be the ultimate slap in the face, sending a pre-recorded message saying "sorry I couldn't be there, but at least I'm alive to accept my award." Via-satelite A-hole.

What if Josh Brolin won? Oh, I bet he really wants to win. I bet he'd love it. He'd say "I'm honored to even be associated with great actors like Heath" and maybe he'd even shed a tear. Pulling-at-our-heart-strings A-hole.

I don't know who Michael Shannon is. Was he the guy from that depressing movie about people being depressed about how good looking they are? Who-the-eff-are-you A-hole.

Luckily none of this will happen. Heath will win. And he should. Even if he had not died, he deserves the award. His Joker was mind-blowingly good. In an A-hole way.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-abramson/what-if-heath-ledger-lost_b_168720.html

Offline Kerry

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1024 on: February 21, 2009, 10:52:12 pm »
Heath Ledger - Kid who Conquered Hollywood

Article from: The Sunday Telegraph, Sydney, Australia
By Peta Hellard

February 22, 2009 12:00am


http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25088555-5001021,00.html



On Academy Awards eve, it is almost too hard to look at these pictures of a 20-year-old Heath Ledger mucking around with actor Rose Byrne in Las Vegas.

They are both on their way to stardom and Ledger, who died of an accidental drug overdose last year, looks like he does not have a care in the world.

It is difficult to remember a photograph of Ledger looking happier. Fame seemed to sap the life out of the young man.

These beautiful pictures have been unearthed ahead of tomorrow's Oscars:

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/gallery/0,22056,5025684-5010141-1,00.html

He is considered a virtual certainty to win a posthumous award for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

The photos were taken in May 1999, a month after Ledger had his 20th birthday and six weeks after his first US film, 10 Things I Hate About You, premiered.

The actor, who moved to Hollywood three months before the snaps were taken, had his first big acting break - opposite Mel Gibson in civil war drama, The Patriot  - and had stars in his eyes.

Rupert Thorpe, the Los Angeles-based celebrity photographer who took the pictures, said Ledger was ecstatic about his burgeoning career in Hollywood.

" I had never heard of him, but he was full of energy and you could see he was destined for great things,'' Thorpe said yesterday.

"He was a little boy from Australia (who had) come over to big America - he was loving life and he didn't seem to have a care in the world.''

Thorpe, who spent a day shooting Ledger and his Two Hands co-star Rose Byrne in Las Vegas, said the actor was excited about the perks of the shoot.

"We were driving around the Vegas strip in a stretch limo, drinking champagne and taking pictures: Heath got a kick out of that,'' he said.

"We went through four or five bottles of champagne in the limo and then we poured ourselves out of the limo for the pics.

"Heath and Rose asked me to stay and hang out because we were having so much fun, but I ended up flying back to Los Angeles that night, while they stayed on for a couple more days.''

Byrne, who launched her career with Ledger when both starred as teens in Two Hands - which premiered in July 1999 - said she remembered her longtime friend as fun-loving and excitable.

"He was a very lovely, spontaneous, distinctive actor,'' she said. "I was very blessed to have worked with him.''

The relaxed experience was a world away from the micro-managed public moments of Ledger's later career, when he seemed uneasy and awkward, often hunched over and surly in interviews.

Thorpe said he was shocked by the change in Ledger when he bumped into him years later in Beverly Hills, shopping with then girlfriend Naomi Watts.

"He seemed like a completely different person,'' he said.

"He was older and obviously more guarded because he had success and had people running after him because he was now famous.''


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Offline j.U.d.E.

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1025 on: February 22, 2009, 12:20:09 pm »
Ledger's Legacy: A new generation's James Dean?
NEW YORK - It was a decade ago, and director Gil Junger was seeking fresh talent for his upcoming movie, "10 Things I Hate About You." He'd already seen 250 or 300 kids. In walked a young Australian TV actor looking for work.

After a quick line reading and a bit of improv, "I was stunned," Junger says now. Certain he was looking at someone with enough raw magnetism to be a movie star, he turned to his casting people. "Hire him immediately," he recalls saying of Heath Ledger.

"Dean was a whole different animal," says film historian Leonard Maltin. "He became a cultural icon because of the rebel role he embodied, and even the sort of glamorously grisly way that he died. I'd wager that many young people who have posters of him on their walls haven't even seen his movies."

"He might indeed be a kind of James Dean figure, but I think he was a far, far superior actor to Dean," says Walter, who runs the screenwriting program at UCLA's film school. "Dean's whole persona was kind of a cartoon character." He predicts Ledger will remain a major name in cinema - "maybe not for as long as 20 to 30 years, but for a long while."

"Winning an Oscar would go a long way toward solidifying the actor's legacy," says Todd Boyd, professor of popular culture at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

But will that legacy be one of an enduring cultural icon like Dean? "I think any time you have a celebrity who dies young while seemingly on the way up the ladder of success, comparisons to James Dean are inevitable," says Boyd. But Dean remains alive in our minds, he adds, because generations born after his death found his rebel image relevant to their own era.

After that, Ledger's fans will be left to wonder what else this hugely talented actor might have had up his sleeve. Too true, to be good!

