Australian Star - Heath Ledger

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Post  Admin on Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:18 pm

Australian Star - Heath Ledger

JOHN HIGHFIELD: Well Oscars night this week may have been the night of nights at least in Hollywood, but the day to day business of selling yourself never stops it seems in the film world.

One newcomer to showbiz in California is the young Australian actor, Heath Ledger, who's quickly learning the art of self-promotion. He's got some good teachers - people like Mel Gibson - with whom he's just finished his latest film, and despite changing his Australian accent to make it more acceptable to American audiences he's adamant he won't forget his roots. Michael Vincent reports.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Australian Heath Ledger's rise through the movie world has been dramatic. Just two years ago he starred in his first Hollywood film and then last year he was nominated for an Australian film industry award for his role in the Sydney made movie, Two Hands.

Along the way he's acquired an agent and advisers who he says have helped massage his career, including Mel Gibson, who as an Oscar winning Aussie has been able to pass on some of the tricks of the trade.

HEATH LEDGER: He's helped me in the way that he's teaching me a hell of a lot. He's taught me a lot professionally and socially in the industry, and it's nothing that I could or would really want to voice to you because it's something of my own.

MICHAEL VINCENT: How tough is it for a young Australian to make it in Hollywood?

HEATH LEDGER: Just as tough as anyone else around the world, you know. It's - you've just got to go in there and forget about that I guess, you know, and it's tough, it is, and it's tough for anyone but I think as of late Australians are somewhat more accepted, or more respected, I guess, in the industry and they're giving us more of a chance.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Australians may be getting more of a chance in Hollywood but that doesn't mean they don't have to change. The Aussie accent is usually the first thing to go with the help of a voice teacher.

HEATH LEDGER: You know, I think funnily enough they're starting to get a little bit more lenient on my accent. As long as it's clear and articulate I think they're starting to accept it a little more. I'm using it in my next project.

MICHAEL VINCENT: As for the part of being sold as the next rising star he says there's nothing to his career apart from making sure he gets involved with films with good scripts.

HEATH LEDGER: Basically I don't really want to get too caught up in, oh my God, how should I create an image, what should I [indistinct] myself, you know, what do I need to do to back up this movie, you know, I just think at the end of day it just comes down to the material and that's how I've had to segregate all the projects and, you know, sort out through all the crap and all the gloss and the money and the glamour as to just look at the script and the project and say is it written well.

MICHAEL VINCENT: For there can be no scripting for the role of being cast as a young sex symbol.

UNIDENTIFIED: You're currently favourite to win our hundred sexiest men readers poll and [indistinct] my fee. How will you feel if you win?

HEATH LEDGER: Er, pretty sexy. [laughter].

UNIDENTIFIED: And just while we're on the topic of women, I'm wondering whether you have seen any of the web sites about you, in particular the one called "The Heath Ledger Estrogen Brigade", and what do you make of that?

HEATH LEDGER: Yeah, it's all a little crazy I guess.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Despite the ups and downs of being seduced by Hollywood, the young Australian actor wants to make movies down under and even though his latest film is about a young American fighting in the revolution against the English, Heath Ledger says he was still able to draw on his Australian heritage. Was it any easier to fight the English with any republican sentiments you might be harbouring?

HEATH LEDGER: I just kept thinking The Ashes.

JOHN HIGHFIELD: Cricket? Try selling that to Hollywood. That's our program for this Wednesday.

Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
You will be Never forgotten
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