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Arizona Reporter -- Q and As Empty Arizona Reporter -- Q and As

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:02 pm

Arizona Reporter -- Prairie Miller Celebrity Interviews -
by Prairie Miller
Heath Ledger seems to have a tendency to get himself embroiled in tough situations in movies. After becoming entangled in the American Revolution with Mel Gibson in The Patriot, he has moved on to bang 'em up jousting tournaments in Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale. In the medieval saga with a contemporary rock score, Ledger overcomes his peasant origins to spar with the nobility on their own turf. The story is not far from the reality of the actor's own rags to riches rise to movie stardom. Ledger talked about the highs and lows of life in Hollywood, and the current state of affairs in his very hot romance with actress Heather Graham.

Q: There was some pretty bad accidents on the set of A Knight's Tale. Did you get hurt?
A: Nah, I escaped injury. Somehow! That's because I had a stunt man up there, doing all the hard stuff.

Q: You mean you're not like Mel and Arnold, who brag about doing all their own stunts?
A: No. I'm not a politician!

Q: Didn't something happen to your leg on the set?
A: Yeah. I was on one of the horses during a jousting scene, and he got jumpy. I was supposed to charge down the right, and the horse was probably thinking, like what the hell is going on? There's a guy on my back, in full armor! You can understand that.
So the horse was rearing up while the crowd behind him was screaming, and I kicked him in. But he had jumped a little too far over to the left. And as I kicked him he was running, but he ran straight at the fence.
And somehow what I did - and I don't know how, because my knee was busted because I had slipped like an idiot in the editing lounge, and landed on my butt. I was like sliding on the floor, and up in the air. I landed on my knee, and I could barely walk.
But anyway, I got on the horse, and put my weight on the right leg. And my leg was aiming straight for this pole. And somehow I managed to get my leg up somewhere around my ear!

Q: Wow...
A: Yeah, that's what I was thinking! Then the horse just splintered this post. And it was right where my leg was going to be. Yeah, it was a very close call. Like I'm talking about an inch.

Q: Glad to see you're still in one piece. How do you feel about turning into a major star these days?
A: Well, I've always been an actor. Now I'm being created into a star. That's out of my control, it's the decision of the studios. It's a little intimidating, you know? And it's nerve racking, scary and exciting. It's just a whole bunch of things.
Basically, you're faced with what could quite possibly be a life changing thing, like anything else. And there's a period between that, where you're just trying to kind of figure stuff out.

Q: How are you keeping your feet on the ground through it all?
A: You just don't believe anything you read, good or bad. But especially good. And ultimately you just have to have a sense of humor, and laugh about it a lot. And I do. You know, I really find the comedy in it, because it is....ridiculous!

Q: Are you getting recognized more on the street?
A: I guess so. Yeah, certainly in Australia. And I think here too. But it's a bigger deal in Australia. It's a hassle there, really intruding, and invading and strange. Because it is where you live, and nothing will every be the same again when you go back there. And if there's anywhere that you want to be the same when you go back, it's your home, and it just wasn't. So that was hard.

Q: What happens? Like do people yell your name out on the street?
A: Yeah. And it would make the front page of the local newspaper, reporting that I like ate fettucini at some restaurant on Tuesday!

Q: So did Aussie hunks like you, Mel, Russell and Hugh plan some kind of Hollywood invasion, or what?
A: Yeah, we did! It was a secret invasion. We sent some spies over about ten years ago, and they...set it all up for us!

Q: Getting back to A Knight's Tale, what got you interested in this splashy medieval yarn?
A: It was jammed packed full of all these elements, and it was a really funny read. Like there was comedy, romance, and the action and rock 'n roll music. So it was such a fun read. But at the same time, it was such a challenge.
Like how the hell am I going to pull this all off? Because those are a lot of different flavors and ingredients, to come up with something consistent. So I read the script, and really loved it.
Then when I sat down with Brian to talk about it, there was this passion for his vision just oozing out of him. So yeah, I knew it was going to be fun, and it was. It was a childhood thing. And I knew Brian was going to be setting up a wonderful playground, and a comfortable space for us all just to have fun, playing.

Q: Did you know much about knights and jousting before the movie?
A: I knew very little about jousting. And I had never read up much on knights. But you always have a vision of what a knight is, and what they're about, in your mind. I did read up a little, but more about the sport than the time.
Because A Knight's Tale is about contemporary emotions, that just happens to be set in medieval times. So I didn't have to like figure out what they were like back then. You know, I could just....make that up!

Q: Do you have any jousting tips, in case I ever find myself in that strange situation?
A: ....Don't get hit!

Q: I'll, er, try to remember that. How is your next project, Four Feathers with Kate Hudson, going?
A: It's done now. And it was amazing, it was an incredible experience in my life. Four months in the desert with the director, Shekhar Kapur, would change anyone's life! He's a very intense, passionate filmmaker. And he's very demanding. You have to give him a hundred percent of yourself, twenty four hours a day and seven days a week, without fail.
So Four Feathers was a tough project, it was extremely tough. But that was the exciting thing about it, you know. It was a challenge. And I really liked walking into something like that with fear. There was like this fear, just bubbling up in your gut.

Q: What was the toughest part for you?
A: Just emotionally. It was draining, just scene-wise. There were like very big scenes, portraying big moments. And I had to be in the makeup chair at 4 AM every morning. And Shekhar does not stop shooting. If he had his way, he'd be shooting day and night.

Q: Where were you?
A: In Morocco, in the middle of nowhere! And there was more riding! A lot of camel riding. But it was beautiful there. Though the only place to go afterwards was to your hotel room. there was nowhere else to go. But the solitude was kind of nice.

Q: I hear that you turned down a bunch of teen movies that would have paid well, even when you were broke. Was that a hard decision, to turn the money down?
A: Not at all. I really can't stand money, and what it does. And I was never going to let that influence me, it never has. I wouldn't have been happy, that's the thing. Sure, you're getting paid. But I would have been just really bored.
And that's not why I'm an actor. If it were about the money, I'd go do something else. So it wasn't hard, no. I've never had money, so it wasn't hard living without it, certainly. And it was fun, saying no! Because they don't like hearing 'no' in Hollywood, they don't.

Q: Is it true that you turned down Spider-Man too?
A: Well, it wasn't really a direct offer. It's more like they talked to people about it, before they made anything official. But why would I want to? Because I've never read comics, certainly not Spider-Man.
So I don't have any interest in it. I thought it would be a lot of fun to make. But I wouldn't want to...go around K Mart dressed like Spider-Man! Anyway, Tobey has a true passion for Spider-Man. And he wants to play it, he's a great actor.

Q: Do you and your girlfriend Heather Graham give each other advice as actors, like I'll read your script, and you read mine?
A: No. Ours is not a professional relationship. No relationship is, I believe. Not in my life, anyway.

Q: How did you and Heather meet?
A: We just met at a party.

Q: Did she change your life?
A: I'm not going to tell you that!

Q: No sweat. What do you miss most about Australia?
A: Hmm...Probably the sense of humor, I really do.

Q: How is the humor different?
A: There's quite a cultural difference. The Australian sense of humor is very dry, sarcastic, and very undercover. Like if I tell any jokes here, people just think I'm...serious! So I just quit telling any jokes whatsoever.

Q: What are you going to do next?
A: Nothing. I really just want to do nothing, especially after all this. Believe it or not, I can just look at a wall, and be so content.

Q: What do you do, when you're doing nothing?
A: ....Nothing!

Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
You will be Never forgotten
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