Heath Ledger's legacy lives on in a new documentary that has the approval of the actor's friends and family.
Nine years after his death, Spike TV's I Am Heath Ledger shows never-before-seen home movies of the actor, and features interviews from those that who part of his inner circle. Ledger, who would have turned 38 on April 4, died of "acute intoxication" by mixing prescription drugs, according to the New York coroner's report. His death was determined to have been accidental.
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Ledger's sister, Kate, tells People that the documentary is of big importance to her brother's 11-year-old daughter, Matilda. "You can tell her about things, but with her being able to visually see his movement and his expressions, it’s almost like he had actually filmed the documentary himself and pieced it together for her," she says of her niece. “Everything she does, her movement I suppose, reminds me of Heath. I think the first five years after Heath passed, every time I’d see Matilda [I] would be in tears. Now, I am really happy that I am at a stage that I can see Matilda and be happy and feel her daddy’s energy through her.”
The actor's friend, Matt Amato, also opens up to People about how his friend acclimated to fatherhood after Matilda, whose mother is actress Michelle Williams, was born in 2005. “He was a natural, he knew what to do with a baby right away,” he reminisces. “I said, ‘How come you are so comfortable with this?’ He said, ‘Well, I look at her and try and be her and try to understand what she needs.’ ”
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“I hope she remembers the way he would spin her around and call her darling and her excitement seeing him,” Amato adds. “They really did have something wonderful.”
In the documentary, Amato and several of Ledger's close friends go on to talk about the Brokeback Mountain star's struggle with fame. "He turned down so many different roles," Trevor DiCarlo recalls. "It's interesting, he turned down Superman. It wasn't a role that he felt that he could relate to. It wasn't a role that he felt that was gonna further his career. And he said no."
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Ledger did, however, agree to play The Joker in The Dark Knight, and won a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal. "He wanted fame," Amato explains, "and then when he got it, he didn't want it."
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