Monday, July 28, 2008

Breaks My Heart

By now I think we've all seen some of the final images taken of Heath Ledger on the set of his last film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" which is currently in post-production. The director, amazing filmaker Terry Gilliam was recently interviewed at the Ischia Film Festival. Gilliam had high praise for Ledger, calling him "a genius." He also complimented the three actors--Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell--who stepped in to complete Ledger's role in Parnassus after his untimely death last January. The interview was done a few days ago. Included are rare pictures of Heath taken 3 days before is death.
The great thing about it is that when Heath died, and we have a character that wasn't finished in the movie, those three actors [Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell] came along and saved the day. And so the character is now basically four actors creating one character. And that's . . . it's very interesting, and maybe even more interesting than it would have been with one actor going all the way through. I'm still not the best judge, because I have in my head what the film was going to be with Heath all the way through, and now there's a different film there. But all I know is, it's very funny.

Gilliam sounded proud of his film and genuinely awed by the generosity of the actors who came forward to save the picture and ensure its completion. Despite their high profiles, Depp, Law, and Farrell took no compensation for their work; instead, they donated their salaries to Heath Ledger's two-year-old daughter, Matilda

TERRY GILLIAM: The three actors were totally heroic coming in. This doesn't happen very often . . . where there's a tragedy like this, and very famous, very successful actors suddenly say, "Okay, we'll do whatever it takes to help." They came; they did the work; they allowed the movie to be finished; they didn't take money--the money goes to Heath's daughter. That's extraordinary! And wonderful . . . and when you're part of that, you think, "Ah, this is maybe why I went into the movies, in the beginning. I thought it would be full of wonderful people. And in our case, we've got a movie full of wonderful people, who did extraordinary things to help.

I know it is so cliche to say, but it just makes me so sad to see these pictures. To lose someone-anyone-at such a young age is just so tragic.



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