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Joker role, mentally damaging, causing insanity ?

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posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:29 AM
I saw the Dark Knight, last night and thought it was a tad disturbing. It made me wonder if acting the part of a psychopath could have messed with Heath Ledgers thought patterns. The man couldn't be himself afterwards and turned to medication which only led him to death. Jack Nicholson also played the joker and the man is a subdued crazy. He can do his best to be reserved but the man seems to be drunk all the time and say such nutty things. The man seeks prostitutes left and right and seems to take sedatives, because much of what he says is just purely insane and embarrassing. He has a maniacal look at times. I think that such disturbing roles could truly mess with somebody's mind.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 04:26 AM
i totally agree, i have an account but dont feel like signing into it right now, but in terms of what you said. i would say absolutely, the whole thing about actors having to really become their roles, movie or not being a psycho probably affects you if you don't have the proper outlets. And then factor in his work in broakback mountain, and maybe he has been all over the place from a mental standpoint, i always worry about he mindset of actors because they change personalities so much, almost like they develop their own schitzophrenia sorry for mispell.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 04:32 AM
interesting theory. but i've taken numerous acting courses. Professionals should not become the character from the inside, but from the outside. actors should know the difference between acting and real life. He's a young actor, so maybe he tried to actually become the joker and that could have affected his brain to think it was ok to act crazy and on drugs. I find it interesting that hollywood admires actors who act psychotic! Why don't we give the oscars to the comedians or the people who create fun and fun experiences. The problem with this society now is that dark, and gothlike is cool. Dramas always get the oscars, comedies and fantasy never get appreciated. For some reason dramatic roles are enforced. Even if they involve a killer or someone blowing their heads off, like in American Beauty. The point? No, Ledger didn't die because of the Joker's role, perhaps he was into the role but what killed him was ignoring the label on the med bottle.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 04:43 AM
I understand what you are saying, and Jack Nicholson (very callously) implied the same thing but if you do a little digging you will see that Heath Ledger had some serious issues he was dealing with personally before even taking the role. I also agree with parts of what Miller said.

In a few interviews he even stated how pressured he felt, how the expectations were high, and how he just didn't know how to say no at times. It seemed as if he didn't want to act at all.

I don't think the role killed him but I do think it exhausted him further.

He seemed to be running out of energy.

- Lee

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 05:48 AM
I do think that if he had not taken the role of the Joker that he would more than likely be alive today.

However I don't think the role caused any issues with his sanity, though his obvious total immersion of himself into the role did cause issues that led to conflicting self medication, confusion, and tiredness.

His departure was the culmination of a lot of issues, none of which I would consider insanity, but all of which were very, very unfortunate.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 10:57 AM
Why si this in TinWiki forum, i just had a quick scan trough and didn6t see anything to do with us. Any reason why its here ?


posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 01:25 PM
I would expect that such a theory would make me a tin head. How far off do my post need to be for me to write here?

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 01:29 PM
I wonder too. He had to adopt a Manson-like mentality, and that can't be healthy. What perplexed me was the absence of the laughing gas.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 02:25 PM
I think my signature quote says it all. I mean, thoughts can become actions, and from their become habits and eventually character.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:03 PM
This is 0% relevant to TinWiki -- This forum is dedicated to TinWiki.Org, ATS's wiki on conapiracy and alternative topics. This does not belong here, this forum is for questions, information and submitted artcle links to be posted. Please do not post threads here that are not relitive to this forum. Thank You

ProTo Fire Fox -- TinWiki Sysop.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:41 PM
I've not seen either of the new Batman movies, and hadn't heard about the actor's death. I think I recognize the actor's name, and so think it's a little shocking to hear that he is dead..

Just generally, without at all talking about the specific case here, I definitely think this topic is interesting, and that it's probably more important than most people ever think about. When such a movie character is created, that could be a fairly complete world view that is expressed by the character. Any expression or articulation of notions, affect humans. That's because humans are intellectual. If I could prove to you something, that means you have to take whatever it was into account in your life. That sort of thing is of course a fairly central part of what ATS is about. Some people consider that they have seen indications that certain things aren't as mass media, or such, say, and now these people can't just ignore the indications they have seen.

It's similar to how a child would have difficulties if the teacher made a statement that the child could not refute, even if the child might feel very "instinctively" that the teacher was saying something that was wrong. Maybe the teacher was indeed lying, but doing so in a way that was beyond what the child could see through.

