Heath Ledger refused to present at Oscars over Brokeback Mountain joke

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger refused to present at the Oscars over an offensive joke about the film.Before the 2006 Academy Awards, at which both Gyllenhaal and Ledger were nominated for their roles as gay cowboys in Ang Le…

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger refused to present at the Oscars over an offensive joke about the film.

Before the 2006 Academy Awards, at which both Gyllenhaal and Ledger were nominated for their roles as gay cowboys in Ang Lee’s groundbreaking romantic drama, the co-stars were allegedly asked by the show’s producers to poke fun at their characters’ romance.

“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” the 39-year-old told Another Man magazine. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, ‘Oh, okay… whatever.’ I’m always like, ‘It’s all in good fun.’ And Heath said, ‘It’s not a joke to me – I don’t want to make any jokes about it.'”

Gyllenhaal remains in awe of the late Australian actor’s work ethic and professionalism.

“That’s the thing I loved about Heath,” he shared. “He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, ‘No. This is about love. Like, that’s it, man. Like, no.'”

Gyllenhaal also confessed he was still unable to watch Brokeback Mountain, more than 15 years after he made Lee’s movie, because of the filmmaker’s incredible talent for creating such a tragic love story.

“There are things you’re chosen for – a quality, an essence – and Ang did that. And it’s still a mystery to me. And something that Heath and I shared: that it was a mystery to us at the time,” he shared.

Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose in January 2008.

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Joaquin Phoenix honours Heath Ledger in touching SAG Awards speech

Joaquin Phoenix gave a heartfelt shout out to Heath Ledger during his touching speech at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday.The 45-year-old won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role prize on Sunday for his haunt…

Joaquin Phoenix gave a heartfelt shout out to Heath Ledger during his touching speech at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday.

The 45-year-old won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role prize on Sunday for his haunting portrayal of failed comedian Arthur Fleck, who becomes the infamous Gotham City villain in Joker.

When he took to the stage to deliver his speech, Phoenix made sure he acknowledged the late Australian actor, who played the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight back in 2008 and tragically died of an accidental overdose just months before its release. He posthumously won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an Academy Award for his riveting performance as the comic book villain.

Phoenix, who has already won two of the same awards and is frontrunner for Best Actor at the Oscars in February, paid tribute to the late actor by saying, “Really, I’m standing here on the shoulders of my favourite actor, Heath Ledger.”

As well as his touching reference to Ledger, Phoenix used his time onstage to honour each of his fellow nominees in his category.

He opened his speech with a story about Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and joked that he lost out on roles as a young actor to the Titanic star.

“There would always be two other guys that I was up against and we’d always lose to this one kid… every casting director would always whisper, ‘It’s Leonardo,'” he said. “You’ve been an inspiration for over 25 years to me and so many people.”

He then turned to Christian Bale, and jokingly begged him to perform badly in at least one movie, saying, “It’s infuriating. I wish you would. Just suck once.”

The star then focused on Adam Driver, who was up for his role in Marriage Story, and told him “you should be here (winning the award)”.

“I’ve been watching you the last few years and you’ve been turning in these beautiful, nuanced, incredible, profound performances. I’m just so moved by you,” Phoenix gushed.

Finally, he heaped praise on Rocketman star Taron Egerton, and told the Welshman from the stage, “You’re so beautiful in this movie and I’m so happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what else you do.”

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Joaquin Phoenix was hesitant about playing the Joker

Joaquin Phoenix had reservations about playing the iconic Batman villain in Joker.  Todd Phillips’s upcoming crime drama follows the Walk the Line actor’s failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck, who is mentally ill and disregarded by society, as he tu…

Joaquin Phoenix had reservations about playing the iconic Batman villain in Joker.

  Todd Phillips’s upcoming crime drama follows the Walk the Line actor’s failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck, who is mentally ill and disregarded by society, as he turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City and slowly becomes the legendary antagonist, the Joker.  

 In a new interview with Total Film magazine, Phoenix admitted he was hesitant about joining the superhero genre in a role that had been made famous by the likes of Heath Ledger and Jared Leto.    

