In order to prep himself for Joker, Heath Ledger kept a diary filled with notes and tiny details (pictures from A Clockwork Orange, Joker playing cards, pictures of circus clowns and strange things that would make The Joker laugh). His final entry simply reads “BYE BYE”, in capital letters, on the last page of the diary.
The video below shows a glimpse of the German documentary series Too Young To Die, which did an episode on Heath Ledger last year. They interviewed Heath’s father Kim Ledger, who produced the Joker diary and flipped through it on a table next to Heath Ledger’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
The biggest surprise is that there are no pictures of Tom Waits, arguably the biggest influence on Ledger’s performance.
The video is in French, but a rough translation would be:
This is the Joker’s diary. In order to inhabit his character, [Heath] locked himself up in a hotel room for weeks. He would do that. He liked to dive into his characters, but this time he really took it up a notch. The hospital scene is interesting because when he was a kid, his sister Kate liked to dress him up as a nurse. He was really funny like that… This is make-up test which was done eight months before. Before the end of the shooting he wrote ‘bye bye’ on the back of the page. It was hard to see this.