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Post  Admin on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:07 pm

Australian Heath Ledger rose to fame in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and the Revolutionary War epic The Patriot. Now he carried his own action movie in A Knight's Tale, a story of medieval jousting set to modern pop music. On the day of the press junket, Ledger was tired and his first answer explained why.

Q: Have things changed for you since The Patriot?
A: Well, professionally it really helped me a lot in terms of opportunities. My social life hasn't really changed. I've been working since that came out, since I started shooting I've been working straight for 18 months. I had no breaks and six day weeks and I just finished two weeks ago. So, I've had two weeks to find out what it's like, so I'm living it now I guess but I don't know.

Q: So, do you have a thing for historical action or is it just a coincidence?
A: It's just a coincidence. I do, yeah, actually. Nothing in particular [about them]. I just find it interesting portraying characters in times from the past, because since then, everything's changed. The way they express emotions, the way they smile, the way they communicate has evolved since then, so it's interesting to go back.

Q: Do you have any thoughts on the success of Australians in Hollywood?
A: Yeah, it's great.

Q: What do you think appeals to us about Aussies?
A: I don't know. What do you think?

Q: I don't know either, but my readers wanted me to ask. Also, do think action movies from earlier decades are better than they are now?
A: I guess Mad Max. All those movies are great. It's so hard when people say "What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite actor?" Because you just love so many different movies and actors for so many different reasons. I don't know if I have a particular favorite.

Q: Speaking of Mad Max, are there intentional homages to Mel Gibson in your performance in A Knight's Tale?
A: Yeah, there are. There are bits and pieces for sure.

Q: Were those your idea or the director's?
A: Mine, and it's nothing specific and I couldn't go through and point it out for you but it's something that you, working with an actor, you can learn these things and pick up and take flavors from that last job and put it into the new. I certainly did carry on a lot of his attitude in terms of just "it's a breeze." It's like life in this profession is a breeze for him. It's just relax, don't let it get to you, have fun.

Part 2: Jousting and Upcoming Projects
Q: How did you train for the jousting?
A: It was a lot of fun. I mean, it wasn't that long ago that I was doing it my mum's back yard with my friend down the road. So, it was an extension of that. It was just a bigger playground. They taught us how to joust for three weeks and then we didn't really do any of it. Ultimately, if we did anything it was starting off and coming back to the mark with sweat on the face and then any of the hits, I wasn't about to get hit by a lance or hit someone else. I didn't want to do that .It was a lot of fun making and I had a lot of fun sword fighting.

Q: How do you feel about carrying a film as the top billed star?
A: I guess I just wanted to be as relaxed as possible. I didn't want to go in there tense and too nervous and thinking of it that way. It was more or less I wanted to be excited on the fact that I had more time to create an arc for a character and I never felt the weight of a leading man because I had a great ensemble cast with me the whole time. So, the only weight that I felt wasn't during the making of the movie but when I saw my mug on the poster. That was just slightly intimidating.

Q: Will this Four Feathers remake you're working on be faithful to previous versions' statement about cowardice and bravery?
A: It is faithful but my portrayal of that was that he wasn't a coward and the fact that it was actually one of the bravest decisions he could have made, to leave and not go to war and not fight. I certainly follow that and stand by that and I would probably do the same thing. To me, the fact that he was labeled a coward, he was actually a hero smuggled in amongst all that, a hero in his own mind to himself and that's in terms of being true to himself. He would have been a coward if he went to war because inside of him, everything inside of him said don't go. It's a coward to go against your instincts and he didn't. For that, he was brave.

Q: How did you avoid the stereotypical teen roles after 10 Things?
A: I don't know if there's a method that I could pass on to anyone or advice because there isn't and it's just a tough thing to do. But, I just had to be true to myself. I wasn't going to be happy doing that and I wouldn't have lasted. I would have quit and been finished because if I'm not happy doing something or if I'm not having fun, my patience drops out really fast. It was fun, but there's a line they just draw on the character, this line where they don't go any further into the characters on the page with teen movies. They can't help it. It's not written to have all this depth on page. There's just a lot more to portray outside the teen market. There just wasn't anything interesting, just the same stuff and the same characters and when they see you play one thing, they want you to do it again. It's like oh, we know you can do this, it's a safe bet, let's get him to do it again. I just wasn't going to do that.

Q: Are you working on anything else now?
A: I'm going to take a break for six months, hopefully a year if I can. I just feel I've got to put back the equivalent into life because 18 months of work just takes so much out of you. So, I've just got to put it back into my own life.

Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
You will be Never forgotten
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