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 Heath Ledger found dead!

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Luca

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:02 pm

Christopher Plummer wrote:
Quote :
I just left a very laughing, happy fellow, practically a few minutes ago.
Thanks for the link! Christopher Plummer is about as classy as it gets!This is just so bewildering. The film sounds really interesting...I hope it is salvageble.

But, I also will always think back about what you said Fraz...
Frazzle wrote:
Quote :
But I can totally imagine Heath being super excited about that movie, and then when the production stopped shooting for a week, the physical illness (walking pneumonia) plus the come down from several weeks of bliss as an actor and the inability to find anything comforting in real life (back to what Luca and I were talking about, where real life stuff just doesn't feel as real as the scenes you play with other great actors)...getting very depressed and just not giving a shit whether he was putting himself in danger with excess meds to go to sleep deep enough to stop his thoughts..and his life
You know and recognize it because you have lived it yourself and have observed it in fellow actors. It is the thing they probably don't warn you about when you go into acting initially...that the acting takes priority over everything.

Even 28 year olds burn themselves out and cause themselves damage by not taking care of their physical and mental health. I don't think we will ever know for sure if it was intentional. These things have a way of getting covered up to protect the dead, and rightly so. There will be no legal case that causes all the details of his death to be publicized. If he took 2 bottles of pills that would indicate to me he intended to harm himself. Part of me really does not want to know and part of me does.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:38 pm

In a recent interview (sorry do not have links, but I will look tomorrrow) Heath said something like "body exausted, thoughts won't stop". My guess is that in an effort to "stop the thoughts" that became the priority over making sure he would stay alive.

When acting in good projects with great people, those other thoughts stop. Otherwise, sleeping pills and anti-depressants can do the trick if you take many more than recommended.

What I call "real" actors (I got reacquainted with many during last years acting class, as well as my tendency to become that way when acting)..I just do not have another way to phrase that. Many stars are not what I mean by the term, but many are. Travolta is, Hanks isn't.

Heath was (and Gyllenhaal, too... sp?). It has to do with an obvious "approach to the work" when you see it.

I often very much enjoy watching entertainment starring not "real" actors. But the ones get me down to the core, even in projects they kinda suck in, are the "real" ones.

Clint Eastwood used to NOT be a real one, but nowadays sometimes he really is (Unforgiven, plus the one where he played a secret service guy to Kennedy).

Christopher Plummer is, these days.

This doesn't mean they are depressives. It is a style of living and approaching the work of acting,.

I keep trying to define this in part so I can know what it is, finally.

If it is an addiction it is an addiction to gloriousness of human connection. When you have two actors who are both that way, the intimacy and honesty is so far beyond what people do in real life (after the infatuation stage, and I am not just talking romance...parents become uninfatuated with babies, for instance, joyous friendships stop with even a nuance of betrayal...etc.)...when you are in a scene with somebody who also puts their whole stuff on the line is is just so much FUN, no matter what the context of the scene.

Real life connections just feel so muddled and confusing and impossible to make peace with, because humans (not actors) have a different set of priorities.

"Real" actors have as top priority connecting to the purest place within them that is related to what the character is going through, and always build the connection to the partner in the scene as if they will die if they do not connect.

OK, That's the best description I've come up with so far. I hope it makes some sense.

It has to do with the ecstasy of creating a connection that is ART, much the way I imagine great painters feel when they are one with the paint and canvas.

The trick is to find connections in real life that do feel as satisfying.

I am working on that.
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Luca

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:15 am

I am really getting into this conversation...as if you could'nt tell! Wink
I think exploring what drives the "real" actors to create and do their best work -to their own detriment sometimes so fascinating.

Frazzle wrote:
Quote :
Real" actors have as top priority connecting to the purest place within them that is related to what the character is going through, and always build the connection to the partner in the scene as if they will die if they do not connect.

OK, That's the best description I've come up with so far. I hope it makes some sense.

