Monthly Archives: July 2008

Dark Knight Cast Reflects on Heath and his Performance

In what would be my final interview with Heath, for the film “I’m Not There,” I asked him about how it felt to play the Joker after the iconic performance delivered by Jack Nicholson in which he had, at least up to this point, defined this character for us all. Heath was a good sport. Also, see the cast and creators recall their experiences with and memories of Heath on the set during the filming of the Dark Knight.

Singing the Joker?s praises.

Heath Ledger?s performance in ?The Dark Knight? is being hailed as ?worthy of a nomination? or ? a sure thing for a nomination? meaning the few press showings of the movie have already stirred up the ultimate Hollywood compliment. His portrayal of ?The Joker? should earn Heath an Academy Award nod. The praise is painful comfort to those who loved him and a way of coping with the shocking loss to those who saw his brilliant work unfolding. Christian Bale, who stars as Batman, told me that he hopes the movie will be ?a celebration? of Ledger?s work.

The early rave reviews for ?The Dark Knight? can?t totally make up for the sadness and imbalance the cast and film makers feel without Heath there to do publicity for the film or bask in the kudos.

Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, who together composed the music for the film, felt the intensity of the production coming together early on. They understood that they were seeing a depiction of good and evil that mirrors today?s world. Then with the news of Heath?s death they were thrown off guard.

Zimmer revealed to me the feelings he put into the music he helped create for the movie. ?It was so inconceivable, you know, when we heard about this. Actually, I for a moment was thinking, ?Oh my God, I should throw out all the music I?ve written for the Joker and just start over again.? Which is just exactly the wrong thing to do. And I mean, I can never find a better word for it but to honor his performance, I had to stick to my guns. The music has to portray the philosophy of anarchy that the Joker displays in the face of Batman?s valor. I couldn?t soften the music or compromise the evil he projects because Heath really did give such a tremendous performance . If I had taken my eye off the ball, if I had been sentimental, if I had done anything like that, it would really have not served him.?

Howard shared similar emotions with me. ?I agree with that. And I think ultimately his performance is so electrifying in the movie that if he has the ability to look down upon any of this, and I think he would be certainly pleased that his character was honored by, certainly on our end, by writing the music that is most appropriate to that performance.?

The day news hit of Ledger?s death I got countless phone calls. As a journalist who knew Heath I was asked to describe the mood in Hollywood while the word spread. Most of the calls were from others who knew Heath and were calling around in a way that was a prayer that they would reach someone, anyone, who might say, ?Wow, it?s all a mistake. He?s fine. Nothing as horrible as this could happen to someone so young and so promising.? He of course, did not live to fulfill his promise except on screen. And with that he leaves a stunning legacy.

Jewel says reality shows are no shortcut to being a quality music artist

So, Jewel, how do you feel about a reality contest winner suddenly becoming an overnight star?

“There’s only, like, one-and-a-half great performers that have come from American Idol. It’s hard. Just because you’re given the chance doesn’t mean you have everything that it takes. I feel lucky that I got to grow slow. As we used to say, ‘Hard wood does grow slowly.'”

…Read the rest of my Q&A with the star over at Celebrity Parade.

Parade Pop Culture Poll 2008 Results asked you all the important questions…who’s cutest? Things like that…

…see the answers.

Brendan Fraser's Hollywood Journey

Even after collecting some nice reviews for his serious acting in dramas like School Ties and Gods and Monsters, Brendan Fraser scored on the big screen playing some goofy guys and dumb-luck heroes. And now you can catch him in a pair of back-to-back action flicks.

First, he takes us on a new Journey to the Center of the Earth, which bears a slight resemblance to the classic novel by Jules Verne. Then comes the third invasion of the undead in Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

What has Brendan grinning like a little kid these days? The 3-D digital technology that makes the trip to the center of the earth awesomely real…Read more at