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Nicholson warned Ledger

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Nicholson warned Ledger

Unread postby consigliere » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:54 am

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/01 ... on_jo.html

Jack Nicholson warned Heath Ledger on 'Joker' role
BY JOE NEUMAIER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, January 24th 2008, 3:18 AM

Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in the 1989 'Batman' movie, says he warned Heath Ledger, below, about the part.

Heath Ledger thought landing the demanding role of the Joker was a dream come true - but now some think it was a nightmare that led to his tragic death.

Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989 - and who was furious he wasn't consulted about the creepy role - offered a cryptic comment when told Ledger was dead.

"Well," Nicholson told reporters in London early Wednesday, "I warned him."

Though the remark was ambiguous, there's no question the role in the movie earmarked as this summer's blockbuster took a frightening toll.

Ledger recently told reporters he "slept an average of two hours a night" while playing "a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy ...

"I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."

Prescription drugs didn't help, he said.

Ledger's ghastly image as the Clown Prince of Crime in "Dark Knight" has been an Internet sensation since trailers were released in December, featuring Ledger in full death's-head mode.

His face chalk-white, his hair green and his mouth a sliced red grimace, the handsome 28-year-old Australian actor looked frighteningly true to the character in the Alan Moore graphic novel, "Batman: The Killing Joke."

The movie wrapped filming in the fall - right after Ledger's breakup with actress Michelle Williams - and post-production work finished not long after.

While "Dark Knight" is the film that will stand as Ledger's cinematic gravestone, insiders say the flick, set for a July 18 release with Christian Bale as Batman, won't suffer from his death.

"Ledger's portrayal of the Joker is already one of the most anticipated screen characters of the whole year," says Gitesh Pandya, editor of the movie tracking site boxofficeguru.com

"I think most of the audience will still be there. If anything, I would think the marketing of his character might be scaled down a bit.

"The Joker is a character where you could go over-the-top with marketing. The studio might scale that back a bit in the next few months, just to be respectful."

Tony Timpone, editor of the fantasy magazine Fangoria, said the movie should do well, despite the "cloud over it" from Ledger's death.

"It's going to be tough, because the Joker is such an indelible character, and Heath was such an indelible actor. It could be tough to disassociate ourselves from reality. Because the movie looks like it's going to be so dark, and his life had such a dark end."

Critic and film historian Leonard Maltin said Ledger's death will heighten curiosity about the movie - and certainly won't hurt the box office.

"This is sad and so different from any previous examples, because the film has such an enormous built-in audience; people will go anyway, but there's no question it could cast something of a pall over the film," Maltin said.

"It says something about the curious nature of film, that someone can be so alive onscreen when we're all too aware that they've passed. It underscores how we're mortal, and films are immortal."
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Re: Nicholson warned Ledger

Unread postby consigliere » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:56 am

Consigliere wrote:Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989 - and who was furious he wasn't consulted about the creepy role - offered a cryptic comment when told Ledger was dead.


I don't get this from Nicholson. To me, Jack Torrence might have been an even creepier role. Especially since the 1989 Joker he did seemed more like comedy than anything.
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Unread postby waborat » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:22 am

Oh great, here we go, every Entertainment Tonight, Nightline, 20/20 & Dr Phil show will be talking about "Can Certain Roles Be An Actor's Downfall?"

Sorry, but this is just ridiculous...it's friggin' acting (!!!) and a comic book character at that....we've had actors play real-life killers, fictional killers, child abductors, rapists, 9/11 workers, soldiers & lawyers and we've never heard that someone's death was due to their role (my condolences to Brandon Lee)...

Sorry Mr Nicholson, I enjoyed your Joker, but you brought nothing to it as far as demonic credibility goes...it was just good ol' Jack playing another over-the-top character (ala Daryl Van Horne/Satan, Col. Nathan Jessep, Frank Costello, etc)....it wasn't Jack Torrence or Randle Patrick McMurphy material...I hope that your quote "Well, I warned him" meant that he should not take a bottle of Ambien before he sleeps or wear a balloon before he slips it to Mary-Kate and not anything about the role of The Joker???
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am

Jack's Joker wasn't as dark as the Joker can get. Ledger's take on him seems far more sinister. Nicholson's was an edgier version of Caesar Romero's goofball from the 1960s TV show. He was portrayed in the 1989 film as a guy who was entertained by killing people, especially through "artistic" manipulation of a person's appearance through chemicals, but the Joker is much worse than that.