Manipulation has fairly much to do with this sort of thing, I believe. Some people could probably talk others into doing almost anything. It doesn't even have to be an intellectual argument, just some kind of observation presented to the victim of the manipulation that made the victim act in a way that the victim felt was necessary for complying with what "his brain" had observed. People are always affected like this.

An actor that might not have a sufficiently thought-through view of life, could necessarily find that he was unable to withstand an "articulation" that was presented very clearly to him. The articulation being a fairly complete character that he had to "step into". If the "assertion" which the character was, was very opposed to the actor, but the actor was unable to refute the character, unable to articulate why the character was not right, then that could, I imagine, lead to suicide. I think suicide usually happens from some similar principle. Inability to refute something that is just unacceptable to the person.

To me, this is totally central to philosophy and psychology. I don't know anything about either, but I think there is little if anything that's more interesting (maybe I should learn something about them then, yeah.. :-)



I just happened to see this, and for some reason wanted to reply. Btw., the forum where you have posted this isn't for "far off" posts, but is rather for discussing ATS' encyclopedia wiki. This is the tinWiki working forum.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:50 PM
I'm an actor, ableit not known or professional, but i treat my craft as an art. I can tell you right now that actors with the kind of talent that Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson had/have there is no way that any role gets in and screws with your wiring.

We have this way that allows us to switch it on and off like a light. I've done stage performances and been told that the work was incredibly moving and powerful and at times frightening but it never stuck with me once i left the stage. This is the job, this is what we're supposed to do.

Frankly, EVERY actor should be pulling out performances like Ledger's Joker but they don't. Frankly, I have no idea why. It IS tiring and it is a LOT of work but this is an art that we're bringing forth, there's no reason not to give it your all.

Even Gary Oldman said that he understand why people want to make a story out of it and say the character drove him crazy, but the truth is it was just an accident. A terrible mistake.

But good God did he do an amazing job.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:56 PM
reply to post by jedimiller

I think some in very famous people in Hollywood may disagree....

Method acting

Method acting is an acting technique in which actors try to replicate real life emotional conditions under which the character operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic performance. This is contrasted with a more abstracted, less involved style of acting in which the actor himself or herself remains an outside observer of the character he or she is portraying.
"The Method" in method acting typically refers to the generic practice of actors drawing on their own emotions, memories, and experiences to influence their portrayals of characters.

Constantin Stanislavski

Stanislavski's 'system' focused on the development of artistic truth onstage by teaching actors to "live the part" during performance. Despite being primarily known in The United States for Realism, Stanislavski developed the system to be applied to all forms of theater, directing and producing melodrama, vaudeville, opera, etc. In order to create an ensemble of actors all working together as an artistic unit, he began organizing a series of studios in which young actors were trained in his system. At the First Studio of MAT, actors were instructed to use their own memories in order to naturally express emotions. Stanislavski soon observed that some of the actors using or abusing Emotional Memory were given to hysteria. Although he never disavowed Emotional Memory as an essential tool in the actor's kit, he began searching for less draining ways of accessing emotion, eventually emphasizing the actor's use of imagination and belief in the given circumstances of the text rather than her/his private and often painful memories.

Among the actors who have employed Stanislavski's System in some form are Jack Garfein, Jack Nicholson, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Harvey Keitel, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Warren Beatty, Robert Duvall, Johnny Depp, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Jessica Lange, William Hurt, Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Benicio del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kate Winslet, Adrien Brody, Denzel Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Hilary Swank, Anthony Hopkins, John Alexander and Sean Penn.

I can't find any link that says that Heath Ledger was definitively a 'Method Actor'. I have found some anecdotal quotes...
Form his page:

At age 26, Ledger became one of the youngest performers ever nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In The New York Times review of the film, critic Stephen Holden writes: "Both Mr. Ledger and Mr. Gyllenhaal make this anguished love story physically palpable. Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn."

Both Marlon Brando and Sean Penn are considered top notch 'Method Actors'

And some anecdotes from a writer who did an interview with Heath Ledger.

When Ledger removed both his sunglasses and his beloved green-peaked Castro hat his eyes were pale, vulnerable. His pallor was deathly. Dressed in a faded orange polo shirt, loose green trousers and rubber flip flops, Ledger could have been any backpacker on Bondi Beach — rather than the latest Aussie heartthrob.

In order to prepare for his role in Candy, Ledger had turned his back on the surf and immersed himself in the dark, troubled milieu of the heroin addict. It showed. "Yeah, I can't go out in the sun anymore. Surfing is out," he explained.

