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Exclusive: Film Director Terry Gilliam Opens Up About Heath Ledger

Tue, December 8, 2009 11:14am EDT by Chloe Melas 2 Comments
Getty Images

Getty Images

The director opens up about directing, and missing, the talented Heath Ledger

Everyone who knew Heath Ledger loved him, and over the past two years, has grieved the loss of a dear friend and talented actor.

We caught up with some of those who knew Heath best, at the Dec. 7 premiere of his final screen debut as “Tony” in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dec.7 at the Crosby Hotel in New York.  The film’s director and writer Terry Gilliam confesses, “Heath was generous, sweet, and brilliant. He was a genius … this was just the tip of the iceberg. He was getting better and better.  And now he’s gone.”

Heath died before the completion of the film, and famed actors Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law stepped in to complete the film.  Terry confesses, “There was no way one person was going to be able to replace Heath in my book. I couldn’t think of a person good enough to do that.”

Johnny, Colin and Jude donated part of their salaries from the film to Heath and Michelle Williams daughter Matilda Rose, 4. “I think Heath would be astonished to see what those three guys came in and did,” an emotional Terry tells us.

Even musician Moby reveals he is emotional over Heath’s death.  “Heath was a talented actor and a nice guy. I’m sad that he died,” he says.  He even confesses, “this is really weird for me to be here” because Moby lives around the corner from the hotel, which is also near the apartment Heath was living in when he died.

The film is a magical story about  theater troop that takes Heath’s character through a series of fantastical adventures via a magical mirror.  Do you plan on going to see it? —Chloe Melas