It has to do with the ecstacy of creating a connection that is ART, much the way I imagine great painters feel when they are one with the paint and canvas.

Excellent analogy! I also take it that the connection can be with the character itself vs. a partner. I am married to a painter who also happens to deal with the racing thoughts (is on meds for it too!), and is completely able to lose himself in his work. He had to step away from it for a while because his art work was not selling and he started getting frustrated and depressed about it and is now dabbling in music. He has to have a creative outlet to be happy. The music seems to be less stressful for him-and it is purely a hobby, not something he is trying to get paid for. That is a huge difference.

To me it does sound like being a real actor is a physically and mentally draining life, but one that is more fulfilling than some of us will ever experience. I guess everything worthwhile in life has a price of some sort.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:24 am

luca! You are married to one!

I would say that for actors it IS the connection to the "partner" that moves the work out of the realm of soap opera (again, regardless of the role...but people in actual Soap Opera shows are not allowed to do the style of real work . They are contracted to do soap style, and when a show tries to do real work, they get rewritten and recast (the early year or so of Ryan's Hope in the 80's was full of the best acting Kate Mulgrew ever did).

Since acting is the only one of the arts I am really good at (which has nothing to do with success) I can't speak for other forms, but I suspect that at the core of your hubby's depression is that not selling means that the Platonic form of connecting is missing, which is depressing!

I feel it as a writer (my far lesser talent), too. People have to really get it or in my view it doesn't exist.

I do not need praise or applause, I need to know that I really connect. As an actor, if I connect with my partner in the scene, nobody else matters (but also ensures the audience will get it). Me connecting profoundly with the part with no partner to connect to turns it into melodrama. My job as an actor if the part is written with no partners, is to connect to an imagined partner: The Cosmos, God, Memories, Myself).

Actors cannot do their work in a vacuum. Literally, they need other people involved to either play the other parts, or to capture what they are doing if it is a monologue or a connection with an imaginary or internal being.

A painter (my guess) can paint the painting but until it sells it has not connected.

Whatever one's primary artistic expression, a way to stay alive and vibrant is to do another art, one that one is less invested in, to get a less risky sense of the connection (this is why I do playful silliness with the security guard at my morning job). So it makes perfect sense that a true visual artist would get enough goodness to keep going as a musician. And a true musician could get enough from painting or acting to stay sane.

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody sees or hears it did it happen? OR If a tree falls in a forest, we, the audience, care, but the tree doesn't give a shit, should we still care, as audience? If there is no audience or buyer or enough people who get the true impact we meant, is it a valid work of art?

These are the questions, I think, for all artists.
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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:57 am

There is talk of Johnny Depp taking over the role to finish out the movie. I think he would be a wonderful choice and I think Heath fans would be very excepting of JD being the one.

http://justjared.buzznet.com/2008/01/24/johnny-depp-heath-ledger/

I am curious Frazz as to why you don't think Tom Hanks is a "real" actor. He has won a couple of Oscars and many other awards. Is it the types of roles and movies he chooses? I like him fine. I have enjoyed him in many movies and he seems like a good guy. I am not a big fan or anything like that, just wondering why you feel that way about him.

A lot of this discussion you two are having helps me better understand my first husband. He was extremely artistic and talented. Not an actor, but he painted, sketched, and sculpted beautifully! Even welded metal art. He sang - fantastic voice. He was lead singer in a local band. Played guitar and blues harp that would put Taylor Hicks to shame. I mean I never heard anyone play blues harp like my ex! He also wrote. Not just songs but poems and stories. Tried to get things published a few times. Drew a comic strip for a local paper. So much talent and so busy with all of it that he could NEVER fall asleep on his own. Ever. That is how he became an alcoholic. He drank until he passed out. It was the only way he could get any rest. He told me his mind NEVER stops. He tried many times to stop drinking and when he was on the wagon I tell you he wouldn't even close his eyes. Such a shame. He just had so much talent and I think it all frustrated him. He was also a genius. Very high IQ and a Mensa member. Graduated HS young due to double promotions. I guess there is such a thing as being too bright and too talented - to the point where it seems to mess with your head. Looking back it is all so sad that he was never able to make a living with that talent. He is in Real Estate.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:05 am

I really like Tom Hanks, and enjoy his performances and his persona.

