Filmmaker, actor and JUMP CUTS reader Paul Birchard recently tipped me off to his experience as a day player on Christopher Nolan‘s “The Dark Knight,” which is the sequel to “Batman Begins” and features “Brokeback Mountain” star Heath Ledger as The Joker. They shot some scenes recently in the East End of London.
I asked Paul what he thought of Ledger’s perfomance:
As regards to how Heath Ledger *seemed* as the Joker, he seemed like he WAS the Joker, and didn’t need to let anyone know it – rather contained, but ready to explode at any moment in an unexpected fashion. Menacing, but more because he seemed like he was probably crazy, and maybe violent, rather than that he was TRYING to scare you. (and by the way, all he did during the scenes I was in was sit in his holding cell, reacting and listening…so, he’s a very fine actor if I imbibed all this from just watching him sit there…) He didn’t talk a lot between takes, but he also wasn’t “Don’t approach me!” in his manner – a real pro, in other words.
In short, he seemed just like the Joker SHOULD seem.
Good stuff. Thanks Paul!
The film opens summer 2008, and also features fellow Brooklynite Maggie Gyllenhaal. Christian Bale returns as the man in the black suit.