Casanova - Heath Ledger interview

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Post  Admin on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:37 pm

Casanova - Heath Ledger interview

Q: Were you intimidated at all when they asked you to play Casanova? Heís such an iconic figure.
A. Yeah, a little but once I read it I understood what type of Casanova they wanted to make. And so I thought it would be a lot of fun, an opportunity to take what I do not too seriously and I understood that Brokeback Mountain was going to be really hard so that this would be a great way to relax in Venice for five months [laughs].

Q: Is it possible to say which of the three films you have here in Venice you preferred?
A: Well, they were all important for me. I mean obviously Brokeback Mountain was an obstacle I felt I could never climb, I could never defeat, that it was too tough but ultimately decided to do it. And with that I came out with a real sense of accomplishment which was something that I lacked in the movies that Iíve done before Ė Iíd never felt that Iíd accomplished anything.
But then in both Brothers Grimm and Casanova there was a lot to enjoy. Brothers Grimm was the first time Iíve been let loose and use my kind of frantic energy and twitching and nervousness and clumsiness. Terry Gilliam is very good at allowing you to do that. He sets you free and creates an environment where you can feel safe enough to be bad Ė he lets you be bad and he lets you be big, which is fun.
And with Lasse on Casanova he created such a lovely atmosphere on the set, with such a great group of people, cast and crew, that it really helped the film.

Q: How much research did you do into the life of the real Casanova?
A: I did do quite a bit of research and I already knew little bits of information about him. But I was curious to know more and got hold of all his journals and read a couple of them and flicked through the rest. But there was no real point in tying myself down to historical correctness because the movie wasnít and the story wasnít.
But particularly after coming off Brokeback, which was so serious and lonely and at times tortuous, I went from that to Casanova and I really wanted to not take acting seriously, not take movies seriously, I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to come home smiling after work and so by throwing away all the history it allowed me to do that. And it gave me a clean slate so I just kind of created my own character.

Q. And was Casanova that kind of experience Ė lighter and happier?
A: Oh very much so. It was a vacation really. Iíve never spent this much time in Venice and it ended up being a four and a half month guided tour of Venice. Every day we ended up being taken to the most beautiful parts of Venice to shoot, so essentially it was like filming a movie inside a museum which was really cool.

Q: You have a tattoo on your right arm which reads ĎOld Man Riverí What does that mean?
A: Itís got a few meanings, they all have many meanings, and I usually get tattoos when I need to be reminded of something. But the answer Iíll give you is that it has nothing to do with the song, I just felt there was something eternal about the phrase and I feel that Iím at a stage in my life now where life is just about to really speed up and flash by. So I feel like I am on old man river paddling on a little row boat. Thatís my answer for today [laughs].

Q: How do you feel about being suddenly acclaimed as such a big star?
A: I guess Iím hoping that it gives me more freedom of choice and Iím hoping it gives me more opportunities to work with the directors I want to work with. Thatís really it. But Iím also hoping that it doesnít change my personal life.

Q: How do you choose your roles?
A: I donít have that much forward planning about what I want to do in the future. But I guess once I find something, like if Iím doing Lords of Dogtown, I really like to flip the scale on the next job Iím doing. Itís almost like you are a switchboard in a sound booth and on one job you use one side and by the end of the job you are kind of exhausted by it, but you didnít use any of the other side over here so you have to find something that will mean you using this half of your brain, energy wise. Thatís how Brokeback Mountain and Casanova complimented each other. Brokeback was excruciating and Casanova was drinking wine and eating pasta, it was like a holiday. But Iíve got no future plans, as long as itís an opportunity to evolve and grow as an actor and a person and challenge myself.

Q: Are you proactive in terms of approaching directors and letting them know that you are interested in a project?
A: Not really, no. I donít know whether itís a good thing or a bad thing but I do leave a lot of what ends up in front of me to my agent. I donít really go shopping around myself and I wouldnít know how to or where to start. I like it to feel like itís a coincidence so it just drops from the sky. It sounds corny, but I like it be organic as much as possible.

Q: What was your impression of Casanova the man?
A: I thought he was an incredible man in many ways Ė and did many, many different things. But you know I wasnít trying to portray the historical too accurately Ė the script wasnít, so if I was, it would be pointless. I wanted to play up a little bit and if anything I thought I should have played it up more Ė you know really gone to town. I didnít but maybe I should have.

Q: Was Sienna good fun to work with?
A: Yes she was just great. A great actress and a lovely girl. We had lots of fun.

Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
You will be Never forgotten
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