Following Heath Ledger’s shocking passing, the headlines were filled with claims that his role in ‘The Dark Knight’ caused the actor to go into a dark spiral. Now, the family is taking the opportunity to clear that up, and reveal that’s not at all true.
“He was at his happiest,” after filming The Dark Knight, a friend of Heath Ledger‘s revealed in the documentary that debuted at Tribeca Film Festival, which will premiere next month on Spike.
However that’s not how it was shown in the media. Multiple reports claimed the actor, 28, was depressed and in a dark place during the film, letting the intense character of the Joker take over him. In fact, “it was the absolute opposite,” his sisters Ashleigh and Kate revealed at the panel following the April 23 premiere.
“I hope it’s an antidote to a lot of the gossip that exists in the world,” director and close friend of Heath, Matt Amato, said on stage. “I felt like some corrections needed to be made.” While the film was of course not made to clear up the rumors, it also strongly revealed that he wasn’t at all in a “downward spiral” after playing the iconic role that won him an Academy Award.
“I was really shocked, because that was him having fun. 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,” Kate said. “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!”
While he was suffering from a lack of sleep and taking medications that weren’t working — an accidental overdose caused his death on Jan. 22, 2008 — he was an extremely happy, creative, man who loved working as an actor, director, and mostly, a father.
“He was struggling with his demons, but he didn’t want to go anywhere but forward,” Heath’s agent Steve Alexander also said in the film.
I am Heath Ledger will hig select theaters on May 3, then will air on Spike TV on May 17.