Heath Ledger’s sister has quashed rumors linking the actor’s role of the Joker to her late brother’s mental health.

Ledger tragically passed away after accidental intoxication from prescription drugs in 2008, just months after wrapping up filming for The Dark Knight. To get himself into the role of the crazed antagonist, the actor was said to have pushed himself to the edge, with speculation suggesting the intensity of the performance contributed to his mental deterioration.

Speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival following the premiere of the documentary I Am Heath Ledger, the actor’s sister, Kate, dismissed those claims and explained that, in fact, the opposite was true.

“I was really shocked, because that was him having fun,” said Kate. “Every report was coming out that he was depressed and that [the role] was taking this toll on him, and we’re going, honestly, it was the absolute opposite. It couldn’t be more wrong. He had an amazing sense of humor, and I guess maybe only his family and friends knew that, but he was having fun. He wasn’t depressed about the Joker!”

Ledger’s performance was unanimously acclaimed, culminating in a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2009. “I hope it’s an antidote to a lot of the gossip that exists in the world,” the documentary’s producer, Matt Amato, said. “There are some really terrible things about Heath out there.”

I Am Heath Ledger releases May 3, and you can check out the trailer below.

Now, find out why Ledger was the GOAT Joker.

  • Source: The Independent
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