Did Heath Ledger's turn as Joker in The Dark Knight push him into a spiral of depression and drugs that finally led to his death? This oft-discussed conspiracy theory will be resurrected by the legion of his fans as a German documentary, Heath Ledger: Too Young To Die, shows chilling excerpts from a diary that the actor maintained while preparing for his Oscar-winning role.
Many maintain that it was Ledger's obsession with the character that eventually led to him overdosing on painkillers in 2008. The Australian actor died on January 22, 2008. He was 28.
To prepare for the role, Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for a month and experimented for what will turn out to be one of the most defining negative characters of all times. In an interview to Empire in 2007, the actor said, "It's a combination of reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it. I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices - it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath - someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He's just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown."
Heath's father, Keith, is seen narrating excerpts from the diary in a teaser for the documentary as we can spy the Oscar in the background, according to media reports. According to the diary, for his iconic Joker voice, Ledger took inspiration from hyenas, clowns, comic strips, and Alex DeLearge from A Clockwork Orange.
What may be interpreted as a sign of the tragedy to come, Ledger ends the diary with 'bye, bye' scribble across a page.