I must admit I’m a bit shaken up by Heath Ledger’s death. It’s especially disheartening since he was so young. I know things like this happen everyday and that our society (me included) is ridiculously obsessed with celebrity but that doesn’t make this story any less tragic.
I briefly had a crush on HL after 10 Things I Hate About You, which despite its teeny-bopper facade had quite a noble lineage. His performances have impressed me time and time again, namely in The Four Feathers, Brokeback, and I’m Not There. Brokeback especially, for me, is a cinematic landmark for reasons too numerous for this post but most especially for its manner of stripping away all the prejudice bullshit and telling an undeniably-beautiful love story. For HL to take a role like that at such a young age to me indicates what a special person he was.
This snippet from a Rolling Stone piece is so compelling and really speaks to his gifts:
”You know when you see the preachers down South? And they grab a believer and they go, ‘Bwoom! I touch you with the hand of God!’ And they believe so strongly, they’re on the ground shaking and spitting. And fuck’s sake, that’s the power of belief.” He shakes his head. ”Now, I don’t believe in Jesus, but I believe in my performance. And if you can understand that the power of belief is one of the great tools of our time and that a lot of acting comes from it, you can do anything.”
I think it’s pretty incredible for a 28-year-old to articulate something like that. The same is true of his musings on fatherhood.
I don’t really know why I’m going on about this except other than to say it’s sad and I’m sad about it.