There've been reports circulating that Ledger may have died from natural causes. That's odd for his age but not unprecedented.

I can see the role of the Joker adding some stress to a guy like Ledger who got so wrapped up in his roles. He wasn't a guy who could switch between the characters and reality very easily from all I've read - it took time for him to ease out of character.

The strain of two hours of sleep over long periods of time coupled with medications and other stress could have worn down his body and made him vulnerable to a number of issues. The report I saw on CNN yesterday suggested that he had a heart attack. That could have been caused by drugs or meds and becomes a greater danger when your body has not gotten the rest it needs.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:58 am

Yea I agree MacPhisto. You can't just say "its just acting!"

Thats like saying "a slump?? Its just baseball, why are these guys getting in slumps!!"

Like MacPhisto said Ledger took his roles very seriously, so I don't think this is all that ridiculous.
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Unread postby waborat » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:39 pm

CarolinaTribe wrote:Yea I agree MacPhisto. You can't just say "its just acting!"

Thats like saying "a slump?? Its just baseball, why are these guys getting in slumps!!"

Like MacPhisto said Ledger took his roles very seriously, so I don't think this is all that ridiculous.


It is "just acting"...I hope that it comes out that he did die of natural causes...if he did die from a drug overdose due to his insomnia then I'll understand and accept that as well...hell, if I find out that he died from freebasing oxicontin with antifreeze I would accept that, but to hear that it was because of a role??? No way...at that point you have to admit that he had a mental condition of some kind

If these characters were so draining on an actor's psychi then we would have heard from Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes and countless others over the years to be careful and/or stay away from certain parts

I was one of many to freak out after I saw the trailers for Dark Knight and told my wife that finally it looks like someone has nailed The Joker (at least in appearance, because none of us know what the acting is like yet), but I just don't care to see people start to say that the role might have killed him?

...and no, and slump in baseball is not like this, because a slump is something that you expect to see as a fan, but you don't expect to see someone knock themselves off because of a personae...I understand the stress part of the job as we all have those, but it's not from a written character that makes someone go over the edge

That's why I hope that the autopsy shows that it was something else so we don't have to hear "life or death" quotes from people like JN
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:48 pm

waborat wrote:If these characters were so draining on an actor's psychi then we would have heard from Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes and countless others over the years to be careful and/or stay away from certain parts


It really depends on the actor. Some are able to seamlessly flip in and out of a role. I know Hopkins is like that and I'm pretty sure all of the ones you listed are like that.

None of those guy, to my knowledge, is a method actor. I think Ledger was a method actor, making it harder for him to pull out of a role.
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Unread postby waborat » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:20 pm

Mr. MacPhisto wrote:
waborat wrote:If these characters were so draining on an actor's psychi then we would have heard from Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes and countless others over the years to be careful and/or stay away from certain parts


It really depends on the actor. Some are able to seamlessly flip in and out of a role. I know Hopkins is like that and I'm pretty sure all of the ones you listed are like that.

None of those guy, to my knowledge, is a method actor. I think Ledger was a method actor, making it harder for him to pull out of a role.


I value your opinion Mac and I understand what you're saying, but I just can't fathom that a fictional role could bring you down over several months after you've completed it...it is a character and means nothing in the realms of reality...this is where it would become much more of a chemical imbalance in an individual and not related to what they portrayed? That's what pisses me off about JN's remarks if that is what they were meant to mean? Hopefully it was something physically wrong instead?
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:58 pm

Wab---FWIW I agree that I don't think thats what caused his death.

But I don't have a problem with them saying his lack of sleep was caused by the role he had to take a part of for his character. Like Mac said, Ledger gets incredibly deep into his roles. Method actors have to channel a part about themselves that relates to the character they are playing to help them become that character.

I don't have any questions at all that Ledger was telling the truth when he said he was losing sleep because of how deep he was into the Joker.
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Unread postby cms2718 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:38 pm

whatever the cause of death was is irrelevant, what happened was tragic event. I can totally see the point made that little sleep, strain, and any emotional problems asscoiated with the role probably played a role in his death.

with that being said i think Ledger's Joker fits the bill of the original, where Jack's seemed a bit cheesy. I for one cannot wait to see this movie and i'm sure now that many others feel the same.
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Unread postby waborat » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:18 pm

cms2718 wrote:
with that being said i think Ledger's Joker fits the bill of the original, where Jack's seemed a bit cheesy. I for one cannot wait to see this movie and i'm sure now that many others feel the same.


