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August 10, 2015 at 12:16 PM EDT

The Dark Knight

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
152 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/18/08
performer
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
director
Christopher Nolan
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Action Adventure

A German documentary about the life of Heath Ledger is giving a glimpse into how he created his chilling Joker for The Dark Knight.

A scene from the doc shows Ledger’s father, Kim Ledger, leafing through a diary his son kept while preparing for the role.

“He pretty well locked himself up in a hotel, in his apartment, for a month or so, to sort of galvanize the upcoming character in his own mind,” Kim Ledger said. “That was typical of Heath on any movie. He would certainly immerse himself in the upcoming character. I think this was just a whole new level.”

The diary is filled with images of playing cards, scenes from Batman comics, photos of hyenas, and stills of Alex DeLearge from A Clockwork Orange. The word “Chaos” can also be seen, written in caps and highlighted in green.

Ledger died in January 2008 at the age of 28. The following year, he was awarded a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker, and that statuette can be seen in the clip below as his father looks through the diary.

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