It’s been several hours since the news first broke. Heath Ledger, one of Hollywood’s brightest stars and most promising actors, dead at age 28. We still don’t know what really happened to Heath, it may be days and weeks before we do, if we do at all. As of right now though, all signs seem to point to some sort of tragic accident involving legally obtained, over the counter sleeping pills.
But I’m not writing this to hump the corpse of a fallen young father. The initial shock of Ledger’s passing has worn off and now I find myself sitting around using my brain to revisit all the great moments he brought us in his all too brief life here on planet Earth. Maybe you think it’s stupid that anyone would get worked up about the death or life of a celebrity, but Heath Ledger had something special, and it’s a damned shame when a one of a kind talent like his is cut down so early, and so suddenly.
So let’s talk about what we liked best in Heath Ledger’s work. Everyone loves to rave about how absolutely great he was in Brokeback Mountain (and he was), or maybe you’re torn up inside over how great he’s going to be in The Dark Knight, a film which may end up being the last place we see Ledger on screen ever. For me though, he’s still that kid from A Knight’s Tale.
Alright, maybe A Knight’s Tale wasn’t an Oscar contender, but it was the first time people here in America really sat up and started to take notice of Ledger in a big way. It’s his first leading role in a big Hollywood movie, and it’s where he made his mark, jousting with shiny-armored knights to the booming beats of Queen songs. It’s a gleefully silly, modernized take on the whole medieval thing, and it’s Ledger at the center of all of it that makes the movie work, and made it so much fun.
When I think of Heath Ledger, I'm not going to think of him lying there in his apartment, I’m thinking of all the good times he’s given me. I’m going to think of all the fun, I’m going to think of that floppy haired kid in A Knight’s Tale, wooing Shannyn Sossaman and putting up with Paul Bettany’s naked butt.
Remember the good times you had with Heath Ledger. Remember the unabashedly silly, fun of A Knight’s Tale.