Heath Ledger: Joker or Junky?

by The Discovering Alcoholic on April 15, 2008

Ask any alcoholic or addict in recovery about the time they convinced them self and usually a prescription-writing doctor of a mental affliction. Most will fess up. Severe depression, bipolar disorders, chemical imbalances and even dissociative disorders are diagnoses that often follow the stellar acting performance of those of us so desperate to have something “more” than just an unsophisticated addiction.

Yes there are those that truly suffer from these disorders, but before anyone breaks out the staff of righteous anger and tries to smack me let me assure the theatric mental disorder routine is standard of procedure for the alky/addict. Take it from me, most of the symptoms are real anyway… it’s the fact we are drinking a half gallon of vodka daily and have the sleep/dietary patterns of a vampire bat that are conveniently left out of the equation.

Speaking of bats, there is some new info coming out on Heath Ledger’s behavior during the filming of the newest Batman, The Dark Knight. Apparently Ledger was exhibiting some of the warning signs of a problem while the movie was shooting about 2 years ago.

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According to an on-set source, Ledger was advised to seek professional help for his personal problems, but turned to the Joker role to mask his psychological woes… “He would often come to the set to hang out even on his days off in character, freaking everyone out,” the source continued. “Toward the end of filming, he was warned by people that he’d gone too far, but it was almost like he couldn’t connect with those who cared for him anymore.” ~ Fox News

Now I am not going to pass judgment here one way or another, but I would definitely think that immersing oneself in the role of psychopath would offer almost the same strange refuge as those of us who have feigned mental trouble to mask our addictions. In fact, I think this would be simply irresistible to the skewed mind of an addict.

Almost all addicts and alcoholics have a phase before total dysfunction where we can be very effective actors, it may just so happen that Mr. Ledger was not so much playing the role of the Joker as he was just being a junky.

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