"The worst thing is we don't know what he would have done," notes Walter, the screenwriting professor. He points out that a similarly magnetic presence in his youth, Marlon Brando, is now remembered for a whole range of performances - the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

Junger, the director, now working on a TV version of "10 Things I Hate About You" for ABC, finds the comparisons to other actors, like Dean, of little value.

"I just think he was an extraordinary young talent whose life was snuffed out way too early," the director says.

"He would have had a shockingly good career."
I get the comparison to James Dean, but like Junger said, it is of little value. They were young when they died, they were very raw actors. But I think it was different times and they had different reasons to be the way they were. James Dean was tormented because of his past, his life and family, the time he lived in and because he felt he had to be someone he didn't want to be or knew he couldn't be. His raw-ness came from a conflicted self and lack of secureness and searching personality. But I would certainly NOT call him a cartoon character! Heath Ledger was raw, versatile and unpredictable, because of where he came from (I mean from outside the US star-system) and because he did not want to fit in or be type-cast. Out of personal conviction he refused to 'play along' with the big Hollywood machine and he clashed sometimes, but that enhanced his charisma and his bad boy image. In a way he didn't care much about what people thought of him, but he was also extremely sensitive to everything that happened around him and in the world. I think James Dean's torment was much more self-centered. But that too, is understandable, in my opinion.

Anyway, it is still horribly painful, that they had to die so young! I have been a big fan of James Dean ever since I was 12 or so. I had a huge poster of GIANT on my wall and I DID see all his movies several times!  ;) I remember seeing GIANT for the first time at age 13/14 - I was in Portugal on holiday at the beach and was suffering a severe sunstroke. But the local cinema showed GIANT which I had never seen before and I had to go! Sitting through the 3+ hour long film was an ordeal and I don't know how I made it. Afterwards, I only remembered the last scene (where you can see a white toddler and a coloured toddler in the same scene) until I had the chance to watch it again months/years later.

The "the good, the bad, and the bizarre" is maybe truly something that we will be spared of, hmm.. I don't know. I am thinking about Mickey Rourke here.. I loved him in his early movies... now not so much. Same goes for Marlon Brando as is mentioned in the article..

I still don't care much for Oscars and other such awards. I only found out today who is nominated, although I had read about Heath Ledger being nominated. In addition, I feel like his Dark Knight nomination is not heartfelt by those who voted for him. It feels like he’s been nominated to make up for what BBM should have received and because he died so suddenly. I think it would all be quite different, if he were still alive. But again, that's only my very personal opinion.
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Offline Monika

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1026 on: February 22, 2009, 12:37:26 pm »

Offline MilAn

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1027 on: March 01, 2009, 06:39:46 pm »
Quote
FOR Heath Ledger's family, life after the Oscars has been spent bonding with the late actor's three-year-old daughter Matilda and celebrating their late son's win with Hollywood friends at Johnny Depp's mansion.

Ledger's father Kim, mother Sally and sister Kate, who travelled from Perth for the ceremony, joined Matilda and the actor's former partner Michelle Williams at an afternoon party at Depp's Hollywood Hills home last week, along with industry friends.

The private event, which was guarded by security staff, was also attended by Ledger's step-parents, brother-in-law, step-sisters and nieces.

Depp had become friends with Ledger after Terry Gilliam, who directed the Oscar-winner in The Brothers Grimm, introduced the two actors at the Toronto Film Festival several years ago.

After Ledger's death in January last year, Depp and actors Jude Law and Colin Farrell stepped in to replace the Australian in his final unfinished film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Williams' partner Spike Jonze, who started dating her last year, did not attend the event. Williams, who split from Ledger shortly before his death, drove herself and Matilda to the party from Jonze's hilltop mansion in the trendy Los Angeles neighbourhood of Los Feliz.

The couple flew into Los Angeles with Matilda the day before the Oscars for Williams to attend the Independent Spirit Awards, where she was nominated for best lead actress for Wendy and Lucy.

On the morning of the Oscars, Williams and Jonze - whose real name is Adam Spiegel - ate breakfast at an upscale Beverly Hills eatery before shopping in a department store.

Ledger's family also enjoyed some shopping excursions in Los Angeles boutiques.

The group visited designer stores in Beverly Hills' famed Robertson Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, as well as upmarket outdoor shopping centre The Grove, where they wandered in the doll store American Girl.

The family is expected to return to Australia this week.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25120443-5012980,00.html


Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1028 on: March 14, 2009, 06:55:51 am »
Excerpt from an interview with Ang Lee on March 10th, 2009. Crossposted on HHH.


Do you remember where you were when you got the news that Heath died?
I was landing at the Tokyo airport when I got an email from James. Heath died during my flight. That’s always strange to think about.


What is your favorite memory of him?
It also happens to be one of my favorite shots of my career: his “barfing” scene in Brokeback, when he was hitting the wall with his fists. We were on the third take, his fists were bleeding, he’d literally spilled all his guts, and something in the background struck me as being perfect. I think it was the clouds. I wanted to do another take, but Heath was totally exhausted. My producer said, “That’s bullshit. The actor has had enough.” But the clouds were perfect! We did another take, and after it was over, Heath said, “Wow. That felt good.”


http://7x7.com/content/e/ang-lee-remembers-heath-ledger

Offline Kerry

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1029 on: March 14, 2009, 09:19:38 am »

Matilda sole beneficiary of Heath's M$15 . . . . . .


http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/5390237
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