From what I've seen so far his performance mirrors more of the M-80's (Miller, Moore, Morrison) Joker and not the Bob Kane/Bill Finger Joker of the 40's?

People who are Batman fans would have gone out in droves to see this film no matter what, but now there will probably be people who go see it just to "understand how a role could bring down a young star"...

It's like in the early 70's when everyone wanted to listen to the Beatles "White Album" to see why Manson committed the murders...there's just no substance
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:23 pm

waborat wrote:I value your opinion Mac and I understand what you're saying, but I just can't fathom that a fictional role could bring you down over several months after you've completed it...it is a character and means nothing in the realms of reality...this is where it would become much more of a chemical imbalance in an individual and not related to what they portrayed? That's what pisses me off about JN's remarks if that is what they were meant to mean? Hopefully it was something physically wrong instead?


I agree with you on the character not bringing him down months after completion. I'm thinking more along the lines that the stress caused by playing that role - the two hours of sleep per night, psychological issues, etc - may have exacerbated a problem over that period that finally came to a head last week. It may have been drugs, it may have been a heart issue. I don't know, but a stressful role like that could have been a part of what ended up killing Ledger.

I think it was actually a heart attack of some kind that got him. That could have been caused by excessive wear and tear. The Joker role was not the only contributor, but it clearly did plague his mind. The road to his death may have started with that role.

I don't think Jack's warning bears much merit because Nicholson's character was far less gruesome overall.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:23 pm

Look, I understand "It's not just acting" to a degree, however, if you are going to be psycologically effected by a comic book character, you have other issues.

I'm more inclined to believe something real, like a drug problem, may have a little more to do with it than The Joker.

Freddie Krueger's toes are still tapping, and he had some problems in motion pictures as well.

There is a really good chance the guy was dead if he played The Riddler.
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Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:02 pm

You know who has shit tough? Pepe, the 38 yr-old arthritic fry cook. Please STFU about Heath Ledger's dark roles.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:00 pm

Lead Pipe,

I agree that it was probably a drug problem that caused it. All I'm saying is that role could have been a contributing factor to why he turned to that. People who I have known have had stress caused by their "regular" jobs which has led to those kind of problems, so I don't think its farfetched to assume the same here.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:04 pm

And Peek, I don't see why you have tell us to STFU.

No one threw those words at you after a person with financial interest in Jamey Carrol managed to persuade you that Carroll wasn't "an ordinary ballplayer."

Its an opinon, maybe you disagree with it, but no need to belittle someone else because you think your opinion is better than theirs.
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Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:24 pm

CarolinaTribe wrote:And Peek, I don't see why you have tell us to STFU.

No one threw those words at you after a person with financial interest in Jamey Carrol managed to persuade you that Carroll wasn't "an ordinary ballplayer."


1st of all, I said STFU (to know one in particular) about his 'dark' role sending him careening into a world of drugs and to his death.

Are you telling me that it was the role that contributed or life in general? Because there are thousands of addicts and people who OD who aren't the 'Joker'.

What dark role was it prior to that made him an addict and that had his alleged friends talking about his year or so of sobriety up to the point of his death?

Are you telling me playing the Joker is more difficult than the life of a guy working with an aching back and a bottle of oxycontin at the Ford Plant with a wife, a couple car payments, a mortgage and 3 kids who need braces?

Come on. Saying it could have 'contributed' is way too broad. Life in general contributes to why people abuse what they abuse.

And no one has convinced me that Jamey Carroll is anything but an ordinary ballplayer. It was the 9,000 people who suddenly considered JD Martin a valuable, untouchable asset who considered Jamey Carrol far less than an ordinary ballplayer. His agent spoke of his character, not so much as to his ability.

BTW, plenty of people told me to STFU in that thread. Maybe not in those words, but that was clearly the message.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:39 pm

Valid points.

Maybe I just misinterpreted your original point. I understand where you are coming from with your point about Role of Joker vs Low(or even middle)class man with numerous financial responsibilites.

