Here's abstew with a tribute to an actor we lost too soon.
Today, April 4th, 2014, would have been Oscar winner Heath Ledger's 35th Birthday. Tragically, the talented young actor's career was all too brief. (It's crazy to think that 2 of the 5 Best Actor nominees from 2005 are no longer with us.) But let's not dwell on the sadness, but celebrate the life and work of this amazing Aussie.
This past week marked the 15th anniversary of the film that brought Heath to movie-goers' attention, 10 Things I Hate About You. (No, the Fox show Roar does not count as his breakthrough. Even though it co-starred TV's Felicity and I do actually remember watching it.)
At the time, 10 Things seemed like just another late 90s teen movie based on a Shakespeare play. (You'd be surprised how much that was a thing back then. And they all starred Julia Stiles.) But there was something about Heath's charismatic turn in the film that made you just know he was destined for better things. (It would take us a little longer to realize this about co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.) Perhaps because Heath, even while playing a teenager, seemed to already be a leading man, carrying a maturity and a masculinity rarely found in one so young.
My favorite scene in the film has to be when Heath serenades Julia Stiles' Kat with a rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" by Frank Valli, complete with marching band back-up:
Heath had actually auditioned for the part of Christian in Moulin Rouge! but was deemed too young to play Nicole's love interest. Imagine how great he would have been in a movie musical. Perhaps playing one of the princes in the upcoming film version of Into the Woods?
At the time of his death, he had also started to explore different aspects of his artistic career, directing some music videos and expressing a wish to do a documentary about singer Nick Drake. Having already worked with such great directors as Ang Lee, Todd Haynes, and Terry Gilliam, I'm sure he learned a thing or two from watching them on set.
What might have been?
What other directors would you have loved to have seen Heath work with? What roles do you think he would have tackled? Let's celebrate Heath in the comments