WHen he plays a part he just approaches the work in a different way that is more a gentle representation of the character than inhabiting it. That's all.
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Luca

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:21 am

Frazzle wrote:
Quote :
If a tree falls in a forest and nobody sees or hears it did it happen? OR If a tree falls in a forest, we, the audience, care, but the tree doesn't give a shit, should we still care, as audience? If there is no audience or buyer or enough people who get the true impact we meant, is it a valid work of art?

These are the questions, I think, for all artists.
Indeed! Thanks so much for explaining and sharing your views on the connecting process for real actors/artists. You explained it beautifully and my admiration and respect for the quest for artistic expression is even greater than before we had this conversation.

FC, it sounds like your first hubby may have had a chemical imbalance and was self medicating from what you described. It is a shame he was
too troubled to focus his talent and continue on his artistic journey.
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firecracker

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:34 am

Hindsight being 20/20 I think you are right Luca. I wished I had known more, but I was only in my early 20s and didn't know anything about chemical imbalance. I wish he had gotten help. He had too many talents to focus on one I think. Writing seemed to be the most important to him though.

I wonder if Heath had a chemical imbalance? I have not read everything - there is just so much out there on Heath right now that I can't keep up.
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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:23 am

frazzle wrote:
I really like Tom Hanks, and enjoy his performances and his persona.

WHen he plays a part he just approaches the work in a different way that is more a gentle representation of the character than inhabiting it. That's all.
I like Tom Hanks fine. But I much prefer actors that totally transform themselves into the character. I guess that is why Daniel Day,Johnny Depp, Ralph Fiennes , Alan Rickman are my favorites. Some actors I love to watch but I never forget who they are.

Phew my husband is HYPER! if you can get him to sit down and watch tv it is a miracle. He plays the guitar and piano by ear. Very talented. Thank god he has no drinking problem.

You know Heath sure has a beautiful little girl. My heart goes out to his Mother. I cannot think of anything worse than losing a son.
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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:10 am

You got that right Aerwin. My absolute biggest fear in life. Losing one of my boys. I don't think I could go on Crying or Very sad

Yes, his little girl is gorgeous and the very image of Heath.
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Luca

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PostSubject: Re: Heath Ledger found dead!   Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:32 am

The world is feeling the loss of one of the acting community's finest and underrated talents. Being so handsome made it harder for him and he had to work even harder to prove his talent I'm sure.

From MSN movies, Kim Morgan:
Quote :
But I'm discussing Ledger's career in the past tense, something I'm having a tough time wrapping my mind around. He was one of my favorite working actors, an actor I've been advocating and arguing for as someone special and different since his earlier roles, and an actor I now find myself cherishing. Like many of you, I was absolutely stunned and depressed to learn of his death. I can barely grasp the realization as I write this right now. He was only 28 years old. He was in the middle of Terry Gilliam's newest picture, an admirable task since, in spite of how great he was in Gilliam's otherwise messy "The Brothers Grimm," you know someone must have advised him against it. But Gilliam, as troubled as some of his productions have been, is an artist. And so was Ledger.

Thinking of the last movie I saw Ledger in, as the beautiful, romantic but flawed and human "live fast, die young" James Dean-inspired Dylan persona in "I'm Not There," I was filled with sadness, recalling the enchanting, idyllic scenes between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Ledger tuned to Dylan's "I Want You." What bliss. What joy to simply watch Ledger engaging in such bliss. And what a magnificent, soulful talent he was, with so much more to give movies and life. To paraphrase Dylan, we want you, we want you, we want you back, so bad.
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