I guess I just think it just depends on the circumstances of the individual. I couldn't compare my personal problems with the problems of an upperclass person, b/c I realize that there is no comparison. But if my biggest problem is money and another persons biggest problem is the stress of their job, I wouldn't say my situation is tougher than his.

Anyhow I'm having difficulty putting my perspective of this into words, so if it comes to me I'll repost. The above probably isn't making much sense.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:43 pm

My point is if I was a QB in the NFL who had struggled in a few games in a row and had fans screaming for the backup, my stress level would be the same as it is if I'm struggling to make my car payments and mortgage right now.

Maybe thats screwed up.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:07 pm

CarolinaTribe wrote:My point is if I was a QB in the NFL who had struggled in a few games in a row and had fans screaming for the backup, my stress level would be the same as it is if I'm struggling to make my car payments and mortgage right now.

Maybe thats screwed up.


But this feeds into the whole point. You might be too fragile to handle it, but the great majority of back-up QB's, especially those that play enough years to qulaify for NFL pensions and financial security, are very happy with their lives.

Rick Trocano never came close to OD'ing
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Unread postby waborat » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:57 am

With all of the info now coming out, hopefully JN was "warning him" about his drug abuse...sounds like this guy was another in a long line of Hollywood junkies

Newsflash: cocaine will not help you sleep
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:08 am

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That was the worst part about the coke, man, was being in that bathroom with that stranger at the end of the night. Wasn't it, huh? Talking about shit like solving the world's problems and the only reason you're in there is because he has the coke. That should have been a fucking sign, don't ya think? I mean if Hitler had coke, there'd be Jews in the bathroom going, "I know you didn't do it. *snort* I like your mustache. *snort* Fucking Himmler. *snort*"

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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:48 am

Lead Pipe wrote:
CarolinaTribe wrote:My point is if I was a QB in the NFL who had struggled in a few games in a row and had fans screaming for the backup, my stress level would be the same as it is if I'm struggling to make my car payments and mortgage right now.

Maybe thats screwed up.


But this feeds into the whole point. You might be too fragile to handle it, but the great majority of back-up QB's, especially those that play enough years to qulaify for NFL pensions and financial security, are very happy with their lives.

Rick Trocano never came close to OD'ing




What I'm saying is to me, stress is stress. And maybe a better way to put it was I wouldn't be any more stressed as a struggling NFL QB than a person struggling with bills. The most important thing going on in my life is going to be the most stressful and at the same level regardless of how petty it may seem to someone else. But again, thats just me.
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Unread postby Bayou Tribe » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:55 am

With all of the info now coming out, hopefully JN was "warning him" about his drug abuse...sounds like this guy was another in a long line of Hollywood junkies


That's how I took it the first time I read the report, that it was about a drug problem and not about the role of the Joker. But some of you guys were so convincing that I just figured I read it wrong.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:48 am

Though you would think that was what was meant, the first line of the article posted by Consig reads the following:

Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in the 1989 'Batman' movie, says he warned Heath Ledger, below, about the part.


So even if Nicholson was referring to the drug abuse, you can't take that from this column because that isn't how it was written.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:06 pm

http://real-us.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2008 ... dger_video


Theres a link to an article. There is also a video on the top left of the page you can click on, of Ledger at some Hollywood hotel talking about drugs.

"I'm going to get serious shit from my girlfriend for being here. We had a baby three months ago."

"I shouldn't even be here. I used to smoke 5 joints a day for 20 years."
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Unread postby peeker643 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:28 pm

This thread is fast approaching the jump-off point, but take a look at your attributed quote to Ledger here:

"I shouldn't even be here. I used to smoke 5 joints a day for 20 years."


Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Ledger died at age 28. He took on the Joker role at age 27 or so. By my math, he was more than recreationally involved with drugs for at least 19 years prior to this dark role, apparently since he was in 4th grade.

So I would say that it appears that Heath Ledger's death was more likely attributable to him being a junkie than it was to his role as the Joker. Unless he was under absolutely intense pressure as an 8 yr-old.

Course, could be he was so coked up at the party where he made this quote that he was just rambling incoherently.
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Unread postby CarolinaTribe » Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:45 pm

Yea who knows. Either way, it appears like the guy had some issues.
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Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:37 am

Opiate junkie, pure and simple. Oxy, vicodin, etc, etc.

"Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine," the office said in a short statement.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/ ... index.html
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