This year marks the ninth anniversary of Heath Ledger’s unexpected death – and, to acknowledge what a tremendous loss of life and artistry his death was, a new documentary has been made about the star of A Knight’s Tale.
Created by Spike TV, I Am: Heath Ledger is set to air in May 2017. And, much as the channel has done before in similar documentaries, the film will offer an inside look into Ledger’s life, as told by those closest to him.
And now, finally, the emotionally charged first trailer has been released.
Check it out:
“Heath was the most alive human, and if it wasn't on the edge, it didn't interest him,” says musician Ben Harper, at the beginning of the footage.
His will not be the only interview: Ang Lee, who directed Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, will also feature, as well as actor Ben Mendelsohn, model Christina Cauchi (who once dated the actor), and Ledger’s sister, Kate.
The Australian actor, who passed away in 2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, was just 28 years old at the time of his death. The documentary will trace Ledger’s life up until this point, examining his childhood, his breakout role in 10 Things I Hate About You, his performance in the critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, and his Oscar-winning stint as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
It will also take a closer look at his relationships with friends and family, particularly Michelle Williams – whom he was with for three years before separating amicably in September 2007 – and their daughter, Matilda.
Of course, the documentary will also cover Ledger’s untimely passing. The actor was in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the time of his death, and the strenuous shooting schedule had reportedly left him drained.
He died of an accidental overdose of painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other prescription drugs. The New York City medical examiner’s office later confirmed that this ‘overdose’ was caused by a gradual build-up of drugs in Ledger’s system, rather than a sudden binge.
In July 2016, Ledger’s father, Kim, addressed his son’s death in 2008, describing the tragedy as “totally” the actor’s fault.
“It was totally his fault. It was no one else’s,” he said in an interview with Daily Mail Australia. “He reached for them. He put them in his system. You can’t blame anyone else in that situation.
“That’s hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him.”
Earlier this year, Williams spoke about her relationship with Ledger – and frankly addressed her distress at moving out of the house she once shared with the actor.
“At that time, I was inconsolable, because I felt, ‘How will he be able to find us?’” Williams told WSJ. “This is where we lived, and he won’t know where we are. And I can’t believe I thought that.”
She added: “Maybe that’s what’s making me cry, is I feel sad for the person who thought he won’t be able to locate [us].”
Images: Rex Pictures