New York Post Interview

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Post  Admin on Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:47 pm

New York Post Interview

"I'm Shy. People get confused. They think, as an actor you can get up and be confident on the screen. 'Why aren't you like this in normal life? Why can't you act in your social life?' Because I can't!" says Heath Ledger, the Australian lead of Columbia's new "A Knight's Tale." There has been a lot riding on Heath since he first wowed teenage girls in "10 Things I Hate About You." Then he caused big expectations playing Mel Gibson's son in "The Patriot." Now, as a commoner who fakes it until he makes it as a medieval knight, Hollywood expects him to become a big star. Massive billboards put his face everywhere, and People magazine named him "one of the 50 most beautiful . . . in the world." At the outdoor restaurant where this interview took place, the kitchen sent Heath a large brownie with three candles and the word "HOT" written on it. This elicited his opening quote. He is dressed in black, baggy pants, a black shirt and Roman sandals. His Gucci sunglasses are tucked behind his ears as he lightsa Camel cigarette.

Q: Your romance with Heather Graham, whom you met doing "A Knight's Tale," is intriguing to the public. So how do you handle the goldfish bowl?

HL: It has to do with work. A relationship isn't a professional thing. I've tried to keep it private. I am still not telling people about it. I'm promoting a movie, not my personal life nor myself.

Q: You're 22; Heather's 32. Any problem with age? Are you and Heather living together?

HL: No, not at all. And no!

Q: I hear you're a bit of a free spirit. At your dad's urging, you bought a house in L.A.?

HL: I haven't lived in one spot in about 10 years, but I got this place about a year ago.

Q: You're on the verge of huge stardom, dating a great girl, but you seem grounded.

HL: It's my family, my upbringing. I don't take it all seriously. I don't believe it's me up there. I don't believe what people write about me - good or bad. I haven't changed. The billboards? It's surreal. I'm up there, but this was an ensemble movie and now it's "product."

Q: But there's a lot of pressure.

HL: I'm refusing to take any of their pressure because it's got nothing to do with me. Pressure was four months of shooting in Prague on a great movie.

Q: Was your family always supportive? When did you start acting?

HL: They were big believers in not breaking my spirit. They gave my sisters and me freedom to discover our own truths. I was first on the stage about 10 and had my first professional Australian TV show at 14.

Q: Last year you made a mark in "The Patriot," and now you have another period piece, "Four Feathers," an epic that is already getting Oscar buzz and hasn't even been released.

HL: Well, the pieces get bigger and bigger. It was the material I responded to. We made "Four Feathers" in Morocco, and I had beards and long hair and six different wigs. I was always in makeup. It isn't conscious on my part to do period pieces.

Q: The media loves you new Aussies. Is Russell Crowe's success because he is an Aussie talent?

HL: He's from New Zealand, actually. It's a whole different country.

Q: With whom would you most like to work?

HL: Baz Luhrmann, who just did "Moulin Rouge."

Q: How do you unwind?

HL: I take photos, both black and white and color. That's my passion. I take stuff that documents my life. What I see. It's a visual diary.

Q: Would you like to direct?

HL: Yes. I have my own project I may put together at year's end, which I might shoot in Australia - an adaptation of an Italian movie.

Q: You look as if you are really "over" the experience of "A Knight's Tale."

HL: I've just finished seven days in seven cities. It just hammers you. I went from Perth to Sydney to Dallas to Atlanta to Chicago to New York. So I'm drained.

Q: Well, after all the publicity stuff, if you could just talk about anything at all, what would it be?

HL: Well, nothing really. I've talked about the movie over and over. They're really nervous about the movie - the studio is. I don't know if their jobs are on the line or not because they're just investing so much money and time and putting me out there and whoring ourselves over this project. They need to learn to trust the movie.

Q: OK, I'm going to let you go.

HL: Hey, that wasn't so bad after all!

Ledger gets up to go climb into the back of his black Mercedes SUV. But before he goes, he says to the waitress who brought him the brownie: "Could I get my little thing to go? Thanks.

Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
You will be Never forgotten
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