 “It took me a while (to commit). Now, when I look back, I don’t understand why,” he said. “There was a lot of fear, yeah. But I always say there’s motivating fear and debilitating fear. There’s the fear where you cannot make a f**king step, and there’s the kind where it’s like, ‘OK, what do we do? That’s not good enough.’ And you’re digging deeper and deeper. I love that kind of fear. It guides us, makes us work harder. 

 “I think oftentimes, in these movies, we have these simplified, reductive archetypes, and that allows for the audience to be distant from the character, just like we would do in real life, where it’s easy to label somebody as evil, and therefore say, ‘Well, I’m not that.'” 

 However, Phillips’s movie ignores the comics and is a completely original standalone origins story which is more of an intimate character study of Fleck/Joker than a regular entry in the superhero genre.  

 The director and co-writer explained that taking this approach meant he could explore the character more.  

 “There are times where you’re going to feel yourself connected to him, and rooting for him, and times when you should be repulsed by him,” he shared. “And I like that idea of challenging the audience, and challenging myself to explore a character like that. It’s rare to explore characters like that in any movies, but specifically in the superhero genre.” 

 Joker will debut at the Venice International Film Festival next week ahead of an October release. 

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Patrick Swayze’s life and career to be chronicled in new documentary

Patrick Swayze’s life and career is to be highlighted in a forthcoming documentary.I Am Patrick Swayze will explore the actor’s childhood in Texas, his rise to stardom, and his relationship with wife Lisa Niemi, who he married in 1975. Directed by Adr…

Patrick Swayze’s life and career is to be highlighted in a forthcoming documentary.

I Am Patrick Swayze will explore the actor’s childhood in Texas, his rise to stardom, and his relationship with wife Lisa Niemi, who he married in 1975.

Directed by Adrian Buitenhuis, the project will feature interviews with his former co-stars from films like Ghost and Dirty Dancing, including Sam Elliott, Jennifer Grey, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, and Kelly Lynch, as well as Patrick’s brother, Don Swayze, and Niemi.

The release is part of Paramount Network’s I Am series, which has previously chronicled the lives of late stars Paul Walker, Heath Ledger, Richard Pryor, and Steve McQueen.

“I Am Patrick Swayze is a loving tribute to the prolific actor that showcases his life and career through untold stories, exclusive interviews, heartfelt home movies, and family photos featuring those who knew him best,” a spokesperson for the Paramount Network commented. “The film explores his childhood in Texas and his enduring relationship with widow Lisa Niemi, whom he met as a teenager at his mother’s dance studio. Known for undeniable star quality, the documentary is a window into an artist’s life that delves into his remarkable film career working on huge blockbuster hits like Dirty Dancing, The Outsiders, and Ghost.”

I Am Patrick Swayze will debut at the San Antonio Film Festival on 2 August and air in the U.S. on the Paramount Network on 18 August to mark Swayze’s birthday.

The star died of pancreatic cancer in 2009, at the age of 57.

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Joaquin Phoenix plays coy on rumoured Joker origin role

Joaquin Phoenix has refused to confirm reports he is preparing to portray Batman villain The Joker in an upcoming origin film.The actor has emerged as the favourite to lead director Todd Phillips’ DC Comics project for Warner Bros., with rumours sugges…

Joaquin Phoenix has refused to confirm reports he is preparing to portray Batman villain The Joker in an upcoming origin film.

The actor has emerged as the favourite to lead director Todd Phillips’ DC Comics project for Warner Bros., with rumours suggesting he has entered talks to take on the iconic role.

Confirming that he’s “met” The Hangover filmmaker Todd, and is quite fond of him, Joaquin played coy on his involvement with the movie.

“I don’t know really. I don’t know,” he told Collider in response to a question about his involvement.

The late Heath Ledger earned a posthumous Academy Award for his turn as the character in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight and Jared Leto also took a crack at the villain in Suicide Squad, and without confirming that a signed contract is in place, Joaquin alluded to the fact he’d be going in a completely different direction than his predecessors should he ever play The Joker on the big screen.

