Author Topic: Heath Ledger in his own Words  (Read 65677 times)

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #70 on: February 02, 2008, 05:06:54 am »
I don't have a technique. I've never been a believer in having one set technique on how to act. There are no rules and there is no rulebook. At the end of the day, it all comes down to my instincts. That's the one thing that guides me through every decision professionally. Socially, also. That's my technique. Yeah, you read through the script 100 times. I guess I have little characteristics about myself. Sometimes, most often than not, once we start shooting I won't look at the script at all until we finished shooting. It's kind of like it's been imprinted in my head during rehearsals. You just let it go.
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Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #71 on: February 02, 2008, 05:11:15 am »
The challenge was to capture the stillness of him. I have kind of semi-frantic, nervous energy. Harnassing that was something I thought I'd have to work out. Shooting in the wilderness, the stillness became like this innate quality." -on his character "Ennis" in Brokeback Mountain.
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #72 on: February 02, 2008, 05:14:24 am »
"Brooklyn seems to me the closest thing in America to Europe. The neighbors and locals are beautiful people. It's like a village."
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #73 on: February 02, 2008, 05:24:06 am »
"I'm not good at future planning. I don't plan at all. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. I don't have a day planner and I don't have a diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future."
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #74 on: February 02, 2008, 06:50:50 am »
"I get books. I meditate on it. I need a space like this where I can just sit and think and find a voice for the character and visualise it."
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #75 on: February 02, 2008, 06:51:18 am »
For Ennis, I figured he was battling genetic structure, what had been passed down, his fears, what his father had shown him - a murdered old gay ranchhand. But I still see holes in him.

Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2008, 06:51:34 am »
I never want to feel like I've achieved my goal. It's like Chinese farmers. They never admit that it's a good season. They feel like they'll be punished."
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2008, 08:18:38 am »
bbc.co.uk

What appealed to you about Brokeback Mountain?

Firstly, I thought the script was beautiful. I feel like most of the scripts for movies or books I've read concerning love are recycled and a little stale, and I thought this was a very fresh and complex version of a story of love. Also, the character of Ennis really struck a chord with me. His battle with his genetic make up, what had been passed down to him from his father and his father's father, and their beliefs and their traditions, he was fighting against all that; he was a homophobic man who loved women and men, and I found his contradictions really interesting.

In order to survive his environment he has had to really assert his masculinity, hasn't he?

Yeah, he's the most macho character I have played. That was the point: love transcends all of that.

In America especially, a lot of straight actors seem afraid to play gay characters, fearful of the impact it could have on their image. Did you worry?

Well I don't have an image, and I didn't then. But it was a very difficult decision because it scared the hell out of me. And I didn't want to kiss Jake Gyllenhaal, you know? [Laughs] And then I just felt like that's probably why I should do it, because I feel like I further myself if I'm constantly testing myself.

How did you and Jake work out the more intimate moments? Did you just go for it? Presumably there was a lot of trust involved.

Yeah, but that wasn't an issue. We obviously trusted each other and we most definitely didn't just go for it [laughs]. It was highly choreographed and thought out. It had to be. I mean, what do you do? I wouldn't want to just go for it, if that's what you're saying. But my reservations towards actually going through with it, and my nerves, actually worked for the film, because Ennis was very reserved and nervous about doing it. So it was lucky.

It also presumably takes a lot of self confidence and knowing who you are to do a role like this.

That's not the statement I'm making but yeah, I'm definitely confident in who I am.

Do you take advice when considering something like this?

Advice on what?

Whether the subject matter is what you should be tackling, because this is risky material?

That's just a matter of opinion. I don't feel like I have anything to lose, so I don't really understand what I'm putting at risk. No, I didn't really take advice. Most of the people around me were really encouraging about it.

You recently shot a low-budget love story about two junkies, Candy, in Australia. How was that?

Performing in it was a lot of fun because it was the first time I had used my own accent in a film in eight years. I had forgotten how free a thing can be and how liberating it is to not be weighed down by an accent. It was f****** fantastic! You allow yourself to breathe in your accent, you allow yourself to mumble, and improvising is, like, at the tips of your fingers. So it was really enjoyable for that reason. But it was just gruelling subject matter and some of the most gruelling scenes ever.

Do you have any plans about the kinds of parts you'd like to play? How carefully do you think about it?

