I don’t know how about you, but I was (and still am) a huge Heath Ledger fan. Ever since the day I’ve seen 10 Things I Hate About You which became ultimate classic for my generation, till his final performance in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus which was released a year after his death.
Yes, after his death.
Till this very day I somehow fail to understand what happened. I still remember that day. I went to the Uni for my class and overheard some students talking about an actor who just died from overdose. Somebody who was young and from whom nobody would expect it. I just didn’t catch the name.
All day long I was eager to go back home and find out what happened (that was the time before we all had internet in our phones). I was really curious and somehow disturbed, hoping it’s no one I care too much about (not that it would still not be a tragedy). But somehow without being able to explain it I felt concerned.
I was absolutely shocked when I finally found out who is that person who died.
I was crashed. I couldn’t believe it, the news was just too hard to process.
Heath Ledger was my favorite actor in the world. He no doubt caught my attention as a super cute guy when I was a teen, but he soon proved himself to be much more than just a pretty face.
There was something very unique and special about him. I adored him. I admired him. I was inspired by him.
So, it took me a long time to recover from the shock and it took me years to be able to watch his films again. Especially those in which I’ve come to love him so much – like A Knight’s Tale for example and which by the way has been shot in the Barrandov studios in Prague where I was working last summer (seeing the shots from behind the scenes from there, the very places I walked and know, somehow gave me chills).
And yet, I never quite understood why I was so shaken by a death of somebody I didn’t even know other than from the film screen. It’s weird, right?! But I couldn’t help it. Till this day, it makes me strangely sad. Like if I, too, lost somebody.
After seeing this documentary, I finally understand.
Heath’s magic was so big it simply couldn’t be contained on the film screen. It was bursting out.
I Am Heath Ledger is far more than just a documentary about some actor who passed away way too soon.
What you’ll get is a truly inspiring story of one special life. Life of a truly unique person, who was loved probably more than any of us ever will be, because he loved more than any of us will probably be able to.
Heath was a gift to the world and to the people who were lucky enough to know him. He lived like there was no tomorrow. He was hungry for life and left nothing back.
He lived for those he loved, shared everything with everyone and lived by the rule the more the merrier! Literally.
You’re gonna hear stories from his friends – friends he took on all of his adventures and with whom he shared everything ever since they were kids. The stories are fun, full of life but above all filled with such a tremendous love. You’ll be a witness to a true friendship and probably be a bit jealous you were not part of it.
You will be in presence of a contagious energy and an abundance of love.
You know how people say that what your friends say about you says a lot about the kind of person you truly are? Well then, Heath must have been ‘the best person in the world’ (as one of his friends calls him).
‘I honestly think that the Earth is off access. I think there is something that is universally out of alignment with what happened. This is not something that is supposed to be happening right now. This is fucked up.’
His family, his former partners, his agent and some of his colleagues, they all deliver the same message although wrapped in different packing.
‘Heath was the most alive human being. If it wasn’t on the edge, it didn’t interest him. If there wasn’t some kind of risk involved he had no time for it. He went all the way out in the time that he had. He went all the way to the edge.’
All his friends share stories about the incredible amount of energy he possessed. They were fascinated by it. They never figured out where he found the time for everything he did, he never slowed down, not for a second.
And he was there for everyone. Always. He would always return your calls, he would always reply to your text messages no matter what time it was and no matter what was going on or how busy he was. He just always genuinely cared.
Where he found that energy no one knew. He was just full of life. He couldn’t stop. Which in the end has become his doom.
‘It was like trying to settle a wild stallion.’
The documentary is partly done from Heath’s own videos as he carried his camera with him everywhere he went and which is how most of his friends will always remember him – Heath with the camera. Lucky for us, because that gives us all a unique look into his life.
You will get to know the true person behind the face you know from the screen and realize why you maybe too always felt he’s someone truly special. Because he was.
I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for anyone from his inner circle to lose him. How can you put up with losing somebody this special? I know it must sound harsh, but I don’t even know if I have anyone this special in my own life! How can you go on living without a person like that? I couldn’t help myself but keep asking that question..
But I guess love is the answer as always.
‘I was deeply sad, but he didn’t want me to be sad. He wanted to see me smile. All the time. And he couldn’t have possibly given me more in my life. And I’m very lucky.’
I couldn’t help but think that compared to his life and despite being a year older now than he was when he died, I’ve hardly ever lived. I was watching his life and felt like I’ve been wasting mine. And I didn’t want to waste another minute. I want to live more. I want to love more. And I want to laugh more! I want to take the risks and do all the stupid things because there’s no reason to ‘be afraid of falling down’.
Heath’s energy, his enthusiasm, his personality is just so contagious.
One of his friends later confessed that he mentioned to him that he feels like he does not have enough time. He also became obsessed with the musicians who died young like Janis Joplin or Kurt Cobain and kept saying he’s like them.
Creepy right? Is it really possible some people know…? Watching Heath’s life will definitely make you wonder. I think he did. I don’t know how, but I really think he did.
Whatever the case, Heath’s life is a powerful reminder for all of us not only to live our lives to the fullest but also to remember to stop and slow down. Take a rest. There might be no tomorrow, but there surely won’t be any if we never take the rest.
As James Baldwin said: Who he finds no way to rest cannot for long survive the battle. Heath didn’t know how to stop and it probably cost him his life.
Heath could have achieved so much more in his life. He had so much ahead. I wish I could see the films he would direct one day because there is no doubt they would be pretty amazing. He had so much talent, so much vision, so much passion. So many gifts.
And above all, he had a young daughter that will never get to know the magic of her father.
Perhaps he was just too much for this world.
‘Some people are just bigger than the world have room for them.’
And perhaps he has truly given it all he could.
Don’t we all strive for that? Giving it all. No regrets. I don’t know about you but regrets are the scariest thing for me. And I don’t intend to die having any.
As the rest of us who didn’t get the chance to know Heath personally, I will always cherish every film he’s ever been in. Because his magic bursts through the screen and because after seeing this documentary Heath Ledger has become a source of undying inspiration for me. And I want to be at least a bit like him. I think we should all try to be.
Hell yeah, he’s done it again! – 9 years after his death, he shares his energy and love with the world, making a difference in people’s lives. And I will forever be grateful to his friends and his family for sharing him with us in this way and therefore letting his magic live on, touching our lives and inspiring us in a way he inspired many that knew him.
This documentary is a celebration of life – a precious gift, too fragile to be wasted. Take that gift. And do not waste it yourself. Draw the line between wasting and resting. I came to believe that’s the road to true happiness.