If you are one of the millions who claim to be Batman’s biggest fans, then you know who Heath Ledger was.

Appearing with unmistakably horrifying yet flawlessly entertaining and impossible-to-forget performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, the actor did steal the show.

While it is not unusual that a villain suddenly becomes the most significant point of interest in a movie, The Dark Knight is arguably the best “Batman” movie that can have been titled “The Joker” instead.

And it is not difficult to see why.

Christian Bale indeed sets the bar so high for all other actors that will play (and have played) Batman after him, but the same thing is right to Health Ledger as well.

In the movie, Joker stole the show, make some funny dance moves while circling it, took a bite of it, spat it out, and then gave a paradoxically chilling farewell in the way that the only Joker knew how: laughing out loud while hanging upside down with assault weapons being pointed to his head.

The character and the man behind the clown face have always been interesting subjects to learn about more.

Bottle Top Photography / Shutterstock.com

10 /10 Heath Ledger Had His Own Makeup Formula

Unless somebody made a note detailing all the cosmetic brands he used and applying them correctly to depict Joker, it is safe to assume that no one knows what Ledger covered his face within the movie.

He came up with the idea that Joker, due to his insanity, wouldn’t exactly master the skills of a makeup artist.

Instead of resorting to professional, Ledger bought some grease paint from a Dollar Store and smeared some colors all over his face.


9 /10 Creative Scars

Comic readers know Heath Ledger’s Joker invented one crucial thing that changed the character forever, the scars on his cheeks. Neither director Christopher Nolan’s screenplay nor any version of the DC comics mentioned anything about the spots.

In the movie, Joker repeatedly told other characters how he got the scars, but it was a different story each time.

At one time, he said it was his father who carved the “permanent smile,” while in another instance, Joker claimed to have done it himself. Even diehard purist DC fans could appreciate the creativity.


8 /10 A Genuine Unpleasant Surprise

In the party scene in Bruce Wayne’s manor, Joker appeared seemingly out of an elevator to look for Harvey Dent. Our villain then learned about the connection between Batman and Rachel Dawes.

To prepare for this particular scene, Ledger intentionally hid away from his co-stars with one sole purpose: to make a shocking entrance. He nailed it.

The location was the first time Maggie Gyllenhaal saw Ledger’s Joker, and it was – to say the least – unsettling for her and perhaps some other actors.


7 /10 Joker Directed A Batman Movie, A Bit

Christopher Nolan directed The Dark Knight, but there are some little scenes in which Ledger took his role. There are some random videos played on TVs all over Gotham in the movie. Heath Ledger directed those.

In one of those videos, Joker kidnaped a fake Batman and killed him. In another video, a reporter was reading a statement from the Joker.

Ledger had a small directing part in the former, but everything in the second video was his idea.

6 /10 Ventriloquist Dummy's Voice

Besides the fantastic facial makeup, one recognizable trait of Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight is his voice and laugh. Other actors who played Joker had their versions of the audible dread as well.

Ledger had to learn how to make the right Joker’s voice – with deep inflection followed by high notes – from ventriloquist dummies.

While he was trying to find the iconic singer, Ledger figured out that the learning process involved getting into the realm of psychopaths – people with little conscience toward their acts.


5 /10 Greatest Mad Detective

If Batman is the greatest detective, then Joker is the greatest mad detective. In particular, Heath Ledger’s Joker is a bit of a paradox; he is chaotic and anarchist, yet at the same time strategic and full of calculation.

He expected people on two different boats during the final scene – each had been planted with explosives – to turn the key and therefore kill everyone on board.

It didn’t happen to his disappointment, but he had already pocketed the third trigger as a contingency plan. A pinned-down Batman managed to handle the situation, however.


4 /10 Bigger Than Batman

In many scenes where Batman was arguing and fighting Joker, he was bigger than Joker. Everyone also easily assumed that Joker had a more slender figure than Batman.

In reality, Heath Ledger was a little bit taller than Cristian Bale. As far as the figure is concerned, both men were more or less equal.

The apparent difference in size was primarily due to how Ledger played his part. He hunched continuously over and kept his arms and legs toward his body.


3 /10 Joker Is Like Batman

The way Ledger portrayed Joker in The Dark Knight gave a glimpse of how the villain and the hero were quite alike. For sure, Batman epitomizes justice for all, while Joker promotes anarchy. 

Both had a preference for theatrical entrance, calculated actions, and disguising real identity. Furthermore, the two always had contingency plans in case their tactics went sideways.

They had completely different purposes, but the similarities in their attempt to get the jobs done were pretty staggering. Joker and Batman were equal masters of manipulation with little sense of self-preservation.


2 /10 Joker Cares About Money, A Little Bit

By burning the mob’s money that he earned from recovering Lau from custody, Joker proved he didn’t care about money.

However, he used some money he had previously stolen from Gotham National Bank to shop for custom suits and equipment, including weaponry.

What he did not care about was the mobsters themselves. In the interrogation scene, Joker revealed that he might have to go back ripping off mob dealers if not for his newly found purpose in defeating Batman.


1 /10 Former Joker Was Furious About Heath Ledger's Joker

For nearly two decades since Tim Burton’s Batman release, Jack Nicholson had been largely considered the best Joker ever.

That pretty much ended when heath Ledger stepped up and embraced the challenge to portray the same character. It did not change the fact that Nicholson produced some of the most memorable performances as Joker.

In an interview with MTV in 2007, Nicholson said he was furious that Ledger got the role. He then laughed after admitting that. More than anything, the actor was not pleased that no one asked him to play a sequel.

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