I don't have that much forward planning about what I want to do next, or in the future. I guess if I'm doing something like, say, Lords Of Dogtown, then I really like to flip the scale on the next job. That's how Brokeback and Casanova really complemented each other, because Brokeback was really intense and excruciating, and Casanova was all drinking wine and eating pasta. It was like a holiday. So I've got no future plans. As long as it scares me, as long as it's something new, as long as I get to scare other people... I don't know, as long as I get to evolve and grow as an actor and as a person, that's the stuff I'm after.
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2008, 08:50:18 am »
This one is in its entirety.  Ostensibly about The Brothers Grimm, the interviewer gets around to talking about Brokeback Mountain which hadn't been released yet.  Matt Damon takes the lead in the interview (he was the bigger star.)  The interaction between Damon and Ledger is amusing, and we find out the name of someone who turned down a chance to star in Brokeback.  I've added commentary toward the end in red.

Interview: Matt Damon and Heath Ledger
A talk with the Brothers Grimm.
by Jeff Otto


August 22, 2005 - Although Terry Gilliam's work has crossed over into mainstream success a few times with films like The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys, the majority of his work has been anything but readily accessible to the general public. Sprawling epic productions such as Time Bandits and Brazil have become the stuff of legend. Before shooting his latest, Brothers Grimm, Gilliam spent years desperately clinging to his dream project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which was to star Johnny Depp. Everything that could go wrong did, and the disastrous production was left unfinished, with only the documentary Lost in La Mancha remaining as a keepsake.

Gilliam is known as an actors' director and his wildly original visions are highly sought after amongst true thespians, regardless of their financial gain. Gilliam admits that he originally chose Johnny Depp to play the role Matt Damon ultimately filled in Brothers Grimm. Ironically, at the time, Depp was not considered enough of a box office draw. Damon wasn't offended at being Gilliam's second choice and lept at the chance to work with the storied director. Heath Ledger was chosen as Will, and then Gilliam (in true Gilliam style) decided to flip flop the roles and have Matt play Will and Heath play Jake. You following me?

As Miramax slowly crumbled in the midst of a Disney fallout with the Weinstein Brothers, Grimm sat on the shelf for a bit. It's now set for release as one of the Weinstein's last hurrahs for the company they built.

Q: What was the draw to this? Gilliam?

MATT DAMON: Working with Terry. For both of us, I think. Just the chance to be in one of his movies.

Q: Did he live up to expectations?

HEATH LEDGER: He gave us the opportunity to switch roles and create these characters that we hadn't been given the opportunity to do in the past. You know, for whatever reason, people hadn't entrusted these characters on us before… Once we got there, his energy, his enthusiasm just kind of bled into our performances.

DAMON: The role that he offered me was Jacob and we both kind of felt like we'd done those roles. So we asked him, I mean look, we were in no matter what. Each role is great and it's a Terry Gilliam movie, but yeah. And then he said, for 12 Monkeys, he actually switched Bruce and Brad… At that time, Bruce was known as the kind of crazy [one] – so he kind of flipped them. And he said he liked it, because it kind of made work more fun every day because it was more challenging.

The reality was, for me, I was the last one. Heath was already in and Terry was already doing it. By the time it came to me, I just couldn't believe it. This role in a Terry Gilliam movie is available? How does that even happen? So my first meeting with him was at Chuck Roven's house and I went up there. Terry stays with Chuck when he's in town, and we went and met in Chuck's guest house and it was the three of us. The first thing I said to Terry was, 'Why isn't Johnny Depp doing this movie?' And, you know, Chuck instantly went, 'No, no, no! We want you!' But I was just like looking at Terry. Because, if it were like Gus Van Sant or some director that I'd worked with a bunch of times, you know, you always try to just keep working together. So Chuck's going, 'No, no, we want you, we want you!' And Terry just, without missing a beat, goes, 'The studio wouldn't let me do it with Johnny.' And I went, 'Oh, okay.' And he said, 'But you're my second choice.' All right cool, all right. And then, of course, half way through production, Pirates of the Caribbean came out, so I'm sure Bob Weinstein was like, 'F**k! We could have had Depp!' They're still kicking themselves. But that was kind of how, I thought Terry and I really got off on the right foot, because we were operating from a position of total honesty. And the whole experience with him was like that, it was just really great.

He was really good at communicating exactly what he needs, because he needs every single department to be functioning in order for each shot to work. He shoots on only like 14mm, 17mm lenses. I mean, you can see everything. And so, he kind of oversees every decision from production design, art direction, wardrobe and the wig I had and the muttonchops. The whole movie almost blew up because of the fake nose. I don't know if you guys read that story. I mean, there was a nose, he wanted me to have a nose that looked like it had been broken a bunch of times. And it was really cool looking, but I think Bob Weinstein's position was, 'We're not hiring this guy and then making him unrecognizable.' You know, paying him and then making him unrecognizable. 'I'll hire a guy with a broken nose and save some money.'

