On this day, on 22 February 2009, at the 81st Academy Awards Heath Ledger writes history as he wins posthumously Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his iconic performance as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’.
★ Some facts about Heath Ledger’s historic Oscar win:
• Heath won exactly one year and one month after his death.
• His second nomination after ‘Brokeback Mountain’.
• Second actor in history to win posthumously, after Peter Finch.
• Fourth Australian actor in history to win.
• First and only so far to win for a performance in a Comic Book/Superhero film.
• Besides the Oscar, he won totally 53 awards for The Joker, including Golden Globe, BAFTA, Australian Film Institute, SAG, Saturn and MTV.
• His daughter Matilda will accept it after she becomes 18 in 2023. Until then his family keeps it for her.
• The award was recently exhibited for the first time publicly in ‘Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures’ at the @WAMuseum.
“I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month and I just locked myself away and formed a little diary and experimented with voices. I ended up landing more with in the realm of like a psychopath, someone with no empathy. Very little to no conscience towards his acts. Which is fun, because there is no real limit on the boundaries to what he'd say or how you would say something or what he would do. And I don't know; it's always a very personal process in terms of how you land in the character's shoes, so to speak. It's a combination of reading all the comic books I could and the script and then just really closing my eyes and meditating on it. Also, there is something about the metaphor of working behind the mask, and from within a mask. It always gives you the license to do whatever you want.”
—Heath Ledger in @EmpireMagazine, 2007
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