Heath Ledger Wanted Christian Bale To Really Hit Him In ‘The Dark Knight’

The Dark Knight Batman Heath Ledger JokerNewly published interviews reveal that The Dark Knight star Heath Ledger encouraged co-star Christian Bale to really hit him during the filming of the memorable interrogation scene.

The new novel titled 100 Things Batman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die includes interviews with Christian Bale and Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan that were conducted by author Joseph McCabe at the time of the film’s release. During one exchange, Christian Bale recalled his experience working with Heath Ledger on the acclaimed superhero film:

“Our first scene was in an interrogation room together, and I saw that he’s a helluva actor who’s completely committed to it and totally gets the tone that Chris [Nolan] is trying to create with this. We’re not going for actors revealing their enjoyment of playing a wacky caricature. We’re treating this as serious drama. You go into character and you stay in the character. I love that. I find that so ridiculous that I love it, and I take that very seriously. Heath was definitely embracing that. When he was in the makeup and the garb he was in character the whole time; and when he took it off he was absolutely fantastic company to be around.”

Bale later revealed that Heath Ledger wanted the punches in the scene to be real, urging Bale to really strike him and intentionally slamming himself into the set:

“As you see in the movie, Batman starts beating the Joker and realizes that this is not your ordinary foe. Because the more I beat him the more he enjoys it. The more I’m giving him satisfaction. Heath was behaving in a very similar fashion. He was kinda egging me on. I was saying, “You know what, I really don’t need to actually hit you. It’s going to look just as good if I don’t.” And he’s going, “Go on. Go on. Go on….” He was slamming himself around, and there were tiled walls inside of that set which were cracked and dented from him hurling himself into them. His commitment was total.”

While one can argue that Bale was correct to say that the scene would have been authentic without any real physical damage, it’s hard to argue with results as Heath Ledger’s commitment to his portrayal of The Joker resulted in what remains one of the greatest performance in motion picture history.

While The Dark Knight trilogy has come to an end, Batman will return with Ben Affleck in the role when Justice League hits theaters next month.

Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen, Julian Lewis Jones and Ciarán Hinds.

Justice League will be released in theaters on November 17, 2017.

Source: 100 Things Batman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (via The Hollywood Reporter)

Top 7 Joker Performances From TV & Movies Ranked

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The Joker Harley QuinnThe Joker is one of the most popular villains in fiction. As a result of that, he has been featured in multiple movies, TV shows and video games. Fortunately, he’s a character who can be molded to fit his environment. He’s equally at home in The LEGO Batman Movie getting his feelings hurt as he is pushing Superman to the brink in the Injustice video game franchise.

One question persists through all those adaptations: who plays Joker best?

For all you Suicide Squad fans out there wondering why Jared Leto isn’t on the list, don’t worry I got an answer for you. I didn’t like him! Man oh man, I thought he was terrible honestly. Laughable in the wrong sense of the word. Perhaps some of the cut scenes might have changed my mind, but from what I saw I wasn’t left wanting more.

Do you think I’m wrong? Should Leto or someone else have made the list? Sound off in the comment section and let me know!

But for now, take some laughing gas and hit Next to find out who the best Jokers are!

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Sebastian Peris

Sebastian Peris

Canadian film lover, comic book geek, political junkie and board game enthusiast.