“There are different interpretations,” he said. “It’s so interesting; I was just thinking about it today, it seems so unique in some ways to comic books. I think there’s probably room for that. Maybe it’s like doing a play, like you always hear about people doing something: ‘You should have seen this actor in this performance’. But then other actors do it and it’s a different kind of film.

“I think that genre, comic books, kind of lends itself to having different people play the same character and interpret it in a different way. It’s kind of built into the source material in some ways. I think it’s cool when people do that.”

Director Phillips’ Joker movie is still in pre-production, but the working screenplay reportedly follows the villain when he was a comic in the 1980s, just before he morphed into an evil clown criminal.

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Joaquin Phoenix in talks to play The Joker in standalone film

Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play iconic DC Comics villain The Joker in a standalone film. The Hangover director Todd Phillips is working on a Joker origin movie and has selected the Walk the Line actor as his top choice, with sources tel…

Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play iconic DC Comics villain The Joker in a standalone film.

The Hangover director Todd Phillips is working on a Joker origin movie and has selected the Walk the Line actor as his top choice, with sources telling Variety that he met with Phoenix in late 2017 and the actor has agreed to the role. However, negotiations at Warner Bros. are not yet underway.

Phillips, who has also worked on Road Trip and War Dogs, will direct the movie and co-write it with Scott Silver. Their story will reportedly look and feel more like a gritty crime drama than a comic book movie adaptation, and will be set in the fictional Gotham City in the 1980s. It will look into what happened to the Joker to turn him into an evil criminal mastermind and Batman’s most famous adversary.

If he gets the part, this will be the first time Phoenix has starred as a comic book character. He was previously in the frame for the role of Lex Luthor in another DC movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which ultimately went to Jesse Eisenberg, and was in talks to play Marvel superhero Doctor Strange, who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Joker has been portrayed onscreen a number of times, most notably by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Role for playing the villain in The Dark Knight.

The film is a standalone project which will exist outside of the DC Extended Universe, which includes films such as Wonder Woman and Justice League, and will therefore not affect Jared Leto’s incarnation of The Joker in the Suicide Squad movies.

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Michael B. Jordan used Heath Ledger’s The Joker for Black Panther inspiration

Actor Michael B. Jordan drew inspiration for his Black Panther villain from Heath Ledger’s “captivating” performance as Batman’s nemesis The Joker in The Dark Knight. The Creed star portrays Erik Killmonger in the new Marvel superhero movie, in which …

Actor Michael B. Jordan drew inspiration for his Black Panther villain from Heath Ledger’s “captivating” performance as Batman’s nemesis The Joker in The Dark Knight.

The Creed star portrays Erik Killmonger in the new Marvel superhero movie, in which his character faces off with Chadwick Boseman’s titular Black Panther, the alter ego of T’Challa, the new king of the fictional African country Wakanda.

Taking on the role of the bad guy was something new for Jordan, and to prepare for the project, he revisited the late Ledger’s iconic performance in 2008’s The Dark Knight.

“Heath’s performance as a villain was so captivating, I couldn’t stop watching,” he told U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight. “I was like, ‘Man, OK, if I can get into that rare (place), you know, of just a character where people empathise, but still kind of understand but still are a little taken back (that would be perfect).'”

Jordan joined his co-stars, including Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Sterling K. Brown, for the film’s Hollywood premiere on Monday (29Jan18), and he admitted he was thrilled by the fan turnout for what has become one of the most-anticipated superhero movies to date, with record-breaking advance ticket sales.

“I think it’s incredible,” he marvelled on the red carpet. “All the fans and everybody that’s outside (at the premiere) kind of like, you know, waiting and showing support (sic).”

Jordan had plenty of moral support from his own family at the showing, confessing he had a hard time choosing who to invite as his guests: “We were drawing straws,” he smiled. “It was tough at the house.”

The actor explained the premiere would be his first time viewing the finished film, because he wanted to “come into this as a fan”, and he is sure to be happy with the early feedback, with critics raving about the blockbuster, proclaiming it the best Marvel movie to date.

Fans will be able to judge for themselves when Black Panther opens in movie theatres on 16 February (18).

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