Why the actor enjoyed getting knocked around by Billy Bob Thornton

By EW Staff
Updated September 29, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

”I enjoyed working with Billy Bob Thornton in Monster’s Ball, in the scene where he smacks me around in the bathroom,” says the 27-year-old Aussie, speaking of the 2001 film in which the actors portrayed father-and-son prison guards. ”I enjoyed that, because he really hit me, you know? I like when people take it to that point. I remember it being an adrenaline rush.” Ledger — who next stars in the junkie romance Candy, which premiered at last month’s Toronto film festival — reveals that Thornton did say he was sorry for the onscreen ass-kicking, but ”he didn’t write a formal apology. We just laughed and joked about it.”