14 Years Later, Christian Bale Reflects On Working With Heath Ledger On The Dark Knight

2008’s The Dark Knight was possibly one of the greatest superhero films of all time. The film redefined how modern-day cinema can adapt characters and storylines from comic books by bringing a seriousness into the genre that just wasn’t found there before.

The film saw Christian Bale return in the role of Batman while Heath Ledger took on the role of Batman’s most renowned and iconic villain, The Joker.

Heath’s casting was initially met with some doubt and apprehension from fans and critics alike but his performance ended up being so iconic that it left no doubts in anyone’s mind and set the standard for what a villain in a superhero movie should aspire to be. The performance also ended up earning Heath Ledger a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor In A Supporting Role.

Now, almost a decade and a half after the release of the film, Christian Bale has reflected on what it was like working with the late Heath Ledger on the film.

Bale explained it in the following words while speaking to GQ:

“Heath Ledger, oh my God, what a performance. What a pleasure to have gotten to work with him, and just to see him and how much he put himself into the Joker. And I was watching him going, ‘Yeah, this is absolutely fantastic. Are we in trouble here?’ When Chris [Nolan] and I first sat down, we said, the problem with Batman is that the villains are always more interesting, right? And so Batman, actually, he’s very close to being a villain himself. So, let’s never let him become dull by comparison, and unfortunately I was sitting there going, ‘I feel a little bit dull by comparison because Heath is just killing this.’ But I’m so proud of that film, I love it, The Dark Knight is absolutely extraordinary, and it was such a pleasure to have gotten to work with Heath.”

Heath Ledger passed away on January 22, 2008, and unfortunately, could not live to see The Dark Knight in its final form which was released in October of the same year.


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