Despite his success Ledger always felt unsure about himself as an actor. Unlike so many of his Australian contemporaries (notably Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush) Ledger did not cut his teeth in the theatre. His method was a simple one: to climb inside the skin of the person you're playing.

"That's the only way that I can act," he said. "By tapping into the power that the character has otherwise you couldn't thrash around on the floor in tears."

Ledger never regarded acting as an occupation, but as compulsion — a necessary outlet for his creative urges.

I imagine that Heath Ledger had to tap into some serious personal demons in order to play some of the roles he did. The Joker in the new Batman. A heroine addict in Candy. Bob Dylan in I'm Not There. Homosexual cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Even some of the older roles like the Sin Eater in The Order or the Prison Guard son in Monster's Ball.

I agree with Lee Anoma. I don't think the Joker killed him, but was the sugar on top of an already tiring string of Method Acting.

Edit to add... What IS this doing in Tinwiki?

[edit on 20/7/2008 by DocMoreau]

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 04:15 PM
Heathe was likely under intense pressure stressing him out. Someone in the business stated it took 3 Actors to play the single role he was doing himself.

In the media, an article stated he told someone close that the character bothered him so much, he couldn't sleep - only getting two hours of sleep a night.

Being a perfectionist wouldn't help either, it creates high expectations and extra stress.

Most Actors seem happy, but they are getting lots of attention usually. Keith did a role in Broke-back Mountain that would have gotten him alot of bad attention in a predominately anti-gay society.

[edit on 20-7-2008 by jetxnet]

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 06:10 PM

Originally posted by jetxnet
Keith did a role in Broke-back Mountain that would have gotten him alot of bad attention in a predominately anti-gay society.

I agree. The scrutiny he put himself under was intense. Brokeback Mountain in particular probably put him into conflicting moral situations, considering he was a 'method' actor.

I am not sure about what you were saying with the three actors part, maybe he himself would have played each of those sub parts, causing some serious fracturing of his mind perhaps? I have no idea what Dr. Parnasus is, or whatever, it seems some research is needed...

But as a method actor, I imagine 'becoming' each and every one of those characters would be incredibly taxing on his mind over a short, yet prolific career.

It is tragic.

P.S. I honestly worried for Christian Bale's life after his portrayal in the movie The Machinist He seems to have gained the weight back, but that can't be healthy either...

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by Pocky

...take a look at the man who portrayed the joker for a longer period than any other person in history

yep, mark hamill

pretty normal guy.
nothing insane about him, and he was the voice of the joker for...i think a decade.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 11:25 PM

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
...take a look at the man who portrayed the joker for a longer period than any other person in history

yep, mark hamill

pretty normal guy.
nothing insane about him, and he was the voice of the joker for...i think a decade.
Not to belittle Mark or any other voice actor, but there's a HUGE difference between physically taking on the characteristics of a role and sitting in a comfy recording studio with a pair of cans doing v/o work.

I know a few voice actors, and it's tough work, to be certain. But "becoming" the character isn't nearly as required. (Just look at any interview with Harry Shearer or any of the other Simpsons actors...)

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 11:36 PM
I read somewhere recently that in order to prepare for the role, Heath locked himself in his apartment for over a month and did not leave. All he did was read and re-read ALL of the old Batman comics (the one where Joker was really evil and not toned down for the kiddies). I think that would have driven anyone insane. At least he churned out a masterwork before he died though. Something to remember him by...because honestly...what movie villain or real life villain is ever gonna top the Joker? He is pretty much the ultimate evil, no motivations other than liking to watch stuff blow up. Hats off to you, Ledger.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 11:48 PM

Originally posted by Torsten
...what movie villain or real life villain is ever gonna top the Joker? He is pretty much the ultimate evil, no motivations other than liking to watch stuff blow up. Hats off to you, Ledger.
Jack the Ripper? I worked at a theater and got to watch From Hell two or three times a day for a couple of weeks. Talk about changing a person's sunny disposition!

posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by jedimiller

I've taken numerous acting courses as well and I'm sorry, but I've no idea where you're coming from. The whole point of acting is to become the character. If you don't get the mindset, then you can't possibly get in character and therefore can't portray said character correctly. Also, it was an accidental overdose. He was taking the medications because he couldn't sleep, because of his role as the Joker. He was probably just exhausted and not paying enough attention to what he was doing. So yeah, maybe not directly, but Heath Ledger did die because of his role as the Joker.


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