Heath Ledger was one of those icons who effortlessly moved between different domains of the film industry and managed to shine in almost everything he was a part of. Whether it was the insanely popular rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You or Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed superhero film The Dark Knight, Ledger’s versatility enabled him to elevate the general atmosphere around those projects.
That’s exactly why it came as a major shock to most people when they found out that the promising star had passed away at the terribly young age of 28 in 2008. According to the reports, Ledger had died of an overdose as traces of various benzodiazepines and opioids were found in his bloodstream even though nobody knew how he had obtained those drugs.
In a 2007 interview with The New York Times, Ledger had revealed that he was heavily dependent on drugs such as Ambien for sleep since the production process of The Dark Knight had taken a heavy toll on him. Even while working on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Ledger continued to experience issues with his sleep and even had a bout of respiratory problems.
The news of Ledger’s death sent the world into mourning, especially after they got the chance to see his immortal performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. It has not only become an indispensable part of popular culture but it also received all kinds of posthumous accolades including a coveted Academy Award win.
A few weeks before he passed away, Ledger took out to attend an interview about his role in Todd Haynes’ experimental biopic about the life and times of Bob Dylan where he starred alongside the likes of Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett. Ledger revealed that he had only been cast because another actor had dropped out but he was excited about the opportunity.
When the interviewer expressed his feelings about the unconventional nature of the biopic, Ledger assured him that he also doesn’t know who Bob Dylan is. “I think that’s the idea with the film,” Ledger explained. “We don’t know who Bob Dylan is… That’s why I wanted to be a part of it.” I’m Not There ended up becoming his final film to be released while he was still alive.
Watch Heath Ledger’s final interview below.