Inside Never Before Seen Footage of Heath Ledger’s Private Life
When Heath Ledger died in 2008 at the age of 28, the world was not only shocked, but incredibly saddened. We lost a truly gifted actor and man.
In a new cover story with People magazine, those closest to him have opened up to discuss the evocative, never-before-seen video footage, which is going to be made into a documentary for Spike TV called I Am Heath Ledger.
“You can tell her about things, but with her being able to visually see his movement and his expressions, it’s almost like he had actually filmed the documentary himself and pieced it together for her,” Heath’s sister Kate spoke about his daughter Matilda.
Kate spoke about the “extremely active young boy” that was her brother growing up in Perth, Australia. She said he wanted to be a hockey player, but wound up catching the acting bug instead.
“My friend had just written 10 Things I Hate About You and they were just lacking young actors to read for it,” filmmaker Matt Amato recalled to People. “I talked to my friend who wrote it and said, ‘This kid is staying here, and he’s unemployed and no one really wants an unemployed roommate.’ I was quickly developing a scheme to get him moving … The next day he said, ‘I like your friend’s script. I would like to play Patrick.’ That was the lead. It kind of dawned on me who we were dealing with right away … I didn’t discourage him, I just kind of came to my own conclusions about his confidence and his ambition — that it was well placed.”
Heath’s childhood friend Kane Manera said: “There was the movie star and then there was the person, and they just happened to inhabit the same body but they were not the same person.”
Heath’s longtime agent and friend Steve Alexander also spoke about his talent, saying, “There is this great footage that he seems to have taken himself [that shows his] playful, artistic side. But when you see him in the red carpet events, he doesn’t look as comfortable.”
Heath totally fell in love with Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain. According to his sister Kate, “He was totally smitten with her and couldn’t wait to bring her home. We all instantly loved her too, so it was great.”
“He was a natural, he knew what to do with a baby right away,” Matt said. “I said, ‘How come you are so comfortable with this?’ He said, ‘Well, I look at her and try and be her and try to understand what she needs.’ ”
Heath and Michelle welcomed Matilda in 2005.
Matt continued: “I hope she remembers the way he would spin her around and call her darling and her excitement seeing him. They really did have something wonderful.”
Matilda was two-years old when Heath sadly passed away: “Everything she does, her movement I suppose, reminds me of Heath,” said Kate. “I think the first five years after Heath passed, every time I’d see Matilda [I] would be in tears. Now, I am really happy that I am at a stage that I can see Matilda and be happy and feel her daddy’s energy through her.”
I Am Heath Ledger premieres May 17 on Spike TV.