Q: Owen Wilson.

DAMON: Well right, yeah. (Laughs) But at any rate, they kind of butted heads on that and Terry was like, 'F**k you. I'll walk off the movie,' and then eventually Bob actually, I think, gave us a little more money for the budget. So we ended up looking at this nose that's like that big. And we're like, 'That's a couple million dollars in budget right there.' It was really that absurd, like at the end of it. So Terry ended up called it the most expensive nose job in history.

Q: How hard is it to maintain your focus with Belucci?

DAMON: I'd say impossible. There was that scene, and I almost kissed her. The line was, I would say, 'You are the fairest of them all,' and then we were supposed to consummate it with a kiss, and then Jacob breaks the mirror. So the shot was, I'd say, 'You are the fairest of them all' and it was so close and then crash and then she'd turn and she'd scream. So we did it like nine times, and finally I'm just going like, 'You are the fairest of them all. Don't break that f***ing mirror.' And he had to get his cue right.

Q: Heath?

LEDGER: Oh, look, it became difficult just looking out of my glasses. They were like fogging up she's so beautiful. She was actually nibbling on my ear. I got contact. (Laughs) Yeah, she's amazing and such an incredible presence when she turned up on set. She was like so regal and her beauty and was so down to Earth.

Q: Studios try to pigeonhole you as leading me, but you both seem to go with character roles if you had your way. Could you talk about trying to impose that onto bigger movies?

DAMON: I think we both approach the business in a pretty eyes open kind of way, where it's cyclical and there's an ebb and flow to it and it's gonna go away and so the question is, what do you do when you have a bit of juice? When you're having your kind of s**t at the table, like what do you do? For us, we'd rather make, if you're gonna make a big movie, make a big Terry Gilliam movie that's really different from anything else that's out there. Because it's gonna go away anyway, so you kind of take your shots and make stuff that you can be proud of, that you can kind of look back and say, 'Yeah, that was an amazing experience, I learned a lot. I took a big swing, you know?' I think that's kind of the healthiest way. I think when you see people trying to like, that look at their careers like, they get some success and then they protect it like a beachhead. They just sit there, 'Don't take this away from me!' And they make really safe, boring choices. And eventually it goes away anyway. Scared money never wins.

LEDGER: Go down swinging.

Q: How long ago was this filmed?

DAMON: About 18 years ago. No, it was '03, from June to November of '03…

LEDGER: 110 days or so.

DAMON: Yeah, it was a really long shoot. We got there in May, we got there a month early and, you know, had that whole month of rehearsal and horseback riding and working on the script and trying to figure out those accents and all that. So, but my guess of why it took so long to come out was, this is my theory – I just think, they kind of had bigger fish to fry, between Harvey and Bob, like, starting this new company. There's, I'm sure, a fight over the library. I'm sure the contract negotiations were pretty – no one knows I guess. It had to be pretty severe as they extricated themselves from Disney. And they're releasing like 11 movies in this last quarter, that's they're under contract there, so whatever they had done, they put a freeze on everything and worked out what they were working out. Because I'll guarantee you, just knowing Bob and Harvey, they wouldn't sit on an $80 million investment and let it collect dust, I mean they would get it out in some form as fast as they could, so something was going on at a level that's kind of above what we do.

Q: Can you tell us about Syriana, Matt?

DAMON: Yeah, it's basically… The best way to describe it is like Traffic, because [traffic screenwriter] Steve Gaghan wrote and directed. It's like four storylines that are converging around one topic. But it's oil instead of drugs. Amanda Peet and I have a child who dies… I kind of trade on that, on the death of my son – kind of become closer to this kind of performer sprints and end up being kind of an economic advisor to him.

Q: Have you seen it yet?

DAMON: Yeah. It's really good and they've moved it to December because I think they're pretty excited about it.

Q: What about another Bourne movie?

DAMON: Yeah, off in the middle distance somewhere. I keep doing movies like with Terry Gilliam, I just wrapped one with Scorsese, I'm going to do this run of movies and then, if I flame out in all of them, I'll do another Bourne movie [and] buy myself a few more years. (Laughs)

Q: Is that the trade off with doing those movies?

