A central theme of 2016 was internet users claiming it was the ‘worst year of all time’. Trump and Brexit aside, the world lost some of its brightest stars in Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Gene Wilder.
If we cast our minds back a few years then we’ll remember that the world lost another great talent prematurely, Heath Ledger.
Ledger’s body was discovered in his New York apartment in 2008. Medical examinations discovered that he died of ‘acute intoxication’, as a result of an accidental overdose of sedatives and painkillers – two substances he’s thought to have turned to while getting into character to play The Joker.
The bittersweet trailer for the ‘I Am Hearth Ledger’ documentary that’s airing on Spike in May has just dropped, and it’s reminding everyone of his incredible talent, dedication to his craft and his smile.
The trailer features old school footage of the Academy-Award winner and interview snippets with his sister, Kate Ledger, and Brokeback Mountain Director Ang Lee, who heaps praise on the acting abilities of Ledger.
You can watch the trailer below:
Perhaps the most telling moment of the trailer is filmmaker Matt Amato’s insight that Ledger “wanted fame”, and then “when he got it he didn’t want it”. There are many upsides of fame, but it can also be intoxicating.
Similar documentaries about Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain, who also died far too young, highlight the intense media scrutiny they were under as a catalyst for turning to the bottle, or pipe, or needle.
In Heath’s case the accidental mix of substances is the most tragic of accidents, and I hope he’s resting in peace.
The feature length documentary will be released in cinemas across America on May 3rd, and then aired on Spike towards the end of the month.