Why so serious, the Joker asks. But when it comes to acting the face behind the Joker’s painted mask is deadly serious.
It’s a little known fact, but Heath Ledger actually had his role at heart and went to great lengths in order to make the Joker as realistic as possible on the screen. This included some extreme actions like asking his co-stars to give him a proper beating. It might sound unbelievable, but Ledger actually insisted that Bale should beat him up. He wanted his co-star to take a swing at him as hard as Batman would when it comes to the Joker. Bale, of course, was also startled at this request.
This is just one of hundreds of other reasons to love Heath Ledger’s work and to admire his devotion towards his projects. Devotion, which many Hollywood actors prefer to fake rather than prove.