DAMON: No, I love the Bourne movies. Paul's doing it, Paul Greengrass, is gonna do it again, which is huge. We had a great thing and I really love working with him. And so no, I'm excited. There's no reason the third one shouldn't be the best of all of them. That would be the only way to kind of come back and do it is not just to milk the cash cow, but to make it a proper kind of trilogy and finish it on a great note so that people look back and say, 'you know what, that was a f***ing kick ass three-movie trilogy there.' It's not something I would want to do forever, you know. [in old man voice]: 'I'm Jason Bourne! Get off my land.' (Laughs)

Q: Heath, what is Candy about?

LEDGER: It's a love story between two junkies. It was a pretty intense film. I got a scar on my face here, and that was from knocking myself out. I gave myself a black eye. We really took it like this in the shower. It gave a black eye. We're both like stillborn babies. It was a trip. We took it to another level.

Q: So it's a studio film?

LEDGER: Yeah, straight down the line. (Laughs) Abbie Cornish, she was in Somersault. She's a brilliant actress.

Q: Can you talk about Casanova?

LEDGER: Sure. I mean look, it's certainly not Fellini's Cassanova. It's Lasse Hallstrom's/Walt Disney. It's a straight up romp, it's a comedy, and it's really entertaining hopefully. It's funny, hopefully. And that's it. I'm really, it has Oliver Platt and Jeremy Irons. It's a real ensemble piece, you know? The weight's certainly not on my shoulders.

DAMON: Oh yes it is.

Q: How was your experience on Brokeback Mountain?

LEDGER: I mean, look, it was kinda like signing up for boot camp for I don't even know how many weeks I was out there, 15 weeks or something, but it was tough. It was a lonely experience, but it was definitely a real sense of accomplishment once I finished. It scared me s**tless. I was absolutely – I had so much fear for the project and the story and, you know, had to be brave. I definitely came out thinking, 'F**k, I can do anything' you know? It was a beautiful story, a beautiful script.

Q: Can you elaborate on what scared you? (Careful there Heath... It's a tricky question.)

LEDGER: You know, the idea I had to make out with Jake Gyllenhaal for one, which, just wasn't the easiest thing to do.

(Ooops.  Bad, bad answer!  This leads to places you don't really want to go...)

DAMON: You found making out with me pretty easy though. (Damon to the rescue!)

LEDGER: It was dark and I was drunk. (Laughs) This was daytime and there was a lot of lights. (Laughs) You know, so that, it was just I had to do some things I've never done before. It was also like the aging process, I had to age from 18 to 40 and do that subtly. And there's not a lot of change between the age of 18 and 40 really. So I decided to do it in my accent. I staged my accent in pitches, so it was higher when I was younger and deeper when I was older and I tried to make it subtle. I've seen the film and I think it's, I'm not sure whether it's the most brilliant film I've seen or just the worst film I've seen. I've just come to terms with the fact now that I cannot transport myself when I watch myself in movies any more. I just think I'm crap in anything I do.

(Heath, Heath, Heath...  Where's your self-confidence?)

DAMON: I heard the sex scenes are really good though. (Laughs)  ((Damon to the rescue a second time!)

Q: How many sex scenes are in it?

LEDGER: I mean, look, there's enough. You'll be pleased I think, hopefully. We're not dry humping each other in every scene. It's a beautiful love story, it really is, and we've definitely pushed the envelope.

Q: Is that what draws you to a project?

LEDGER: Dry humping. (Laughs) Yeah, absolutely. I think I would get bored if I was doing the same thing over and over again.

DAMON: That's a beautiful script, Brokeback. I read it years ago. In fact, I was gonna do it years ago. Gus read it and wanted to do it after Good Will Hunting and I read it and I loved it. But I was going off to do Ripley and then All the Pretty Horses. So I said, 'Gus, I'm going to do a movie about, quite frankly, a guy who's gay, and then I'm going to do a movie about a cowboy. I shouldn't then just do a gay cowboy movie.' (Laughs) But I loved that script, I loved it. Larry McMurtry [wrote it].

(Nice turnaround Matt!  Nice respect for the writers too.  In interviews after this, Heath seems better prepared for those kind of questions.)

« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 08:20:17 am by TOoP/Bruce »
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

mvansand76

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Re: Heath Ledger in his own Words
« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2008, 01:04:17 pm »
"No amount of money changes what I do between 'action' and 'cut.'" Toronto Sun, May, 2001

That's a classic one! Fantastic!  8) :-*