Almost ten years after his tragic death, Heath Ledger is the subject of the documentary I Am Heath Ledger. The doc reveals things we didn’t know about the beloved Aussie star.
I Am Heath Ledger premieres at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival on April 23 and airs on Spike on May 17. Intimate home videos and interviews with family and friends celebrate the life of the actor and promise to offer us a new perspective on him.
Heath Ledger’s death back in January 2008 shock the world, not only for his remarkable career and reputation in Hollywood but also for the candid human being he was.
The actor was found dead on January 22 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs at his New York apartment, where he lived alone at the time since he had split from his girlfriend Michelle Williams.
The couple first met at the Brokeback Mountain set in 2004 and shared a daughter, Matilda who was just two years at the time.
At the time of his passing, Heath was shooting The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It was also set to debut his unique work as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which won him a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
The Perth native made his debut in the 1999 movie 10 Things I Hate About You and even when he instantly won some hearts he continued impressing critics and viewers in films such as Brokeback Mountain, Monster’s Ball, A Knight’s Tale and made 18 films in total.
I Am Heath Ledger
Nine years after the tragic death of the Aussie actor, his best friend and director Matt Amato decided to honor him with a documentary that offers an insight into the true character of Ledger.
Directed by Derick Murray, the documentary will premiere on April 23 at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and hit the screens on May 17 via Spike.The 90 minutes of the heartwarming project tells of Heath relationships and his essence as a human being with home videos taped by the actor.
It also includes interviews with his sister, and friends such as Matt Amato, with whom he co-founded a production company the Masses and also musician Ben Harper, actor Ben Mendehlson, and Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee.
The first trailer of I Am Heath Ledger was just released and it offers a candid view of the actor captured through home videos and is heartwrenching and heartwarming all at once.
Remembering and rediscovering Heath
The doc really offers a journey to get to know more of Heath as an individual and less of the actor, because he was so much more than an actor. As musician Ben Harper says in the doc, “Some people are just bigger than the world has room for.”
Some of the details the documentary unveils of the actor are the following:
Heath was kinda scared of fame, even when he always knew he wanted to be an actor fame was not what he aimed. And he really became a big star and continued with the career because he enjoyed the art of the craft.
He was a pretty friendly person and loved helping people out. He helped dozens of Australians actors during the beginning of their careers by letting them stay at his Los Feliz state. Including Martin Henderson, Rose Byrne, and Joel Edgerton.
He was an impressive chess player and he used to play chess every day with his bestie Matt Amato, they even had online matched if they weren’t together. Heath was planning to make his directing debut on The Queen’s Gambit, a movie about a young chess player addicted to drugs based on a book.
Bon Iver wrote a song based on Heath’s life. Matt Amato learned the news of Heath’s death while shooting a Bon Iver video. Suddenly, the band accompanied Matt during his grieving during a three-day wake.Coincidentally, two years prior to his death he asked Ben Harper to write a lullaby for his daughter Matilda so that he could sing to her very night.
Later Justin Vernon, from Bon Iver, wrote a song, Perth, inspired on some of the visions Matt described of Heath while growing up in Perth.Maybe the biggest revelation is that Heath suffered from sleeping problems, he used to sleep very little, just 2 hours a night and therefore self-medicate with sleeping pills.
At the time of his death, he was sick with pneumonia and the mix of the prescribed medication with the sleeping pills are what caused the accidental overdose.
Heath was a son, a director, an actor, a brother, a chess player, a friend, a photographer, a father, a music lover.
Here are the opening words to the documentary,
“Heath was the most alive human and if it wasn’t on the edge, it didn’t interest him. If there wasn’t some type of risk involved, he had no time for it. He went all the way out with the time that he had. He went all the way to the edge.”