The Corner

Did We Forget to Mention Blue Monday?

Yesterday was Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year according to a formula developed by a Cardiff University researcher. If Heath Ledger’s death is eventually ruled a suicide, it will be an uncanny coincidence.

I was looking forward to Ledger’s reimagining of the Joker for this summer’s “The Dark Knight.” It sounds like the process took its toll:

[Ledger] is here in London filming the latest episode of the “Batman” franchise, “The Dark Knight.” (Mr. Bale, as it happens, plays Batman; Mr. Ledger plays the Joker.) It is a physically and mentally draining role — his Joker is a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy” he said cheerfully — and, as often happens when he throws himself into a part, he is not sleeping much.

“Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” he said. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” One night he took an Ambien, which failed to work. He took a second one and fell into a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing.

I expect this will add a haunting dimension to the film.

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